Wow, well first off if you told me after Wednesday’s loss that the Cardinals would still get a split in their series with the Florida Marlins with Marlins ace and one of the best pitchers in MLB Josh Johnson taking on Jake Westbrook who has been pretty inconsistent, well I would have given you odds. But hey as someone once coined….that’s why you play the games, or someone once said games are not played on paper they’re played in little black boxes…other sayings come to mind. So to the game…
First off I have joined the thousands who have joined the “LB Fan Club”… man has Lance Berkman been a great signing. I admit to being one of those that was skeptical of the signing and comparing the cost that the Cardinals paid Lance Berkman to the cost the Atlanta Braves paid Dan Uggla (altough I’d still like to have Uggla, but thats another story for other times in the future). But back to the big Puma, wow what a great signing this has been. But I have to start with an unlikely hero for the Cardinals, although I should not be surprised by Jake Westbrook’s start.
The guy can do it, he has just not been able to be the pitcher alot folks thought he could be so far this year. But today Jake was dealing. I mean the guy was lights out for the first 13 batters that made out were either ground outs or struck out…it wasn’t until the 15th batter that Mike Stanton flew out to RF. And then he gave up some singles but I am worried about Colby Rasmus’s fear of the outfield wall. In the 7th a deep fly to center by John Buck should have been caught and Colby shied a bit and the ball bounce off the wall and led to a double and an RBI, and then an RBI single by Omar Infante and the end of Westbrook’s day. That play reminds me of that night in San Francisco when Colby gut a little gun shy on Giants SS Miguel Tejada’s drive that cost the Cardinals and gave Ryan Franklin a blown save (one that was and wasn’t Franklin’s fault IMHO). But back to Colby I’m worried about his defense, that play at the wall and those occasional throws that make you scratch your head and wonder is his arm that bad or does he sometimes just to non chalant. I don’t know the answer folks. But I am tired of seeing plays like this from young Colby.
Let’s hope maybe the Cardinals can bring in Jim Edmonds to show Colby how to not fear the wall.
So back to the game and well, I now am convinced, although it could change that the Cardinals offense can score on anyone. Yes Josh Johnson stated after the game that his stuff has not been “right” lately, but still let’s give some credit to the St Louis Cardinals bats. Albert seems to be coming around, Matt Holliday still is leading the bigs in average, and then there’s
The Big Puma, or as he’s been dubbed on twitter-the head of the “LB Fan Club”, of which I’m one. Lance not only hit his 10th home run, but only his 2nd from the right side and of his 32 rbis that was only his 6th from the right side. Although he doubled that number in one at bat when he came up vs Florida reliever Mike Dunn. By the way Lance Berkman was projected by alot of the experts to hit as low as 16 hr and well to this day he’s already at 10. So it appears that the Cardinals have the Lance Berkman that was a Cardinal and the rest of the league killer. He looks in great shape, and by the way I now know he’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder being cast off as a loser by the Astros. Nothing like a little attitude to bring to the plate every night. I’m glad the Cardinals have that Lance, and not the one that was hurt pretty much all year last year. If Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is smart he will find a way to extend Lance, as well as get Albert in the fold long term. This could be a new version of the Cardinals MV3 (Rolen-Pujols-Edmonds), this version certainly can hit and this offense is starting to remind me of the 2003 and 2004 version of the Cardinals.
So the Cardinals took the game from Florida, when I was worried they wouldn’t, and not to be forgotten was the performance of young reliever Eduardo Sanchez.
One night removed from taking his first loss, in a game in which I think alot can be attributed to an umpire who’s strike zone was erratic at best. Sanchez had what should have been a strike out turn to a walk before giving up that home run last night. But to his credit he comes in today, in a save situation, yes he walked two but still he gets the outs and the save. Oh and thank you Jason Motte for setting up the ninth with a very nice 8th inning of work. If the bullpen can be this consistent, I’ll stop ranting about the Cardinals letting Chris Perez get away. But today was about Westbrook, the offense, Lance and Eduardo and a much needed split and still a first place team.
So in comes the Milwaukee Brewers, and right now they are struggling having lost 5 in a row as of this writing. So it’s on the Cardinals to keep hitting like they can, and keep the winning going…