Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beltran, Lyons lead Cardinals past the Royals in Game Two, 4-1

The Cardinals got a total of three home runs as well as excellent from start to finish and Saint Louis defeated the Royals in Kansas City 4 to 1 in the second of this current four game series on Tuesday night in a regular season Major League Baseball contest at Kauffman Stadium in the state of Missouri.

Cardinals rookie starter Tyler Lyons improved his record to 2-0 as he allowed one run following an RBI double against Billy Butler -- which also was his 1,000th career hit -- as well as the only Royal to get hits as finished with Kansas City's only two hits on the night, and drove in their only run for the entire contest as well.

While Lyons couldn't seem to find a pitch to fool anybody in the bottom half of the first-inning, the next six innings that he pitched were the exact opposite. He allowed just one other hit outside of the first-inning double, which was also off the bat of Butler -- which was only a single this time.

St. Louis got the scoring started as well, as Matt Carpenter led the ball game off with his single. Carlos Beltran followed that off with a two-run dinger off the Royals' starting pitcher Ervin Santana, who struggled once again as he allowed four runs on seven Cardinals hits and seen his overall record for the season fall to 3-5 as he lasted 7 1/3 innings.

With the Cardinals leading 2-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Matt Carpenter hit a home run that was followed up by Matt Holliday hitting one of his own as the two went back-to-back to make the score 4-1 at the time -- leading us to the eventual final score for the second and final game of the series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Cardinals out hit Kansas City by a final of 8 to 2 in the 4-1 St. Louis win and got another stellar performance from the teams new closer Edward Mujica as he picked up his 16th save in as many opportunities as he sent down all three batters he faced with one strike out in a ten-pitch inning.

The Cardinals improved to 34-17 on the season and had their lead against the second place team in the National League Central stuck at two games. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday night with the first pitch being delivered at 7:15 pm Central Time at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as the game will be played their on Thursday as well.

Cardinals Lineup for Game Two of Four Game Royals Series

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:
1. M. Carpenter -- Second Baseman
2. C. Beltran -- Right Field
3. M. Holliday -- Designated Hitter
4. A. Craig -- Left Field
5. M. Adams -- First Baseman
6. D. Freese -- Third Baseman
7. J. Jay -- Center Field
8. T. Cruz -- Catcher
9. D. Descalso -- Short Stop

Kansas City Royals Lineup:
1. A. Gordon -- Left Field
2. A. Escobar -- Short Stop
3. L. Cain -- Center Field
4. B. Butler -- Designated Hitter
5. E. Hosmer -- First Baseman
6. M. Tejada -- Third Baseman
7. J. Francoeur -- Right Field
8. A. Moore -- Catcher
9. E. Johnson -- Second Baseman

Pitching Matchup: (STL) Tyler Lyons versus (KC) Ervin Santana

Cardinals call up Right Handed Pitcher Victor Marte from Memphis

As the team was preparing for their four-game series opener against the Kansas City Royals on Monday afternoon for their 1:10 pm Central Time first pitch on Memorial Day, general manager John Mozlieak and manager Mike Matheny had to make another move with their AAA affiliate Memphis.

St. Louis recalled right-handed pitcher Victor Marte up from the Triple-A's Memphis Redbirds following the demotion of Carlos Martinez, who will go back to Memphis again following his first-minor stint at the big-league level with the Cardinals.

Marte was 1-0 with a 2.78 earned-run average and 10 saves in 20 games so far this season with Memphis, who is currently 32 years old at the moment. Marte appeared in 48 appearances last season with the Cardinals and finished with a 3-2 record with an ERA of 4.91.  He pitched for the Royals in both 2009 and 2010 before he was traded to the Cardinals in 2011. In his stay in the major leagues, he is 6-2 with a 7.09 ERA in 78 relief appearnces.

Martinez, who was optioned back to the Redbirds with this move, had a 4.50 ERA in seven reliefs appearances, to Memphis (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

Cardinals Front Office Continues to Prove why they are the Best

What comes to mind when you think of the Saint Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball? For a while -- or at least for over the last decade before last season, most would have said Albert Pujols. Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Stan 'The Man' Musial, Whitey Herzog, or maybe even Tony LaRussa or even Mark McGwice? Any of them names could be a certain persons' rational thinking when it comes to this team, franchise, and organization -- and all of them would be fairly good answers.

Well, with all of the greats that have ever suited up and stepped a foot onto the field for the Birds-on-the-Bat, or that have gotten just one curtain-call from the greatest fans in the world inside Busch Stadium, also known as 'Baseball Heaven', will all tell you personally, that their isn't much better when it comes to pro sports and this organization that is one of the best in the entire world.

One thing that this franchise and overall organization does resemble though, is that they are almost always in contention to win a World Series title -- year in and year out. No matter the adversity that the team is up against to the fans, the critics, and the entire sports' and baseball world, they always show heart and that 'never give up' mentality -- even when the team on paper isn't very good. Never giving up is something that this organization has taken pride in, and is one of the largest reasons that 'Cardinal Nation' has one of the biggest families and most diverse fan bases in not only Major League Baseball, but any spots in the world.

Despite the team losing a lot of personnel in the front office -- as well as big players from their recent championship season in 2011, nothing has phased this team or have gotten them to play any different than they did with them. In fact, the second that LaRussa announced his retirement from baseball, Mark McGwire left as the hitting coach to go to the Dodgers, and when Albert Pujols left to join the Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim -- not many people involved in baseball gave them much of a chance to do anything.

Well, we all know what happened then. Just a year after hometown hero David Freese became an October Legend thanks to his Game 6 heroics in the World Series against the Texas Rangers in 2011, first-year manager Mike Matheny not only managed another unbelievable come-from-behind playoff series win in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, but he also managed the team to a 3-1 series lead against the eventual MLB World Champion Giants before the team lost the final three games with a chance to go for back-to-back titles themselves.

This season the team has already gotten off to a remarkable start -- and it is once again turning heads all over the baseball world. The team is entering tonight's contest at Kansas City with a 33-17 overall record which is tops in not only the National League and the Central division, but also for the best record in all of the major leagues.

What makes this even more impressive though, is the fact that the team has already hit the injury bug with David Freese missing a little less than a month to start the season, no Chris Carpenter yet and Jason Motte being out for the season -- but also a season-ending injury to Jaime Garcia and an injury to Jake Westbrook in which could keep him out for quite a while.

With the young guns such as Carlos Martinez, Seth Maness, Travor Rosenthal, John Gast all performing excellent and way beyond expectations -- and the waiting arrival of AAA Memphis Red Bird' Michael Wacha still waiting to have his moment, this Cardinals team that General Manager John Mozeliak has put together for Matheny to run -- especially after the start that the team is off too -- has the ability and potential to continue to get better and better, as well as have a possible shot to win the franchises 12th World Championship.

With all of this being said though, the season is still early. Even with the fast start, afterall, this is most certainly a marathon and not a sprint to the finish line. As I will say though, this team has a lot of great young talent with a lot of depth and only time will tell what magical ending that this team has in store for us with some of the smartest baseball personnel around running this team.

A Look Ahead at the Upcoming Week in St. Louis Cardinals Baseball

**(Monday, May 27th through Sunday, June 2nd)**

Monday, May 27th--Cardinals at Kansas City Royals
(1:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 1 of 4.

Tuesday, May 28th--Cardinals at Kansas City Royals
(7:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 2 of 4.

Wednesday, May 29th--Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals
(7:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 3 of 4.

Thursday, May 30th--Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals
(7:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 3 of 4.

Friday, May 31st--Cardinals vs. San Fransisco Giants
(7:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 1 of 3.

Saturday, June 1st--Cardinals vs. San Fransisco Giants
(6:15 pm Central Time, Nationally Televised on FOX Primetime)--Game 2 of 3.

Sunday, June 2nd--Cardinals vs. San Fransisco Giants
(1:15 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 3 of 3.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Molina's Big Game fuels Cardinals past the Royals in series opener

The Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to switch things up in the batting order, and it payed its' dividends as Yadier Molina had a huge game at the plate to help lead St. Louis past the Kansas City Royals by a score of 6-3 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in a regular season Major League Baseball regular season contest on Monday afternoon.

For just the second time in his entire MLB playing career, Molina was put in the two-hole in the lineup -- and it sure helped Adam Wainwright and his team in a big way against the Cardinals' American League rival in the I70 series between the two ball clubs. He hit a home run as well as driving in a total of four runs -- and silenced a sold out KC crowd on a natural holiday to the entire sport and the game of baseball.

Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright picked up his seventh win of the season as he pitched eight excellent innings, giving up just three runs on twelve hits. Despite a season high 12 hits allowed from Waino, he seemed to always get that 'huge' out when he needed it. He finished with five strikeouts and no walks given out as his overall record is now 7-3 early on in the season.

Edward Mujica allowed one hit in his save opportunity but gave up no runs as he has done quite a bit so far this season. He struck out one batter in the ninth, and with the save he has officially completed all 15 save opportunities successfully and has certainly been a huge factor into the success for the Cardinals through these first 50 games.

Molina got the scoring started as he hit a two-run bomb in the top of the first inning as Matt Carpenter was the man on base. Allen Craig also drove in a run as he made it 4-1 St. Louis before the Royals came back in the bottom half of the third to make it 4-3. Yadier drove in runs in the first inning, the third inning, as well as in the fourth inning.

James Shields didn't have such a great start for KC though, as he pitched six innings and gave up six runs on nine hits and walked five while striking out just 4. Despite having a nice ERA of 2.96, the loss today had his record fall to 2-6 on the season and certainly seems to have him losing some confidence as well.

Although the Royals out hit St. Louis by a total of 13-to-12, the Cardinals improved their overall record to an MLB best 33-17 -- while Kansas City fell to 21-27 with their downfall over the last month still continuing following a pretty impressive start during the opening month of April. The game tomorrow will deliver the first pitch at 7:10 pm Central Time and will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest with the pregame beginning at 6:30 pm Central Time.

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Update: Sorry for the Update Delay (5/28)

-(5/22/13) -(Wednesday) St. Louis Cardinals 5, @ San Diego Padres 3
-(Pitching Decision) Winner-T. Lyons  Loser-B. Smith

-(5/24/13) -(Friday) St. Louis Cardinals 7, @ Los Angeles Dodgers 0
-(Pitching Decision) Winner-L. Lynn  Loser-C. Capuano

-(5/25/13) -(Saturday) St. Louis Cardinals 3, @ Los Angeles Dodgers 5
-(Pitching Decision) Winner-P. Rodriguez  Loser-S. Maness  Save-B. League

-(5/26/13) -(Sunday) St. Louis Cardinals 5, @ Los Angeles Dodgers 3
-(Pitching Decision) Winner-S. Maness  Loser-C. Kershaw  Save-E. Mujica

-(5/27/13) -(Monday) St. Louis Cardinals 6, @ Kansas City Royals 3
-(Pitching Decision) Winner-A. Wainwright  Loser-J. Shields  Save-E. Mujica

The Saint Louis Cardinals continued their winning ways over the six-game West Coast road-trip this week, as manager Mike Matheny and his squad took two-of-three against both of the San Diego Padres -- as well as against the Los Angeles Dodgers as well, and finished their trip to California with an impressive 4-2 record.

Entering the four game series coming up against the Kansas City Royals, Saint Louis owns an overall record of 32-17 at the moment -- which is good enough to not only be the best record in the National League, but also the best record in all of the major leagues.

As the Cardinals have finished 50 games out of the 162 game slate, they are currently 14-8 at home inside Busch Stadium. Even more impressive though, Saint Louis is currently 19-9 on road so far this season and also own the highest differential in the entire MLB at +66 on the runs scored (233) against runs allowed (167).

In the teams last ten ball games, the Cardinals are 7-3 overall and have currently won their last two ball games overall as they defeated the Royals on Monday afternoon in Kansas City. The two teams will be playing Tuesday's game two in Kansas City before they play on Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis at the Cardinals home field, Busch Stadium.

Here is a look at the current four-game series between the Cardinals and the Royals:
-Cardinals 6, @ Royals 3: W-Wainwright (7-3) L-Shields (2-6) S-Mujica (15)
-Cardinals @ Royals (Tuesday, 7:10 pm CT) Lyons vs. Santana
-Royals @ Cardinals (Wednesday, 7:10 pm CT) Mendoza vs. Lynn
-Royals @ Cardinals (Thursday, 7:10 pm CT) Guthrie vs. TBA

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Descalso hits first career grandslam, Cardinals beat Padres 10-2 (5/21)

On a beautiful night for baseball on the West Coast, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Diego Padres 10 to 2 on Tuesday night behind strong performances from both Daniel Descalso and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright in a Major League Baseball regular season contest, as the home stadium was a crowd filled with the visiting teams' fans.

Wainwright, who had entered the contest with no career wins at Petco Park, walked off the field behind a nice, loud ovation from the large swarms of Cardinals fans as he seen his night come to an end with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning as St. Louis had an eight run lead. In his first ever win against San Diego away from Busch Stadium, Wainwright pitched 7 1/3 innings as he gave up one run on four hits and gave up no walks and six strikeouts. He improved his record to 6-3 and has now won at every National League ball park.

Descalso had a big night as well, as his came at the plate. He finished the night going 3 for 3 with the bat and ended with five RBIs. In the top of the eighth inning, with a 5 to 1 lead, Double D hit his first career grand slam -- making the score 9-1 after driving in Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, and Jon Jay. He also scored three runs on the night as well.

Edison Volquez, who started for San Diego, lasted six innings as he gave up five runs on eight hits -- striking out five batters and walking just one. His record dropped to 3-5 on the season after the loss and seen his earned-run average climb to 5.76. He fell to 2-4 in eight career starts against the Cardinals and has allowed 28 runs on 36 hits in 44.0 innings.

The Padres bullpen had a rough night as well as both Anthony Bass and Tyson Ross got the calls following the end of the night for Volquez. Bass pitched two innings of work, giving up four runs on three hits as he was the pitcher that gave up the grand slam -- while Ross pitched one inning of work as he allowed one unearned run on two hits.

The Cardinals out hit San Diego 13 to 7 on the night too, as five players had at least two base hits or more -- as well as having five different players drive in a run. Matt Carpenter finished with two hits and one RBI, Beltran had two hits and two RBIs, and Holliday had one hit and one RBI.

St. Louis improved to 29-16 following the win and evened up the three game series at one game each as the two teams will play the rubber match on Wednesday night when the first pitch will be delievered at 9:10 pm Central Time. San Diego seen their record fall to 21-24 following the lost, but will look to redeem themselves in game three as the Cardinals are set to have rookie pitcher Tyler Lyons make his first career start.

Cardinals bullpen struggles late; drop opener to Padres 4-2 (5/20)

On night where the St. Louis Cardinals got another impressive outing from their sensational rookie pitcher Shelby Miller, the San Diego Padres got an even better outing from Jason Marquis as the bullpen buckled late in the 4-2 series opening loss on Monday night in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

The former Cardinal' pitcher, Marquis, pitched six strong innings and picked up his fifth straight win in a row. He allowed two runs on the night, with just one of them being earned, and gave up just three hits as the San Diego bullpen also shut down the Cardinals with no runs allowed and one hit given up in three innings of work between four players. Marquis improved his record to 6-2 on the season and is pitching some of his best baseball of his career at the lone age of 34 years young.

Miller pitched 5 and 2/3 innings as he picked up a loss to fall to 5-3 on the season. He allowed three runs on five hits with five strike outs and four walks on the night. He was lifted from the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning as his replacement, Fernando Salas, entered the game with runners on first and second. Chris Denorfia singled to center and drove in Carlos Quentin for his only RBI on the night to tie the ball game up at 2 each.

Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Salas then hit Jesus Guzman to bring in the Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, in what proved to be the game-winning run as it had given San Diego a 3-to-2 lead. After a scoreless seventh frame from the Cardinals, Matheny brought in Mitchell Boggs for his first assignment since being promoted back to the majors following the injury to Jaime Garcia. The second pitch to the first batter that Boggs seen was crushed into the stands by Will Venable, which proceeded to give the Padres a two-run lead and eventually the games' 4 to 2 final score.

The Cardinals offense was held in check with just four total hits as Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday both had a hit each -- and then two off of the bat of starting center fielder Jon Jay. The first run from St. Louis was due to a fielding error from Chase Headley from a hit off of the pitcher, Shelby Miller, as Yadier Molina crossed the plate in the top half of the second. Then in the top half of the third inning, in a 1-1 tie, Allen Craig grounded into a double-play with no outs as Beltran scored after standing on third base.

The Padres got RBIs from Venable as he hit a solo home run, as well as Headley, Guzman, and Denorfia, who went 3-for-4 at the plate on the night and upped his batting average to .301 on the season.

The Cardinals fell to 28-16 on the season while the Padres improved their record to 21-23 following the win. The second of this current three game series will deliver the first pitch at 9:10 pm Central Time on Tuesday night, as it will be the second game of the current six game West Coast road trip.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Game 43 Lineup: Freese Scratched from opener versus Padres (5/20)

The Saint Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to make a late scratch after he had put together tonight's lineup for the opening game of the current three game series against the San Diego Padres as the team is set to spend the week in California as they visit the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend.

Ty Wigginton got the news that he was going to be a late add on to the Red Birds lineup just minutes before the scheduled first-pitch as he will be starting at third base for the injured starter, David Freese. Freese, who still has some inflammation on his right thumb, needed a couple of stitches after the cleat of the Brewers' Norichika Aoki caught him during a run down play during Sunday afternoons' 4-2 Cardinals win.

Despite the scratch from the lineup though, the hometown hero is still avaliable to come in and play during tonights game, but that isn't very likely as his hand is still bothering him quite a bit while holding the bat and swinging, as well as him trying to throw the ball across the diamond.

Aside from Freese being out tonight though, the rest of the starting lineup that Matheny put out on the field is basically the same lineup that has carried the Cardinals to a National League best, 28-15, which includes the big production from center fielder Jon Jay. In the last 14 games, Jay has drove in 15 runs, which has a lot to do with the fact that he dropped to the sixth or seventh spot opposed to the leadoff spot in the lineup where he began the season at. Here is a quick look at the lineup for tonight against former Cardinal and now Padres' starter, Jason Marquis:

1. Matt Carpenter (Second Base)
2. Carlos Beltran (Right Field)
3. Matt Holliday (Left Field)
4. Allen Craig (First Base)
5. Yadier Molina (Catcher)
6. Jon Jay (Center Field)
7. Ty Wigginton (Third Base)
8. Pete Kozma (Short Stop)
9. Shelby Miller (Pitcher) -- 5-2 Record, 1.52 Earned Run Average

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cards' starter Jaime Garcia lands back on the DL; may need surgery

Jaime Garcia made the start for the Cardinals on Friday night in St. Louis' 7-6 win in the opener of the three game weekend series against Ryan Braun and the last place Milwaukee Brewers -- but less than 48 hours later, he finds himself back on the 15-day disabled list with the best solution being the surgery that he held off on getting last season.

Through the first three innings of the game, Garcia retired all nine batters that he had seen and was cruising along as his stuff looked possibly the best that we have seen it all season. The next three innings of him on the mound though, weren't exactly what anybody would have expected -- but it happened indeed.

Brewers' slugger Aramis Ramirez hit two home runs, both being three-run shots, as he connected on one of them in the top half of the fourth inning and the other in the top half of the sixth inning. After Aramis hit the bomb in the sixth, it was the end of the night for Garcia -- and ultimately could have been his last batter faced for quite a while -- with the worst case scenario being that it could be the end of his 2013 regular-season campaign.

Unfortunately for Jaime, who said in a postgame interview that the pain in his shoulder was real intense and had him thinking about taking himself out of the game on numerous occassions, battled shoulder problems just about all season long last year. He got placed on the 15 day disabled-list on Sunday morning with a left shoulder strain, while veteran reliever Mitchell Boggs got recalled from Class AAA Memphis to fill in his spot on the roster.

An MRI was ran on Garcia on Saturday morning and the results aren't very appealling for Jaime or the Cardinals front office. When they compared last seasons' MRI results on the same shoulder to the results of Saturdays', Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak reported that the two look very, very similar.

While Jaime is set up to see Doctor James Andrews sometime within the next couple of days, with the same exact injury last season, he missed a little over two months as he insisted that he wanted to rehab the shoulder rather than having it surgically repaired. With the results coming back being almost the same as that injury though, the surgery seems to be about the only outcome to get it back to being better.

We will certainly find out a lot more information before the end of the week once he actually visits the doctors though, so for now, hope is the only thing that Garcia and the Cardinals can have. Before the injury, Jaime had given up 11 runs in his last 11 innings of work, but is 5-2 with a 3.58 earned run average.

A Look Ahead at the Upcoming Week in St. Louis Cardinals Baseball

**(Monday, May 20th through Sunday, May 26th)**

Monday, May 20th--Cardinals at San Diego Padres
(9:10 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 1 of 3.

Tuesday, May 21st--Cardinals at San Diego Padres
(9:10 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 2 of 3.

Wednesday, May 22nd--Cardinals at San Diego Padres
(9:10 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 3 of 3.

Thursday, May 23rd--No Cardinals Game
(The team has the day off, no game scheduled to be played)

Friday, May 24th--Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
(9:10 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 1 of 3.

Saturday, May 25th--Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
(6:15 pm Central Time, Nationally Televised on FOX Primetime)--Game 2 of 3.

Sunday, May 26th--Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
(3:10 pm Central Time, FOX Sports Midwest)--Game 3 of 3.

Cardinals lose on in 10 Saturday; Fight back to win on Sunday (5/19)

Game 42 (Saturday, 5/18): Milwaukee Brewers 6, St. Louis Cardinals 4 -- 10 innings
WP-John Axford (1-3)  LP-Joe Kelly (0-2)  SV-Jim Henderson (8)

Game 43 (Sunday, 5/19): St. Louis Cardinals 4, Milwaukee Brewers 2
WP-John Gast (2-0)  LP-Kyle Lohse (1-5)  SV-Edward Mujica (13)

**Cardinals win the three game series 2 games to 1 game**

Game 42 Recap: Cardinals rally to tie game in 6th, lose game in 10th
During what has been a herendous month of baseball for Ryan Braun and National League Centrals' last-place Milwaukee Brewers, the team finally came together and finished off a huge win when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 in 10-innings inside Busch Stadium on Saturday night in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

Jeff Bianchi, who made just his second start for the team since he came back from the disabled list on May 2nd with bursitis in his left hip, drove in two runs with a single in the 10th inning in what proved to be the games game winning hit following a pitch from the hands of St. Louis' Joe Kelly.

The Cardinals got the scoring party started in the bottom half of the second inning as Pete Kozma singled to center to drive in Allen Craig and then Matt Carpenter walked with the bases loaded to bring in David Freese from third base. Following four unanswered runs from Milwaukee to give them a 4-2 lead, Carpenter and Jon Jay both rallied St. Louis to tie the game up with both having RBI singles in the sixth inning.

Following Jay's RBI single, neither team could muster another run in the contest until the heroics from Bianchi in the extra inning as both teams bullpen did an excellent job to keep it that way.

Lance Lynn got the start for the home team as he pitched five innings and gave up four runs on eight hits--leading him to a no decision. Joe Kelly recieved the loss as he gave up two runs on three hits in his one lone inning of work following one walk and three hits--dropping his record to 0-2 for the 2013 season.

Marco Estrada, who started for the Brewers, pitched 5 2/3 innings in the game as he recieved a no decision as well. Marco gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks. John Henderson closed the bottom of the tenth off to pick up his eighth save on the year as he pitched a perfect frame in just ten pitches total.

Braun finished up the night at the plate 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Brew Crew, who out-hit the Cardinals 13-to-10 on the night. This was just the second time all season that Milwaukee managed to out hit St. Louis in a head-to-head matchup as they are 2-0 when they do. The Cardinals fell to 8-2 against their division-rival in the head-to-head department for the year.

Game 43 Recap: Cardinals defeat Kyle Lohse again, win rubber match 4-2
The St. Louis Cardinals scored all their runs in the bottom half of the fourth-inning and also got another impressive outing from their rookie pitcher on Sunday afternoon as the team defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 inside Busch Stadium in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

The Cardinals got RBI's from the likes of Yadier Molina, Jon Jay, David Freese, and Pete Kozma as they improved the best record in all of baseball to 28-15 overall -- with all of the runs coming against former ace Kyle Lohse.

Lohse, who went 16-3 last season with the Cardinals, fell to 0-3 on the season against his former team and to 1-5 overall for the season. He gave up four runs in six innings of work, and is now 0-4 over his last five starts.

The Cardinals front office said they opted to go with the younger arms as they replaced Lohse in the rotation with this years' rookie sensation, Shelby Miller. John Gast made his second start of his MLB career this afternoon since replacing Jake Westbrook as he went to the disabled-list -- and he improved to 2-0 with an all-around, good performance.

Gast pitched 5 1/3 innings in the win and gave up two runs on four hits. He also struck out five batters while walking just two. Rookie relief man Seth Maness turned himself into a hero today as well as he entered in the seventh inning with bases loaded and nobody out -- and some how, some way, he got out of it without allowing a single run. Seth pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up no runs and finished with two strikeouts.

As the top of the ninth inning started, everybody knew who was coming in to close it out. Edward Mujica continued his dominance in the ninth as he once again pitched a perfect frame for his 13th save -- in 13 opportunities -- and he did it in just eleven pitches. Following the perfect frame, Mujica improved his streak to 19 straight batters without one of them reaching base.

Milwaukee didn't plate accross a run in this contest until the top half of the sixth as both Yunel Betancourt and the hero from Saturday, Jeff Bianchi, had RBI singles to cut the lead in half and make it 4-2. The Brewers seen their record fall to 17-25 on the season as they are now 10.5 games behind St. Louis in the NL Central division race.

Manager Mike Matheny and the Cardinals improved to 9-2 overall against the Brew Crew this season in the head-to-head department and the team will be traveling to California this evening to get ready for tomorrow night's series opener against the San Diego Padres, where they will see another former starting pitcher in the likes of Jason Marquis. Shelby Miller will be on the mound for the Cardinals as the opener will deliver the first pitch at 9:10 pm Central Time.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mujica's dominance in ninth inning helping Cardinals entire bullpen

Following the news that surfaced around St. Louis and the rest of the entire Major League Baseball world involving the Cardinals' closer Jason Motte and the fact that he was in need of the almighty Tommy John surgery, manager Mike Matheny and his unit have found themselves more magic inside 'Baseball Heaven' as the bullpen has emerged as one of the best in the entire league.

Just a little over a month after hearing the news that Motte needed the surgery and would miss the entire 2013 baseball season, Edward Mujica has scolded his way to the teams ninth inning closer role. Despite the rocky start from the teams bullpen group, Mujica has successfully closed out all of his chances as he has 12 saves in as many opportunities as he pitched a perfect ninth inning in the series opener against division-rival Milwaukee last night and finished off the Cardinals' 7-to-6 victory.

When the news came out, it wasn't a very bright day if you were a Cardinals fan. As we seen early on in April, when the closer struggled to close out games while Matheny was letting players audition for the spot, the rest of the bullpen followed suite as just about everyone outside of the starting pitchers were getting rocked night-in and night-out. This bullpen was one of the most ridiculed units in all of baseball and was a spot in this years team that everyone from the experts to the fans to players to scouting reports that made a lot of people overlook what is now the team with baseballs best record at 27-14.

Mujica took over the closers role on April 18th--exactly a month ago from today--and since he did, the word "domination" and the meaning of it don't come close to what he has done. Since taking over the role, he has faced 41 total batters while retiring 36 of them. Even more impressive, following his perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning last night, six of the 12 saves have been perfect frames and he improved his streak to 16 straight hitters faced without allowing a single base runner -- and eight out of the twelve saves he has faced just three batters with six of the opportunities were with enormous pressure as the opponents were down just a single run.

When the season started up, Matheny didn't have many young guns (as in rookies) apart of the unit as some of the big-spot guys were the likes of Marc Rzepczynski, Mitchell Boggs, Randy Choate and Fernando Salas. With the front office moving three out of the four guys to Triple AAA Memphis, the young guns have come in and revived to help this bullpen to where they are as we head into Saturday night's 6:15 contest against the Brewers. The team brought in the likes of Seth Maness, Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal.

Before Mujica took over the ninth-inning spot, the Cardinals relievers were dead last in all of baseball as they had combined for an overall ERA of 6.08. Since then, the unit has seemed to settle down and they now have an ERA that has been trimmed down to 4.76 -- which is pretty close to almost two runs less than where they were at.

Maness is 3-0 on the season as he has appeared in six games and has an impressive ERA of 2.70 in 6 and 2/3 innings pitched. He has given up just two earned runs and five hits and has been very crucial to the team as of recent. Rosenthal has an earned-run average of 2.57, which is even more impressive considering he has appeared in 21 games this season and has allowed eight runs (six earned) on 20 hits in 21 innings. Martinez, who is the newest addition to the bullpen as he was promoted from the minor leagues, has allowed three runs on four hits in four appearances but is slowly starting to calm down and get adjusted to his role.

While the burning question will remain if they can continue this amazingly impressive run all the way into the dog days of summer and into deep days of September and possibly even October, nobody truly knows the answer, but that won't stop anybody from having high hopes as we all know magic really does seem to happen while you're wearing a Cardinals uniform. Everybody has their own opinion, but it's hard to put a spin and have judgement on a unit that consists of quite a few rookies as well as veterans in huge roles. Only time will tell the tale.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Freese and the Cardinals hold off late Brewers rally, win opener 7-6

The St. Louis Cardinals got an impressive performance on the mound from starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, and David Freese broke out of his slump at the plate as they defeated their division-rival Milwaukee Brewers 7-to-6 on Friday night inside Busch Stadium in a regular season Major League Baseball game.

Garcia pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up six runs on six hits. He gave up six runs on just two seperate hits as the Brewers' third baseman and former Cardinal-killer from his days in Chicago, Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez hit two three-run home runs in the game, hitting one in the top of the fourth -- and the other one in the top of the sixth. Jaime earned his fifth victory of the season as he improved his record to 5-2 overall on the season, and 4-1 at home inside Busch Stadium.

Freese broke out of his slump in a big way tonight as he hit a grand slam in the bottom half of the first-inning for his first home run on the season. Although he went 1-for-4, he stated in a post-game interview on FOX Sports Midwest that he is starting to feel more and more comfortable at the plate, and that he hopes that was a start to him finally beginning to see the ball better. He now has a home run and eight RBIs on the season in 27 of the Cardinals' 41 total games this season.

Matt Holliday started the scoring off for the game as he drove in Matt Carpenter to make it 1-0 in the first -- just two batters before Freese connected for his first bomb of the season, and second grand slam of his career. Holliday also drove Carpenter in on another RBI single in the bottom of the fourth, which made his RBI total for the season move up to 29.

The Cardinals offense got to Milwaukee's starting pitcher Wily Peralta early and made the most of what he was giving them. Peralta pitched five innings and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on eleven hits and seen his record fall to 3-4 overall on the season. The Brewers bullpen did their part as they kept them in it though.

Three players combined three innings of work as they held the National League's best team record-wise scoreless. All three pitched one inning of work -- and Axford was the only one to allow a hit as he allowed two. Badenhop and Gonzalez both pitched perfect innings as nobody reached base in their inning of work, respectively.

The Cardinals bullpen combined for 3 2/3 innings as Seth Maness, Trevor Rosenthal, and Edward Mujica all three did their jobs. Maness pitched 1 2/3 innings as he gave up one hit while Rosenthal gave up just one hit in his inning of work. Mujica stayed perfect on the season as he completed his 12th save of the season in as many opportunities -- and finished with one strike out.

The Cardinals improved their record to 27-14, which is the best in both the National League as well as the entire MLB thanks to the Rangers losing 2-to-1 tonight to the Detroit Tigers. Milwaukee fell to 10.5 games behind the Cardinals in the Central division following this season as their record fell to 16-24 overall -- and 1-7 in eight games this season against St. Louis. The two teams will meet for the second game of this series tomorrow night as the first pitch between the Brewers' Marco Estrada and the Cardinals' Lance Lynn is set for 6:15 pm Central Time.

Cardinals vs. Brewers Game Lineups (Game 41)

Milwaukee Brewers -- (16-23) Fifth Place in National League Central division
1. N. Aoki (Right Field) .307 Batting Average
2. J. Segura (Shortstop) .353 Batting Average
3. R. Braun (Left Field) .316 Batting Average
4. A. Ramirez (Third Base) .311 Batting Average
5. C. Gomez (Center Field) .355 Batting Average
6. Y. Betancourt (First Base) .239 Batting Average
7. R. Weeks (Second Base) .181 Batting Average
8. M. Maldonado (Catcher) .194 Batting Average
9. W. Peralta (Pitcher) .200 Batting Average

St. Louis Cardinals -- (26-14) First Place in National League Central
1. M. Carpenter (Second Base) .295 Batting Average
2. C. Beltran (Center Field) .309 Batting Average
3. M. Holliday (Left Field) .268 Batting Average
4. A. Craig (First Base) .293 Batting Average
5. Y. Molina (Catcher) .333 Batting Average
6. J. Jay (Center Field) .274 Batting Average
7. D. Freese (Third Base) .209 Batting Average
8. P. Kozma (Shortstop) .252 Batting Average
9. J. Garcia (Pitcher) .000 Batting Average

(Brewers) Wily Peralta (3-3, 5.40 ERA) vs. (Cardinals) Jaime Garcia (4-2, 2.88 ERA)

Cardinals are quietly exceeding everyones expectations early on

Entering tonight's contest in which is the teams' last series in the current ten game homestand for team manager Mike Matheny and his Cardinals, St. Louis owns the best record in all of the National League at 26-14 -- as well as number one in the National League in a lot of major stat categories on both sides. The Cardinals have been surpising everyone around the baseball world.

The Cardinals offense is anchored by the likes of both Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran this season -- and also have some very good power and contact hitters that compliment them both with the likes of Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, David Freese, Jon Jay and Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso. The team ranks 10th in the National League with 186 runs scored, and is eighth in batting average as they are hitting .263 overall as a team.

When it comes to the pitching staff, the Cardinals are first in all of baseball with an Earned Run Average of 3.06 -- as well as first overall for quality starts as the starting pitchers have combined for 28 through just 40 games. The opponents are hitting just a combined .244 against St. Louis -- which is getting some impressive starts from both the veterans such as Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook -- and from the young guns such as Jaime Garcia, Shelby Miller and now John Gast. Wainwright is 5-3 in nine starts (8 quality starts) and has an ERA of 2.51 in 64.2/3 innings pitched, while rookie pitcher Shelby Miller is 5-2 in eight starts (8 quality starts) with an ERA of 1.40 through 51.1/3 innings pitched.

The bullpen has been one of the Cardinals biggest secret weapons this season -- and what is scary, they only seem to be getting even younger -- as well as only seeming to get stronger and better. Following the news that the teams closer was going to be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, losing Jason Motte was one thing that seemed to knock the team out of the possible championship teams. Edward Mujica may have something to say about that though.

Mujica got a chance to audition for the closer role in mid-April, and since then the man is 11-for-11 in possible save opportunities and has allowed just three runs and eight hits while teams are hitting just .143 against him. The pen has been glowing with rookies as both Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness made their debuts, while they also made their presence felt. As a unit together, teams are batting just .274 against them while they have allowed 57 runs and tallied in 105 hits in 36 bullpen appearances through the first 40 games this season.

Following an off-season in which the Cardinals' didn't make much noise following a run that ended just one win from back-to-back World Series appearances, then finding out news that Chris Carpenter would be out for the entire 2013 season -- followed by bad news with the teams starting closer in Motte, not many people have had much to say about this seasons team -- but through 40 games in the 2013 season, this team has something that this organization ALWAYS has -- Heart.

While the big question of "can this team continue this amazing start into the summer days of baseball?" can't be answered until basically the seasons' end, this start has a lot of the critics on hush-mode. As this team has proven in the past, heart and the will of wanting to win CAN take you farther than just simply having talent can. Nobody knows if this team can continue what they have started but one thing is for sure, the ending to this season will be pure excitement because that's what this storied franchise is all about.

Cards' Aim to Continue Dominance against Brewers (Series Preview)

Allen Craig and his St. Louis Cardinals' (26-14, first in Central) ball club has played their National League Central division rival' Milwaukee Brewers (16-23, fifth in Central) seven times already in the first month and a half of the 2013 regular season -- and the currently owns them head-to-head with six wins.

Craig has started all seven games against the Brewers, and he is scorching Milwaukee's pitching staff as he is 11-for-29 (.379) with eight RBIs. Tonight's starter for the 'Birds on the Bat', Jaime Garcia, has made two starts against the division-rivals so far this year and has allowed just one run in 15 innings.

Despite having a terrible start to the season from their pitching staff, the Brewers enter the opening game of the weekend series with two of the top hitters in the entire National League. Carlos Gomez (.367) is number one, while teammate Jean Segura (.349) is second.

Former Cardinals' starter, and now current Brewers' starter Kyle Lohse will make his third start of this season against his former team on Sunday afternoon. Lohse, who was a big part of the starting rotation in St. Louis last season during their run to the NLCS as well as 2011 during the teams title run, has allowed six runs and 15 hits in 12 innings. He is 0-2 on the season and is 1-4 overall for a Milwaukee staff that ranks second worst in the National League.

Head-to-Head Pitching Matchups (Three Game Series)
Brewers (16-23, 5th in the NL Central) @ Cardinals (26-14, 1st in the NL Central
Friday, 7:15 pm -- LH Jaime Garcia (4-2, 2.88 ERA) vs. RH Wily Peralta (3-3, 5.40 ERA)
Saturday, 6:15 pm -- RH Lance Lynn (6-1, 2.88 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (3-2, 5.32 ERA)
Sunday, 1:15 pm -- LH John Gast (1-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. RH Kyle Lohse (1-4, 3.49 ERA)

Welcome aboard to an unofficial St. Louis Cardinals Blog

Are you a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan? Do you consider yourself apart of the beloved family that the die-hards consider "Cardinal Nation"? Thank about that question for a couple of seconds. If you had to think about it, then the answer is more than likely no. If you answered it quickly or just with the word yes, then you have found the right place to be while searching the web -- or phone if that is what you happen to be on.

The name is Tyler Cobb. I am a 22 year old man with big dreams of becoming a professional sports writer -- or even a radio/TV broadcaster. I have been a huge Cardinals fan as well as an all-around Major League Baseball fan since I was around six years old, and it has been a major part of making me myself ever since. My dad got me into the Cardinals, which is something I am very thankful for still to this day -- everyday.

Ever since the first time that I went to the old Busch Stadium and witnessed Ozzie Smith's last home game ever as a Cardinal, keeping up with the team and the sport has been a huge hobby of mine. I have witnessed a lot of amazing things in my lifetime -- including two World Championships from the Red Birds -- a few NLDS, NLCS games live in person as well as World Series games including the Red Sox ending the "curse"in Game 4 with a sweep of St. Louis -- and yes, some tears were shed that night as I was 15 years old at the time.

Anyways, this blog is an unofficial blog on the St. Louis Cardinals -- and will include all the articles being written by myself. I will be writing game previews for certain games and will post the lineups for every game, game recaps and my player of the game for each and every game, my own team and player stories -- as well as some videos made by myself and possibly a few people at certain times, as well as some news from around the rest of the NL Central division as well as the rest of the MLB.

If you have any questions, comments, article requests or just want to give me critism, feel free to contact me in the "comment" section in a certain article, or follow me on twitter at @tcobb1990. I will always respond to each and every person, even if it isn't right away. I look forward to talking to fellow Cardinal fans and am excited to begin this blog. Thank you for checking it out and Go Cardinals!