Tagged: yadier molina

Cardinals Inch Closer To Their Second Consecutive WS Appearance.

The ‘slogan’ for the St. Louis Cardinals for the postseason is “#12 in 12”.  A friend of mine and myself have entertained ourselves with  numerology during October and if the science has anything to do with good fortune ~ last nights game for the Cardinals is an indicator. Since the chosen number for the Cardinals is “12”, in last night’s game they had 8 runs within 4 innings = ’12’ on ’12’ hits.  Just a thought, just a note this truly could be the magic number for the St. Louis team ~ winning Game 4 over the Giants, 8-3 ~ 3-1 for the series … without a rain delay.

It was Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright who helped to make a difference in last night’s game against the Giants.  He only allowed one run ~ a home run by Pence in the second ~ no walks and five strike-outs through the seventh, for 1-0/1.29.  And complimented by his team members, not only defensively but offensively, did their jobs with Holliday – 2 RBI’s, Craig – 1 RBI, Molina – 2 RBI’s, Jay – 2 RBI’s and Kozma with 1 RBI.  Cardinals bats were alive and well last night. RP Salas took over for the eighth. Still on the mound in the  ninth ~ allowed two hits ~ a double by Scutaro, and with only one out, on a 0-0 count … a two run homer by Giants Sandoval.  Salas went the two innings with only one strike-out, however no walks, also. Even though the Giants were able to add runs on the board in the ninth, Salas and the Cardinals were able to give Wainwright his win for the is series. And, handed Giants Tim Lincecum a loss.

For Giants Tim Lincecum, he had been pulled from the bullpen to the line-up. His first start in postseason and very rough road on the mound.  Which after six hits, four runs, three walks and three strike outs ~ he was retired after 4.2 innings, 0-1/5.40.  His hopes in returning the the line-up as a regular may be dim after his performance last night.  Even after being retired from duty, the Giants RP’s Kontos’ and Mota didn’t help in damage control with allowing two runs each by the Cardinals.

Have the Cardinals experienced such woes ~ yes. Example ~ pitcher Lance Lynn. He had a great start in regular season and began to falter; thus, stepped down to the bullpen to recapture his skills, brought in occasionally as relief.  He was brought back to the line-up when Jaime Garcia was placed on the DL. Slowly but surely he has begun to prove himself worthy ~ but on any given night, a pitcher can be off and only in for short innings … of which, even Cardinals SP Carpenter, Wainwright and Lohse have experienced from time to time.

I’m sure, with the talents that Lincecum possesses ~ he will not give up. However, in a key game, in a key series to take the pennant ~ his performance was of a crucial nature.

Game 5 is this evening we will see Cardinals SP Lance Lynn, 18-7/3.78 against the Giants Barry Zito, 15-8/4.15.  The last time on the mound for Lynn was against the Nationals, Oct. 8, with a win 12-4.

With the Detroit Tigers taking the win, 8-1, over the NY Yankees yesterday ~ the Tigers shut the Yankees down 4-0 to take the  ALCS Pennant to advancing them to the World Series.  “The Yankees failed to win a game in a postseason series for only the fifth time. They hadn’t been swept since a best-of-five ALCS against Kansas City in 1980. The last team to sweep four straight against them had been Cincinnati in the 1976 World Series.”

Should the Cardinals win the NL Pennant to face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series ~ it would be the two teams with the worst matching  W/L records at the end of 2012 regular season, in the standings, at 88-74.  The Tigers wait to see if they will be traveling to St. Louis or San Francisco as the NL team has home field advantage.

A special note for Cardinal fans ~ it is reported the FB Lance Berkman just may be ready to return should the Cardinals advance to the World Series. #12-  in 12.

To all ~ have a great day.  Always ~ Elichap

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Cardinals Had A Field Day

The St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Washington Nationals ~ first game of their series last night.  What a game for the Cards and their fans.  It was a hit fest and a walk in the park.

The Nationals took the lead with a RBI by LaRoche off Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright. Nationals SP Edwin Jackson took the mound and the Cards showed no mercy in the bottom of the first. The Cardinals put up 5 RBI’s in the first by Craig, Molina, Beltran, Descalso and Kozma. At the close of the  first inning ~ the Nat’s were looking at a 5-1 deficit. Wainwright did his job in the second to hold the lead. Then to add “salt to the wound” for Jackson in the second ~ the Cardinals did not let up. Matt Holliday and Allen Craig added two more RBI’s with Yadier Molina getting a two run homer pushing his HR record to 22. Cardinals now with a healthy lead, 9-1. It was not a night that the Nationals SP Edwin Jackson wants to remember … or repeat.  He was stepped down with only 1.1 innings pitched allowing 6 hits, 9 runs with one unearned, adding 4 walks and he had no strike outs.

The packed stadium* was estatic with their home team taking over the game from the NL East leaders.  However, the game quieted to the normal up at bat and out, until the 8th inning with Nationals CP Gonzales taking the mound. Once again the Cardinals kicked in gear with 3 hits and adding 3 runs ~ RBI by Matt Carpenter and a two run homer by Shane Robinson.

Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright had a very good night, only allowing the Nat’s 5 hits, 1 run, with 1 walk and 5 strike outs.  The Nationals did add one more run with a homer by Bernadina on a 1-1 count off Cardinals RP Joe Kelly in the top of the seventh.  Even though, the Cardinals took full advantage of the Nat’s bullpen taking the win, 12-2.

Even with the loss for the Nationals ~ they hold steady with their lead by four over the Braves in their division. The NY Mets handed the Braves a loss, 3-1.  With the LA Dodgers shutting out the Rockies, 8-0, the Cardinals still hold a 3 game lead for the WC2 position. The Brewers who made a excellent charge for a WC position, but with a loss to the Astros, 7-6, are now five behind the Cardinals. So as it goes in baseball ~ it is what it was and today is a brand new day.

In second game with the Nationals, it will be Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse, 16-3/2.77 up against the Nationals SP Zimmerman, 12-8/2.90.  With only five games remaining in our regular season ~ keeping the mindset and nose to the grindstone is of the up-most importance coming down the stretch.

A special note and congratulations to Cincinnati Reds SP Homer Bailey. He added his name to this season’s no-hitter list being the seventh to do so. They are in a series against the Pirates. Bailey only had 1 walk and added 10 strike outs to his stats against 27 at bats for the Pirates yesterday.  The Reds won, 1-0.  Even though, the Pirates did well to hold the Reds to only one run.  That in itself is quite a feat.

*The fans broke a record ~ as of last night’s game, over 3 million! have attended the Cardinals games at Busch Stadium.

To all ~ enjoy your games.  Have a great day!  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

Cardinals Now 1/2 Game Up For Wild-Card Position

Not only was it good that the Cardinals took game two of their three game series over the Astros last night ~ but this puts them 1/2 game in front of the Pirates for a wild-card position in the National League.  With the Pirates losing their second to Padres, 2-4, this helped move the Cardinals up in position. One half game is a beginning, but not near enough to seal the deal.

Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse (13-2/2.61) pitched last night and once he got into his “groove”, did very well ~ only allowed 3 hits, no walks and had 3 strike outs.  However, 2 of those 3 hits were solo home runs by Astros Wallace and C. Synder, in the first and third respectively. It had been since May 30, Cardinals loss to Atlanta, that Lohse had two home runs hit against him. Even though, he went on to pitch a full seven innings, followed by RP Boggs and CP Motte to give the Cardinals their win.  This was Motte’s 29th save. Astros SP Bud Norris took the loss.

Once again it was a team effort for the Cardinals. Descalso and John Jay each had RBI’s to tie. In the fifth, on a wild pitch by Norris, Jay was able to score putting the Cardinals in the lead for the night. It was Yadier Molina’s RBI in the 8th that gave the Cardinals their final score, 4-2.

The Cardinals are looking at sweep over the Astros this afternoon with SP Jake Westbrook (12-9) against Astros Dallas Keuchel (1-5).  Will the brooms come out?!  Time will tell. The Cardinals need to clean house before traveling to Cincinnati to face the Reds tomorrow.

As we know, the Reds are a strong team this year and continue to be “Red HOT”.  They have an excellent closer in Aroldis Chapman, a fast ball pitcher of 100 mph+.  Even though his W/L stat is at 5-4, the Reds are 26-0 with him closing.  Chapman has been in the line-up 58 games, pitched 62 innings, has had 112 strike outs, 15 walks, and has an ERA of 1.31.  In last nights win over the Phillies, 3-2, Chapman put up his 31st save.   I believe the key for the Cardinals, or any team, knowing Chapman is to close ~ they better have a healthy lead early in the game prior to him taking the mound.

So baseball fans ~ other news ~ The Rangers smashed the Orioles, 12-3, which included 3 home runs by Beltre. Chicago White Sox take out the Yankees, 2-1, with the southsiders of Chicago still skeptic in their team’s success.  They just aren’t convinced that GM Kenny Williams really could achieve such success this season ~ go figure. The Royals could not overcome the Rays with a loss of 5-3, but did keep the Rays from a sweep ~ took one game of the three in a shutout, 1-0.  The Brewers took the win over the Cubs, 3-2.  The Atlanta Braves put a speed bump in the way of the Nationals, taking the win, 5-1.  And, the Giants came out on top of the Dodgers, 8-4.

But before I close ~ another player has been suspended 50 games due to testing positive ~ Oakland A’s pitcher Colon.  How many more don’t get it?  Can they beat the odds?  But, baseball goes on ~ for those that do use enhancement drugs….it’s only a matter of time.

Enjoy your day ~ enjoy your games.  Always, Elichap