TLR made good on a bet with his daugthers. He bet them if the Cards won the World Series he’d get a tattoo. He got a tribal design wrapping around his shoulder and bicep. Just think – if he’d gotten a large tattoo of Ozzie Smith, kinda like the one Scott Spiezio has of his wife, that might have ended their feud.
My third and final Spring Training game was Monday, Cards v. Astros at Jupiter. We got to the park 2 hours early again and watched some batting practice on the practice fields. Bill Parcells was there, chatting with Tony. Maybe we should hire him.
Saw some of the pitchers taking BP, and also Taguchi, Rasmus, and Duncan. Many Cards stopped to sign autographs, including Izzy who signed for all who gathered.
Our seats were in the field boxes just beyond 3rd base, so we had a great view of the action. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much action on the Cardinals’ side as they lost 5-0. On the positive side, Wainwright had a great start. He went 4 innings and gave up 2 walks but no hits. Unfortunately, things crumbled when the relievers came in, with Smith giving up 2 runs, and Kinney looking a mess and giving up 3 runs. I wasn’t surprised to hear today that he’s got an injury. I hope it’s not serious, and he can get back to his old form before too long. Something was definitely amiss with him in the 2 appearances I saw.
There aren’t many offensive highlights to report. Preston Wilson struck out twice, which caused much cheering from the drunk Astros fans in our section. Spiezio had 2 hits.
Duncan started off the game with 2 sliding/diving catches in left field that gave me hope for him, but then reality came crashing back in as he misshandled and dropped a much more playable fly ball a couple innings later.
My dad wasn’t feeling well so we cut our trip a bit short and skipped Tuesday’s game in Ft. Lauderdale. I wish we had stuck around for today’s home run derby at Dodgertown!
- War is Over – I was excited to read in today’s Post Dispatch that TLR and Scott Rolen have patched up their feud. Did the talks end with Rolen banging a cleat on the table? Nah, It sounds like it was a pretty easygoing resolution. I guess they realized their contracts were both long enough that it would be tough to just pretend the other didn’t exist a la junior high. We definitely need these guys to see eye to eye in order for a healthy clubhouse vibe, so this is great news.
- Let’s chirp – I’ve added new chat functionality to the sidebar. If it works, it should tell you when I’m online and you can send me a msg and I’ll respond.
- Jupiter, Here I Come – My dad and I are flying to Jupiter on Thursday and I’ll be seeing my first game on Friday. Check back for coverage and photos. I can’t wait!
Gooch and Spiezio
come through! Tony lives up to
nickname: La Genius
Woohoo! Cards win! The team that most thought shouldn’t be in the playoffs at all now takes a commanding lead in this division series. And who would have predicted Weaver would lead the Cards in a shut-out victory? He looked awesome, and the bullpen came through, too. I wasn’t sure about Tony’s choice to take Johnson out when he was dominating in the 8th, but it worked out. Wainwright was steller in the 9th. Not a ton of offense but Pujols and Edmonds came through when we needed them.
One note of annoyance: could Chris Berman be any more biased toward San Diego? It’s been irritating watching him call these games as his voice raises several octaves anytime it looks like the Padres might score. I checked his bio and it says he lives in CT so not sure why he’s behind the Padres.
Here’s hoping Sup can finish things off on Saturday, and, if not, we know we’ve got Carp ready to go on Sunday. I really hope I don’t get to use my Game 5 tickets.
Bernie Miklasz hath posted the Cardinals roster for the division series.
I guess it’s not shocking that Marquis made the cut. He strikes terror in my heart whenever he takes the mound, but he does have experience, won 14 games this year despite his ludicrious 6.02 ERA, can pinch hit (probably better than Taguchi at this point), and can run. I hope we don’t see him take the mound, but I can understand having him on the roster for the reasons above. I hate to think his inclusion comes at the expense of Reyes. I’m not sure I’d start Reyes in a playoff situation after Sunday’s 1st inning meltdown, but I’d be comfortable seeing him in used in a relief role. I don’t fully blame Anthony for Sunday’s performance – after all, he worked on short rest and came to the ballpark not expecting to pitch, so he had no time to mentally prepare for an extremely pressured situation.
One hour til game time!
I was reflecting this morning on my MLB radio appearance from a few weeks ago as "ML Blogger of the Week." At that point, we had a healthy lead, and the Reds were our nearest division competition. I was asked if I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be going down to the wire against the Astros as we had in the last few years. "Actually I’m relieved," I said. "With their pitching, you don’t want to be in a playoff situation with them – they are just too good."
Well, who would have expected them to win 9 in a row and us to lose 8 of our last 9 games. We now cling to a half game lead in our division and face the horrifying prospect of a one-game playoff vs the Stros and Oswalt. Shudder.
Despite it all, I still have hope for this weekend, although I know it’s going to be stressful. I like our chances at home against that other beer city team. And the Astros have to win 3 from the Braves, on top of the 9 games they’ve just won, when the Braves are looking strong again. If we can win our 3 games and they can lose 1, we’ll be golden. Of course, given our recent play, that’s a huge If.
I’m washing my hands of Jason Marquis. Although some blame has to fall on TLR for not pulling Marquis at the first sign of problems, given our desperate situation, most blame has to fall on Jason for pitching horribly. And then his post-game comments are so blah and generic, ie, "I didn’t make the pitches I needed to make." This was a huge game, and by giving up 6 early runs, he didnt give us a realistic chance to win it. I don’t think his comments showed any passion or remorse. He came off cold, which is the way the team has been playing. I really hope they can find some fire deep in their bellies this weekend. Do I need to break out my 45 of Glenn Frey’s "The Heat Is On"?