Tagged: kyle lohse

Giants Prove Larger Than The “Bird”

My congratulations go out to the San Francisco Giants to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to take the NLCS Championship 2012.  Now … a days rest for the team, and a day to celebrate for the fans, to prepare for the incoming Detroit Tigers for the World Series.  I believe this is a “first” in MLB-NLCS postseason play for a team to comeback three games for “winner take all”.  So on two levels ~ the Giants have much to celebrate.

The Cardinals downfall, as it were, was not taking Game 4 at home. These past two games, being in AT&T Park ~ their hearts were just not in it. One could just tell by their demeanor first facing Giants Vogelsong, then Matt Cain … forces that were too strong for them to play good ball against. The outcome was “just not in the Cards”.  However, the Cardinals came a long way to achieve the position in which they ended their season. Manager Matheny and team can be proud of their accomplishments for the 2012 season ~ by far, nothing to be ashamed about. It is what it is and now to see the NL San Francisco Giants take on the Detroit Tigers, who are coming off five days of rest as they travel today to the West coast.

As much as it was Giants Vogelsong’s great pitching efforts in Game 6 ~ Matt Cain did what he needed to do last night in Game 7 with an added touch shutting out the Cardinals, 9-0.  No, Cain did not go seven innings, only 5.2. Even though, he only allow the Cardinals five hits, gave them a walk, along with four strike-outs. The relief pitchers held right with Cain’s efforts holding the Cardinals with only two additional hits ~ but all held them to no runs.

The Giants swatted Cardinals SP Lohse around as much as they had SP Chris Carpenter the night before.  Lohse was retired after two+ innings, followed by Joe Kelly who was just as ineffective on the mound. The Giants at bat, once again striking in the first inning taking a 1-0 lead. Seemed like a carbon-copy game of the night before. Obviously, the Giants didn’t stop there with a total of five runs against Lohse, adding four more against the Cardinals relief. They had a team effort at the plate with RBI’s by the “Panda” Sandoval, Cain, Pence (2), Crawford, Pagan, and Huff.  They added a run on an error by CF John Jay and Belt had a solo home run in the eighth.

The Giants simply ~ outplayed the Cardinals in the last three games. I believe they were “hungrier” for a championship and it showed in their execution not only at the plate, but defensively.  They are contenders, as they have proven.

Now to face Detroit. Will be interesting to see if the Giants retain their strength and intensity. Tigers SP Justin Verlander, 17-8/2.64 is scheduled for Games 1 and 5 for the World Series.  He is the Tigers’ bullet on the mound. At present, the Giants have not posted who will begin this series.  We know it won’t be Vogelsong or Cain for Game 1, possibly Bumgarner, 16-4/3.37….or Zito 15-8/4.15.  But who will be the chosen Giants’ SP for Game 5.  And, will the Giants manager Bruce Bochy hold with the line-up he scheduled for the NLCS to face the Tigers.

To both the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants congratulations on making the 2012 World Series. For tomorrow ~ let the games begin.

To the fans of each ~ enjoy your respective teams … win, lose or draw ~ quite the feat to be two of the best.

On a personal note ~ my interest now can fully be on the Chicago Bears who beat the Detroit Lions last night, 13-7 … even with Lion’s Suh trying his best to take out Bears QB Cutler.  Reportedly, bruised Cutler’s ribs … but stayed in the game to guide the Bears to a win.  This was the first, in six meetings of the teams, to play at Soldier field for Monday Night Football.  The Bears now go to 5-1, reducing the Lions to 2-4.  Next on the Bears schedule, they will host Carolina on Sunday.

Life is good.  In baseball, I’m sure we will see movement of players as it seems more common for the sport …. planning to boost one’s team to get ready for next season.

To all ~ have a great day.  Always ~ Elichap

Giants Vogelson Proves to be Cardinals Achilles’ Heel

“An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.”  This is exactly what Giants SP Vogelson and team has been for the Cardinals ~ not only in Game 2, but in Game 6 last night.  The Giants handled the defending champions well taking the win, 6-1 and tied the series, 3-3. This was the second match-up for Cardinals SP C Carpenter and Giants SP Vogelson.

Ryan Vogelson went seven innings and had a career record nine strike-outs. Only allowing 4 hits, and one walk for a 1.29. A glimmer of hope for the Cardinals in the sixth. Beltran connected for a double, followed by Craig with a single bringing in Beltran for the Cardinal’s to put a run on the board. Their hope was soon deflated, and that was the only run the Cardinals would see for the night.

The Giants took advantage of Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter. Carpenter had returned to the line-up late in the regular season to replace the injured Jake Westbrook. He was coming back  from Tommy John surgery, had only pitched three games, 0-2/3.71 ERA in 17 innings pitched. For this series, he is 0-2 and, once again, had problems right out of the gate.  Unfortunately, he did not settle in until the third. However, the damage of the Giants offense within the first two innings let their presence be known, with one run in the first and adding four more in the second. Carpenter allowed the Giants six hits, five runs, two walks and the high note for Carpenter ~ did come out with six strike-outs before being retired after the fourth. He was not able to lead his team to the promise land.

The Cardinals looked tired, sluggish, and almost a defeatist attitude as they approached the  plate. LF Matt Holliday had been held out of the game due to lower back stiffness and replaced with Matt Carpenter in the line-up.  1B Craig was moved into LF, and M Carpenter to cover 1B. With ineffective pitching and having players in positions unfamiliar, also, added to the Cardinals frustration. They did get five hits from M Carpenter, Beltran, Craig, Descalso and Kozma but were unable to ignite anything beyond their one run.

The Giants proved, in front of their home crowd, they were just as much a “comeback” team as the Cardinals have been. Even though, we are not finished yet with series tied, 3-3, Game 7 ~ “winner take all” ~ is tonight.

There is rain in the forecast for the Bay Area today, so that could pose a possible postponement of the game.  However, it looks like the rain will settle in through tomorrow, also.  So that will remain to be seen.  Should the game be postponed and re-scheduled for Tuesday ~ that brings both teams right up to opening day for the World Series.  Granted, the Giants are at home, so no travel involved should they win.  However, should the Cardinals be victorious, travel back to St. Louis to play Wednesday. Either or ~ the Giants or the Cardinals ~ will face the well rested Detroit Tigers who took the ALCS pennant, in four games against the Yankees, adding three extra days rest, just waiting to see who their opponent will be.

For Game 7, it will be Cardinals Kyle Lohse, 16-3/2.86 against Giants Matt Cain, 16-5/2.79.  In regular season, Cain had only pitched once against the Cardinals on May 17, which the Giants won 7-5.  Lohse had never faced the Giants until postseason.  This is a rematch for the pitchers as they faced one another in Game 3, Oct 17 in St. Louis, Cardinals winning, 3-1. Lohse took the win, 1-0/1.59 against Cain, 0-1/4.05.  Out of all the SP’s for the Cardinals, I would say Lohse is their bullet currently.

It has been reported that Wainwright may be part of the Cardinals relief pitching for tonight’s game. Tim Lincecum has been added to the bullpen for the Giants.  Should that scenario become reality for the Cardinals, in the event Lohse can sustain the Giants through six or seven innings, with Wainwright in the bullpen, along with CP Jason Motte ~ could prove quite the combination.  However, the Cardinals offense has got to come alive ~ as we know they are capable of at the plate. ~ Because !! The Giants are 5-1 when scoring first in postseason play.

Another consideration for the Cardinals manager Matheny, should Jon Jay remain in the lead-off position. Jay has been at bat 25 times, only 5 hits with 1 double, 3 RBI’s and only at .200 for the NLCS. Would Craig or Beltran, at this juncture, be better suited.  Jay is an excellent player for the Cardinals and had done well during regular season ~ just has not been able to “connect” at the plate to get things going for his team during this series. I have no idea if Matheny will give thought to this consideration for tonight’s game. Just seems Jay, at the moment, may be better suited a bit down the line.

“While the Giants have won five straight games facing elimination this postseason, the Cardinals have won their last six dating to last year. This is the first time the NLCS has gone seven games since 2006, when St. Louis beat the New York Mets 3-1 at Shea Stadium. Carlos Beltran, now with the Cardinals, struck out looking when Adam Wainwright froze him on a curveball.”

Last night’s game, both offensively and defensively, the Cardinals certainly didn’t display too much enthusiasm. As for the Giants ~ “they were comfortable in their own skin” ~

So to Game 7 ~ “winner take all” ~ “one and done”.  Do the Cardinals have the gumption not to be denied yet another victory.  I don’t believe the Giants will be very accommodating with the efforts they have shown.

Even so, I still believe in #12-n-12 ~ who is waiting in the wings to return to help his team.

To all ~ enjoy your games. The Chicago Bears (4-1) host the Detroit Lions (2-3) in tonight’s MNF.  First time the Lions have played at Soldier Field on a Monday night in six meetings of the two teams.  Another exciting night in sports.

Have a great day! Always ~ Elichap

Rain Didn’t Bother The St. Louis Cardinals

Game 3 of the NLCS got underway on time yesterday afternoon ~ with the known forecast of severe weather heading towards St. Louis.  Predicted not to hit the area until late afternoon.  Busch Stadium was full to the brim and the white “terrible towels” waving by enthusiastic Cardinal fans ~ with rain gear stowed just in case.

Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse was up against the Giants SP Matt Cain. Tough adversaries on the mound.  Both held for two scoreless innings – until the until the third with the Giants scoring first with a ground out by Sandoval and Pagan able to put a run on the board.

For the Cardinals, it was Matt Carpenter who was, in my mind, the MVP in the game. Beltran was held out of the game after the first inning due to a strained left knee which occurred running out a double play. In the third, manager Matheny replaced Beltran with M Carpenter in the line-up.  John Jay, lead-off batter had a single, but was able to advance to second on a pick-off error by Cain. Then, it was showtime for Matt Carpenter coming to the plate. This was Carpenter’s first appearance in the NLCS. With little time to think, once again he faced Cain on the mound. Carpenter had been strong against Cain in regular season hitting four for four singles. The count was 0-2 in Cain’s favor, but Carpenter would not be denied. On 2-2 count, Carpenter connected with a hanging slider for a two run homer. The Cardinals were now in the lead, 2-1.

Both pitchers had their problems on the mound, even though Cain went longer than Lohse. Cardinals Kyle Lohse was retired after 5 2/3 innings with two runners on, two outs on the board. With Giants Pagan next at the plate, manager Matheny brought in RP Rosenthal. Pagan hit a grounder for a fielder’s choice and Cain was out at second. Rosenthal left the two runners stranded, holding the Cardinals with the lead. Between Cardinals RP Mujica and Boggs, they were able to keep the Giants at one run through the sixth and seventh innings.

The storm front was approaching and rain beginning to fall in the seventh ~ with looming reports of the front moving closer with 60 mph winds and severe lightning in a nearby county. Cain had the bases loaded, with two outs. Cardinals Shane Robinson was up to bat.  He grounded out with a RBI to give the Cardinals another run, now a 2 run lead. Cardinals Kozma and Descalso advanced.  Cain was retired and  “game delay” was called, bringing the tarp out  just moments before the major portion of the severe storm hit.

In postseason play, game in progress, play is resumed no matter how long it takes for a weather front to move through. After a 3 hour and 28 minute delay, the tarp was removed ~ with large puddles still standing the corner of the right field track ~ the game resumed. Cardinals CP Motte came in for the eighth – 3 up, 3 down and only nine pitches.  He also squashed any hopes for the Giants in the ninth.  Approximately, 23 minutes after the delay ~ the Cardinals take the win, 3-1 and a 2-1 lead for the series. A win for Lohse, and once again, a save for Jason Motte.

As much as the Giants ended their losing streak at home with their win to tie the series, the Cardinals were able to end another stat for the Giants.  Their loss last night ended a six game winning streak on the road. And, it was Matt Cain’s second loss for postseason play.

It was a great afternoon into the night for the Cardinals and fans alike. A great day for Matt Carpenter ~ not only to help our his team, but his mom and dad were in the stands. Beginning their trip at 2:30 yesterday morning, they had driven 9 1/2 hours to watch the game, unknowing that their son would be placed in the line-up. And what a performance they were able to see by their son. Matt knocking the ball out of the park to take the lead over the Giants. For mom and dad, his team and fans alike ~ he made them all proud. For himself ~ “this is what you train for … a player does what he can to help out”. And, that he did.

As the front moved towards the Detroit area late afternoon/early evening ~ the ALCS Game 4 for the Tigers and the Yankees scheduled to begin at 7:00 CST ~ was postponed until this afternoon.

Even though the major cold front moved through the area last night, there is still a 50% chance of rain in the St. Louis area for tonight with temps a bit cooler than the 71 degrees of yesterday.  With that possibility, will managers Matheny and Bochy reconsider their starting pitchers for tonight. Slated is Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright (14-13/3.94) and Giants SP Tim Lincecum (10-15/5.18). Or, will they stay the course and not worry about the weather forecast.

Also, this evening we have the NFL Thursday Night game kicking off Week 7. The Seattle Seahawks, coming off a win this past weekend, playing in San Francisco  against the 49er’s, who lost their home game Sunday.  Both teams are at 4-2.

To all ~ enjoy the games.  Always ~ Elichap

Two In ~ Two Left To Be Decided

What a day for exciting playoff games. Yesterday, two teams advanced to the NLCS. The San Francisco Giants held on to their lead, but not without a moment in the ninth when the Cincinnati Reds looked to be making a come back with two men on and Ludwig at the plate. He hit a single to left for an RBI…cutting the Giants lead to two. Two runners on ~ but Giants CP Romo did his job and held the Reds with just one run. Giants win, 6-4. The Giants are the first team ever to have a comeback from being 0-2 and winning three straight in “away” games to take a series.

The Detroit Tigers continued their very strong play with a shutout over the Oakland A’s, 6-0. The Tigers winning pitcher and gets the shutout ~ Justin Verlander.  Justin went nine innings, only allowed four hits, had one walk and with eleven strike outs for a .56 in yesterday’s game to take the series for the Tigers.

Two games are left for today to decide who will advance to play the Giants and the Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles, once again proved their nemesis status for the Yankees, taking the win, 2-1.

The remaining pair ~ the St. Louis Cardinals against the Washington Nationals. It was a duel of the pitchers.  Both Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse and Nationals SP Ross Detwiler worked hard and kept each of their opposing teams in check. Lohse pitched through the seventh inning, allowed 2 hits, one run which was a solo home run by LaRoche in the second, walked one, with five strike outs. Detwiler was in for six. He allowed three hits, 1 run – a RBI by Cardinals Carlos Beltran in the third. Detwiler had 3 walks and two strike outs. With great defense from both teams, they helped their pitchers to hold the tie, 1-1.

The relief pitchers for the Nationals were unrelenting. The Cardinals had gone cold with seven straight strike outs into the ninth. The Nationals RP Drew Storen held the Cardinals with only one run on the board to close the top of the ninth. The Cardinals were hopeful of extra innings, bringing RP Lance Lynn to the mound.  Nationals Jayson Werth was lead-off hitter. Lynn throwing pitch after pitch to a full count, pitching total adding up to thirteen, Werth would not be denied. He connects with a perfect pitch over the plate sailing the high flier into the Nationals bullpen. The Nationals win the game with a walk-off homer by Werth, 2-1.  And with a crowd of 44,392 who had been standing and encouraging their team since the beginning of the seventh inning ~ went wild. Werth rounded the bases, index finger extended in recognition of their support for their “#1” team.

Nationals Detwiler gets the win, Storen the save. Cardinals Lance Lynn, the loss. Offensively, both teams were lacking yesterday, but all it takes is one hit to make a difference … and Werth found the one.

So it goes down to the wire showdown for our remaining four teams. For the Baltimore Orioles it will be SP Hammel, 8-6/3.43 against the NY Yankees SP C Sabathia, 15-6/3.38.

For the St. Louis Cardinals and the Nationals it will be a repeat of their first game for starting pitchers. Cardinals Adam Wainwright, 14-13/3.94 will face Gio Gonzalez, 21-8/2.89. The Nationals won that game ~ will the Cardinals have the force to comeback and change the outcome. Today is yet another “one and done” situation for the Cardinals.

Even though we have had some exciting games in the playoffs, I would like to add a special note. Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s father passed away last weekend.  My condolences and sympathies go out to Joe and the Girardi family.

To all ~ may you enjoy the games later this afternoon and evening. Who will we see on on the schedule for the NLCS seven game stretch.  Good luck to all!

Always, Elichap

Cardinal Win The WC2 ~ With Controversial Call

As we have seen many times with the Cardinals … the opposing team scores first.  The Braves started out strong putting two runs on the board early in the game ~ bottom of the second.  Braves Ross was at the plate, 2 outs for Cardinals SP Lohse. Looking at the third out, Ross called timeout just as Lohse threw the ball. Home plate ump stepped out in front waving for the time out, as Ross swung and missed ~ cancelling the third strike.  Lohse delivers his next pitch which Ross took advantage of knocking it out of the park for a two run homer.

However, for Cardinals Craig started the team off in the fourth with a RBI, solo HR by Holliday put them up by one. Then they added two more runs, 5-2. Molina, Holliday, Freese and M. Carpenter also added RBI’s to their stats. The game was moving along with strategy and good play, except the errors committed by the Braves.  The Braves have had the least amount of errors in the league during the regular season, but not yesterday. And the Cardinals definitely took advantage of their mistakes with unearned runs.

Then we get to the bottom of the eighth inning and things got a bit dicey. Braves were trying their best to overcome ~ added an additional run off RP Mujica.  Cardinals RP Boggs was brought to the mound.  Chipper Jones was at the plate.  Boggs walked him. Ross gets a single. Simmons up – high fly inside the 3rd base line … Cardinals SS Kozma began to drift towards the ball which carried past the dirt into the outfield. The umpire called an infield fly ball – Simmons out at first. The motion from the third base umpire was slow … the ball coming down in between LF Holliday and Kozma.  Looks like Kozma has the catch, but backs off and the ball drops between Holliday and himself. With the stadium noise,  signal by the umpire ~ did Kozma hear Holliday to hold up or did he see the umpire indicating the infield fly.  From my seat, look to be an error on Kozma; however, I did not see Holbrook’s motion at the base line.

Of course, the Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out and after much discussion ~ protested the call. Bottles and debris from the upper deck began to cover the outfield. Players from both teams were removed from the field and the umpires all met on the mound to avoid injury. As the crew was cleaning up the field, the decision was being discussed and disclosed later.  MLB executive Joe Torre stated the protest had been denied.

The Cardinals over the Braves, 6-3.  Lohse gets the win and CP Motte the save. The customary celebration on the field was quickly moved to the locker room for the Cardinals.  Matheny wanted the players off the field. “The Braves haven’t won a playoff round since 2001. Since then, they’ve gone 0 for 7 – including six decisive losses at Turner Field.” Chipper Jones, retiring after 19 seasons, refusing any blame on the umpiring.  He stated they had beat themselves with the three errors, which one of those was his own in the fourth inning.

Ugly as it was, the Cardinals come out victorious and will face the Nationals (98-64) on Sunday at Busch Stadium for two games, before heading East. I believe this whole concept of Commissioner Bud Selig’s brainstorm has lessened the greatness of the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Cardinal fan and elated at their success. However, with sharing the worst record of the teams in the playoffs ~ matching that of the Tigers (88-74) ~ playing in this “first time ever” WC2 game … at this next level, why should the WC2 winning team have home field advantage.  The way I look at it, the WC2 winner should travel to the home field of, not only a division winner, but the league’s best record holder. If the team is to move up, would it not be to prove they are truly worthy. But we stick with the “regular play-off” format ~ the division winners traveling to the home park of the team with the lesser W/L record.

But this “one game only WC2” brainstorm of Selig’s escapes me ~ other than his grand thought of additional revenue.  Many stated when the plan was announced ~ “will be interesting to see how this plays out”.  It certainly was  interesting ~ scary even ~ and I learned about the infield fly ball rule.  Yesterday’s game will not be remembered for great plays, home runs, RBI’s …. or even errors made ~ but an umpire supposedly deciding the outcome.  And many will argue that it should be the Nationals coming to Atlanta (94-69) to begin the play-offs vs a WC2 game.  I can’t blame them.  Seemed ridiculous when announced ~ but an added mystery at the same time.

I was sorry to see the Rangers eliminated by the Orioles, 5-1. The Ranger’s have worked hard for the past three seasons to “get over the hump”, but seems the continued strength of the Orioles was proven while at Arlington Park, and took the win.

Today baseball continues with the Oakland A’s (94-68) against the Detroit Tigers. The Cincinnati Reds (97-65) taking on the San Francisco Giants (94-68).

Whatever the outcome of your team may be … We have new teams and it will make this post season very interesting. Which will make it in for the World Series and take the Championship ~ would be interesting to to see an intrastate battle … the Giants against the A’s!  What a concept.

To all ~ have a very enjoyable day!  Always ~ Elichap

Cardinals Nose Dive, Can They Rally

With only one win in their last six games, what is it that the Cardinals have lost and how are they to overcome?  Pitchers.. not only allowing 37 runs..but 76 hits, producing more walks than strike-outs. Offensively, Cardinals at the plate … last six games 56 hits but only a total of 21 runs….that’s leaving way too many runners stranded = failed opportunities.

The Cardinals have been sporadic all season … proving to be a teeter-tooter team and unable to capitalize on possible sweeps; however, they do have six to their credit – but the last being Aug. 21-23 against the Astros at Busch Stadium.  They are eight under .500 for their road games.

Tonight’s game, it will be Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse (14-2/2.81) against Padres Clayton Richard (12-12/3.78).  This will be Lohse’s first appearance against the Padres this season. The last on the mound for Lohse was against the Pirates, Aug. 27 coming up with a win, 4-3 … allowed 5 hits for 2 runs, no walks & 3 strike-outs. However, he did not go past the fifth inning.  Lohse does his best at home, but at this juncture for the Cardinals he’s the most reliable. The Cardinals have yet to find their bullpen combination to put games away … which that, too, has been the downside for Cardinal’s throughout their season.

The Cardinals swept the Padres, May 21-23, at Busch Stadium. This is only the second time they have faced one another. The Padres have taken two games, 11-3 and 6-4, in this three game series.  Tonight’s game could be a payback for the Cardinals if they can’t figure out, in short order ~ why their poor play.

A positive in this whole scenario, they still lead the Dodgers by one game for the second wild card position.  Even though, that may disappear with a new stat in the making for the NL standings.

Next up on the Cardinals schedule ~ they travel to L.A. to take on the Dodgers in a four game series.  Their last meeting was in Busch Stadium, July 23-26, with the Cardinals taking three of the four games at home.  So if the Cardinals are going to make a stand, today would be the time to get serious….playground time is over.

My friends ~ baseball is what it is and always exciting down to the wire … with surprises to be had.

Enjoy your day…. enjoy your games.  Always, Elichap

Rain Delay, Extra Innings and A Loss For Cardinals

Weather has a major role in some sports ~ field, court or links ~ causing delay or postponement of an event.  Baseball is no stranger to such an occurrence.  A major storm front hit the St. Louis area late yesterday afternoon into the evening.   The Cardinals first game hosting the Milwaukee Brewers was delayed just short of 2 1/2 hours.  This time of the season ~ there is no postponing a game…waiting it out is a must.  Not only did the game go thirteen innings but 4 1/2 hours later ~ ended shortly after 2 a.m. this morning.

A very long day for both teams, especially for the Brewers.  Being a travel day for Milwaukee, a long drive to St. Louis after closing out their series the night before against the Marlins.  Whereas the Cardinals had a day of rest on Thursday.  Both SP’s Cardinals Kyle Lohse (14-2) and Brewers Yovani Gallardo (14-8) were looking for their 15th win.  Each pitched pretty evenly – Lohse allowed 5 hits, with 2 runs.  Gallardo allowed 6 hits with 2 runs.  Both pitching six innings.

The Cardinals taking the early lead in the first, 2-0.  The Brewers, adding a couple of runs to tie by the seventh, took the lead in the top of the eighth.  But not to be denied, Cardinals C Yadier Molina came back with a two run homer in the bottom to tie the game, 4-4.  Then longevity set in and it was up to the remaining RP’s to close it out.

With the day stretching into the wee hours of the morning ~ Brewers Ryan Braun found his spark with a solo home run ~ his 38th ~in the top of the 13th on a 1-1 count off Cardinals CP Lance Lynn.  The Brewers CP John Axford held the Cardinals scoreless for the save, his 26th.  It was RP Brandon Kintzler who was credited with the win ~ his first this season.  He had been brought up from Nashville on September 3, in the Brewers efforts to bolster their bullpen.  Kintzler had pitched nine games last season (3.64 ERA)  before being stepped down due to injury.  So a nice win for the returning pitcher. Cardinals Lynn takes the loss.

An even match in endurance ~ but the Brewers came out on top, 5-4, in the first game of this three game series. Fortunately, the weather will not be a factor for today and the game is slated to begin in the early evening….giving the Brewers time to catch their breath, and a bit of rest for the Cardinals, too.

Even though it was a long day ~ the Brewers have been playing strong ball of late.  Since Aug. 20, they have had 14 wins and only 4 losses.  The Cardinals are only one game above .500 since Aug. 21, with 9 wins and 8 losses.  I have been watching the Dodgers and Pirates nipping at the Cardinals heels in the Wild Card race ~ only being behind 1.5 games.  Now….the Brewers seem to be making a charge to via for position and with their win last night ~ only 5.5 games back.  This is definitely the time of the season when things get very interesting.

Cardinals LF Matt Holiday was scratched from the line-up after the two+ hour delay as a precaution.  He has been on the day-to-day DL with lower back spasms.  We’ll see what today’s line-up will be and if he will start.  Cardinals SP Jake Westbrook (13-10) will be up against Brewers Mike Fiers (8-7) for today’s game.

Baseball ~ even though the standings indicate one thing, a team can come alive finding a way to overcome at any given time…we see it most every day of the season.  To all ~ enjoy your games of choice.  Baseball and/or the BMW golf championship … then we add NFL Sunday to the mix tomorrow.  Life is good.

Have a great day ~ Always, Elichap