Category Archives: St. Louis Cardinals

One More for the Core


If the Reds are torn apart sometime in the next 48 hours with key members of this core from the playoff run stripped from the roster and fan base, then let it be written that the Redlegs went into the sea of red that is St. Louis and shut out the best team in baseball for the second night in a row, winning 1-0.

Jay Bruce hit his 17th home run of the season off a very good John Lackey, and Aroldis Chapman locked down his 21st save of the season.

It was so baseball. These guys going out and in the midst of all kinds of rumors that have them shipped all over teh globe; they go out and play a sound game to beat a much more sound team.

Anthony DeSclafani threw seven shutout innings and improved to 6-7 on the year. The Reds collected just two hits.

And maybe; just maybe, this is the type of win that tells ownership it’s not time to let the sun set on this group yet. Maybe they look towards next year and aggressively decide that by adding a key arm or two to the rotation, they’ll have the lineup to attempt to make a run at things.

But if not – if they do decide to sell off these guys who were being rumored in deals before the game started tonight – it was perhaps one last signature win to remember them by. It’s the kind you don’t forget.

Miguel Cabrera’s 400th Career Home Run


One of our favorite warriors across baseball has reached a milestone, a night after Adrian Beltre reached the same. He’s 32 years old, and he’s at 400 career big flies.

We’ve always loved the way he’s seemingly quietly gone about his business, overcame the same issues that we all as humans face, played hurt, and just generally went out and mashed.

We’ve all heard the stories of 17-year old Miguel Cabrera down in Venezuela, hitting bombs off big leaguers who were throwing inside on him to intimidate the young man, only to offer him something soft and away that he yanked out of the park.

He’s cut from a different cloth, you see. Miguel Cabrera’s come along once every 30 or 40 years. Or maybe once in a lifetime.

Sometimes a guy like Cabrera gets overlooked because of the Harper’s, or Trout’s, or Bryant’s. It shouldn’t be that way.

When it comes to yoking a baseball – the one he hit today was a blast to dead center in the heart of baseball country, St. Louis; in the rain – there isn’t a man alive who has a more sound fundamental stroke.

And good for the Tigers on beating those rotten, luck-box Redbirds 4-3 in ten innings for the second straight day.



Lordy. Where the Hell did that come from?

Corey Kluber had a historic performance today at Progressive Field, hanging 18 strikeouts on the team with the best record in baseball. He predictably whiffed Mark Reynolds three times in three at-bats. Two first-inning runs were all the Indians needed to coast to a 2-0 win.

Maybe, just maybe this is the game that gets the Tribe going a little bit. And suddenly that little feat of 16 or more strikeouts and zero walks by a pitcher that we mentioned a few days ago has occurred twice within a week.

Baseball can be weird. Very weird.

Are the Cincinnati Reds Good?


[Box Score]

Hold your firesale just a damn minute. Something magical *might* be taking form in the Queen City.

The Reds survived a start by Jason Marquis (he actually, really struck out seven hitters) against the feared St. Louis Cardinals and have now begun the 2015 campaign 4-0 after sweeping the Pirates and a thrilling Friday night victory over the rival Redbirds.

The Reds appear to have their on-field leader back. This is as close as anyone has seen to 2010 Joey Votto in a long time. Votto hit a pair of home runs – the first was a prototype Votto two-run shot to left field to give the Reds a 2-1 lead – and the second was almost the same exact home run to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.

The Cuban came on in the ninth to lock down his 114th save in a Reds uniform, his second of the season, and blew away the final hitter with 101 MPH gas to match what his license plate on his fast car says.

The Reds are winning with timely hitting, quality starts (which seem unlikely to continue), and….. a little bit of luck.

Billy Hamilton is also worth mentioning for a reason why the Reds are winning. He’s getting on base, and he’s stolen eight bases in four games.

Johnny Cueto goes tomorrow afternoon for a chance to start something really special.


It’s Easter, and there’s real, live, counting regular season Baseball at Wrigley Tonight!

First off, happy easter. Second off, HAPPY BASEBALL SEASON!

In just a few short hours, the standings will no longer be stuck on all those goose eggs. I keep thinking about how great it would be to be present at historic torn up Wrigley Field tonight. Getting to see two rivalry teams who I feel will be pretty solid kick things off.

Opening Night has always kind of felt like Christmas Eve to me – even though the first one I remember was Ray Lankford leading off the top of the 1st in 1994 with a bomb off Jose Rijo! How many Reds fans out there remember the Ray Lankford game? He ate them up that night.

And then there was my favorite Opening Night game of all-time, 1997 Yankees-Mariners at the old Kingdome (don’t try to tell me the Kingdome wasn’t beautiful looking on the inside). To an awkward 14-year old kid at the time, Ken Griffey Jr. was a God in baseball cleats. He hit two moonshots that night off David Cone to start the season on a nice even ‘2’ out of the gate. I remember doofus Chris Berman remarking ‘so Ken is on pace for a solid 324 home runs, decent’ or something stupid that Berman says and actually believing that Ken won’t of course get there, but he could hit 100!

Today, I’m sitting at my mom’s house celebrating Easter. I’m thinking about some of the things I like about tonight’s game; I’m pretty excited about Anthony Rizzo getting a piece of Adam Wainwright tonight and getting that rabid Cub crowd fired up. There’s a great read about Rizzo over on ESPN’s newly-designed baseball site that they’ve rolled out just in time for the new season.

I just can’t believe that; yes we’ve made it, and there will be a real game to react to and recap tonight. And every night following for the next six months. And tomorrow will be even better! But we still have tonight! And my mind starts to spin out of control from there.

So for those out there who are like me, enjoy Easter with your families and when that ends; enjoy tonight. Opening Night in baseball is really about celebrating the year to come in the sport that we all love. There’s nothing like it in any sport.

Jason Heyward says the Braves limited him as a hitter


Let me preface this post by saying I have zero doubts you’re about to see the best Jason Heyward you’ve ever seen in 2015. No one; and I mean no one out there has the ability to polish a turd up nicely and have it work out like the damn St. Louis Cardinals. They’re going to find a way to fix this guy and turn him into a really good all around player. He may come close to reaching the lofty expectations scouts once set (and his first half of his rookie season was phenomenal).

But I take issue with Heyward saying the Braves hitting him lead-off limited his power:

When describing how stymied he felt at times batting leadoff for the Atlanta Braves, Gold Glove-winning outfielder Jason Heyward borrowed an analogy from the field. It’s playing long toss and really wanting to cut loose with a full-strength throw but having to hit a target 90 feet away.

“You feel like there’s a governor on you and you’re not letting it ride,” Heyward said. “You have to think of other ways.”

Greg Walker was one of the shittiest hitting coaches in big league history. If you’ve followed the Braves even on a surface level the past few seasons, you know he had his hand in fucking up a number of big league hitters and doing more harm than good to their approach.

Fredi Gonzalez also jerked Heyward around from day one – platooning him with replacement level players and hitting him all over the damn lineup instead of penciling him in the top five and leaving him the Hell alone. This is where I figure Heyward began to get lost deep in his own mind and naturally tinker with his approach which was best in the minors and the first half of his rookie campaign.

But Jason Heyward’s power was stymied because of his own fidgety ass movements in the box, all the movements in his hands and uncomfortable demeanor and stance. If Heyward let a hitting coach change him to the point where he couldn’t really functionally be the player he was, it’s his own fault. I’m pretty sure if he took his own approach out there and succeeded, a hitting coach would do a good job of doing no more than reminding the successful young player of the things he already knew. That’s really the job of a hitting instructor anyways.

Every time I watched a Heyward at-bat the last few years I just couldn’t believe what I saw. His plate discipline had eroded, he was taking fewer walks, swinging at more pitches, neglecting to use the entire field and rarely hitting balls hard. He didn’t handle breaking balls particularly well, leading to a sharp decline in the number of fastballs he saw.

I realize this is someone they said would be the gem in all of the game in a few years, and I realized that something had gone terribly wrong along the way more likely than Heyward being a bust.

Heyward seems to be a fragile player mentally – that’s the type of statement bloggers get in trouble for saying – but it’s something I’ve picked up on. He needs his confidence rebuilt, and I think over time in St. Louis some big hits in big moments for a successful organization are going to help accomplish that.

Heyward can’t fully blame the lead-off spot for the lack of pop in his bat. His own swing he developed over time and his approach were just as much the culprit.

And in closing, Fredi Gonzalez is the worst manager in baseball. Train-wreck hire from day one; if Bobby Cox could have hung on another five years, Heyward would likely still be in Atlanta and a perennial All-Star. Nothing good comes from Fredi Gonzalez.

Rest in Peace, Oscar Taveras


I’m by no means a Cardinals fan, but I am a huge fan of talent; and I am an even bigger fan of young phenomenal talent.

When I got a text message from a friend while at dinner last night that Oscar Taveras was dead, I had to take a moment to read it several times. I didn’t want to believe it.

Oscar Taveras’s don’t die – they marvel us with their talent. They win Rookie of the Year awards. They hit .353 at a ridiculously young age. They play 15 years in the big leagues and we hate seeing them come to town to play our team because they spend a series filling the box score. The win championships and continue to build the legacy of one of the best organizations in the game.

They don’t pass at age 22; not on a night when they could have been playing in the World Series if the ball had bounced a bit differently.

It still doesn’t seem real to me. I can’t believe I’ll never get to buy a ticket and go watch the second coming of Vlad Guerrero play live. In a weird way, I was looking forward to Taveras torturing the Cincinnati Reds over the next ten years. He would have, too.

I’ll always remember where I was when Oscar did this in the rain the first time we got to witness his talent:

I’m sad to say I didn’t see his last big league hit on television, or his NLCS home run off Jean Machi. And unfortunately, I’ll remember forever where I was standing when I got the horrifying text that Oscar Taveras died, hoping somehow that there had been a mistake; and then learning that it was reality.

Rest in Peace, Primo. Like all things in life, this remarkable young talent had an expiration date. It doesn’t make it any easier to understand or deal with. I will forever go on wondering what this young man could have accomplished if things had not ended tragically, maybe more so than anyone I’ve ever followed in my three decades of loving baseball.

An Ode to the 2014 Washington Nationals


Welp, that’s a wrap. For all intensive purposes, baseball season ended for us tonight a bit prematurely. In a matter of hours, two teams we love to watch completed the foursome of elimination in the League Division Series with the Cardinals getting past Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers and the Giants breaking the hearts of the Nationals out in the Bay Area.

I never dreamed when this postseason started that a World Series would exist without at least one of these two teams. It almost seems unfair – but it’s not. The Giants and Cardinals took the fight to these teams. They just went out and took it, with the help of a little more clutch hitting and better management.

I spent a TON of time watching Washington and Los Angeles this season. They were entertaining, yet flawed teams. Until the spring comes, I won’t see them again. If you want to see the remaining teams left in the playoffs, find and buy sports tickets to do so.

Happy Oscar Taveras Day


You have probably heard that Oscar Taveras was called up from AAA for the St. Louis Cardinals, and the long wait for those who love young prospects is over. Today, Oscar Taveras becomes a made man.

Here’s the scouting report on young Oscar, from Baseball America:

Taveras, 21, is at .325/.373/.524 this season at Memphis with seven home runs and a team-best 40 RBIs. He’s been especially good in the past 10 games (.462/.481/.641) with nine RBIs in his past nine games. He has hit righthanders and lefties at almost an equal clip, showing his usual knack for the barrel and plus power from the left side.

The Cardinals have not been shy about touting Taveras’ talent. Mozeliak has called him the best hitting prospect the club has produced since Albert Pujols.

Taveras has a lightning-quick bat, honed in part by unusual tactics such as swinging at a tire lashed to a fence or at bottle caps. He’s a bad-ball hitter but doesn’t strike out much (25 in 191 at-bats this season) and has present strength and promise of more power. He’s an aggressive hitter and thus won’t draw many walks.

He’s a swinger folks. We have already seen some of the success that an aggressive hitter can have early in a career before there is a book that exists to get a guy out with (see Puig, Yasiel). For this reason, we would guess that Taveras enjoys some early success and becomes a real shot in the arm for the Cardinals. Plus; they are the Cardinals, it’s not like they have things not work out and blow up in their face as an organization.

Happy Oscar Taveras Day!

I Went to the Reds Game LastFriday Night


[Box Score]

[Game Highlights]

My bank has a box on the Owner’s club level at Great American Ball Park. Friday night was my first game of the season and it unfolded pretty perfectly. Here are some notes on it:

  • I honestly, legitimately knew the Reds would win this game. I didn’t look at the MLB Betting Odds on the way to the game but I did put money on the Reds without even caring if they were underdog or heavy favorite. I looked after I won. Of course they were a 150-plus favorite.
  • It was Jay Bruce’s first game back. He had a smoke double to right center off Shelby Miller. That was his only wow moment of the game. Man it’s just good to have
  • I think the moment everyone will remember from this game is the Brayan Pena play at first base (complete with Broxton cover – look at big fella get over there).
  • Devin Mesoraco is going to be a star, at least offensively. He hit an upper deck home run.
  • We played Makatewah Golf Course – a private course since 1910 – earlier in the afternoon. It’s a beautiful course, and we had a perfect day. If you ever get the chance to see it and you love golf, don’t think twice about it. I am told that Marty, Paul O’ Neill, Chris Sabo and a bunch of others who are famed in Reds-lore play there.


  • I got to see save number 81 in the career of Aroldis Chapman. Which, it’s really quite amazing. I mean, look at a few of the Reds players on the roster and the number of home runs they have in their career. I’ve been to a lot of Reds games over the years that Chapman has been on the team, sure. But I would guess this is probably the fifth or sixth career save I’ve seen him notch in person and he has less than 100 in his career. He was pumping 102, 101, 100 pretty consecutively.
  • Todd Frazier went deep this game to put the Reds out 3-0, and he’s got nine now on the season. I told you all Mesoraco and Frazier would hit more than people thought this year;  and Ludwick and Cozart would struggle.
  • We had Skyline in our box. Amazing. Also this was the first time I’ve had Larosa’s Pizza in quite a while – it puts Donatos to shame.

After the game I headed out to Horseshoe Casino, and learned how to play craps. All it did was cost me $300 in a matter of minutes.

A great night at the park, a big Reds win, and a great way to kick off a holiday weekend.

Jay Bruce got one yesterday


The Reds dropped another heartbreaker to the Cardinals yesterday afternoon, 7-6. The game featured a rain delay that took the start time from 12:35 PM ET to around 4:35 PM ET.

Jay Bruce hit a towering two-run home run off Lance Lynn in the first inning to put the Reds up 2-0 for his first home run of the season. Todd Frazier followed with a towering bomb to left field and the Reds were out front and running 3-0. Frazier would later add another home run later in the game off Pat Neshek that cut the Cardinals lead to the one-run deficit they would win by.

Overall, Homer Bailey was not sharp. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4 and 1/3 innings. The two-run homer he allowed to Jhonny Peralta proved costly because it nearly erased a three run lead and was foreshadowing for the tough outing that Bailey had ahead of him.

Did Oscar Taveras injure his ankle again today?


One of the most anticipated debuts in the 2014 regular season will be when Oscar Taveras climbs into the batters box for the first time as a St. Louis Cardinal.

That debut could have been put into question – as there are some rumors swirling on twitter that Taveras may have hurt himself today in his Spring Training Debut. Taveras was working his way back from an injured ankle.


We are working on gathering as much information as possible on this.

UPDATE: We found more


The Dodgers Cowboy Up, Force Game Six in St. Louis


[Box Score]
[Los Angeles Times]

You have to give the Dodgers some credit. I truly thought they were done, and when Zack Greinke loaded the bases in the first inning of NLCS game five today, I was sure they were done. Then I had a prophetic feeling about things:

Greinke was able to get Yadier Molina to hit into a double play, and the Dodgers seemed to gain momentum from it all. From there they scratched across two runs, with Adrian Gonzalez starting the rally and Yasiel Puig keeping it going. Greinke singled in Puig. But the Cardinals would not go down quietly.

A Carlos Beltran triple and Matt Holliday double evened scoring at 2-2. Then the Dodgers got the lift they needed.

Gonzalez homered deep into the pavilion in right field to give the Dodgers the lead. They wouldn’t trail again in the game. He would add a second home run later in the game, and the Dodgers that had failed to homer for the entire series ended up with four on the day (Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis got in on the act).

Greinke bridged the gap nicely over to Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen, and the Dodgers held on for a 6-4 victory. They might lose this series, but they got it to Clayton Kershaw. They might lose this series, but they defended their home field in a noble manner and refused to have their season end on their field.

All the while, Don Mattingly seems to keep things cool in his meetings with the press. After a tough loss last night he said that he knew that they were going to come out and play hard, and that seemed good enough for him to resign to for the evening. After the game today he remarked that the Dodgers have become ‘America’s Team’ because the country wants to see a game seven. At this point, they’re a flashy team playing with house money. That’s somewhat dangerous.

On Friday night – they’ll have Clayton Kershaw going on five day’s rest. And we’ll all get another night of entertainment out of this team. That’s really what it’s all about this time of year if your team is out of it. They’ll get a chance to give Michael Wacha all he can handle and get a little redemption. And although they’ve shown some of their makeup with a win like today, we’ll see just exactly what this Dodger team is made of on Friday night. It would be an incredible feat to force a game seven against this seemingly unstoppable rebel force Cardinal team.

Summer is Ending for the Dodgers


It was a glorious year for baseball in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are an exciting, brash, star-studded group that has prompted me to take interest in them and watch far more of a St. Louis Cardinals NLCS series then I normally would have. I am sure ratings around the country are improved due to intrigued baseball fans that want to see what this team is all about. I spent a number of nights this past summer watching the Dodgers late night on, listening to Vin Scully tell his glorious tales. That will be part of a memory that sticks with me when I think back to MLB season 2013.

But the Dodgers season is likely ending tomorrow in Los Angeles. The Cardinals are the better team, and for the first time in the 2013 postseason, I’m going to be wrong about an end result.

The Dodgers lost tonight 4-2 in Los Angeles. Ricky Nolasco wasn’t nearly good enough, giving up a MONSTER two-run home run to Matt Holliday. The Dodgers continually tried to rally, and every rally was snuffed out by a Juan Uribe double play, or Nick Punto getting picked off second base, or Yasiel Puig getting sawed off on a Trevor Rosenthal fastball.

All night long, the baseball romantic in me kept waiting for something magical to happen in the same vein as Kirk Gibson 25 years ago tonight. When the Cardinals scored their fourth run on a Shane Robinson homer, I knew the score wouldn’t end 4-3 like that fateful Saturday night back in ’88. But I still kept waiting for someone wearing Dodger blue to get into one and tie the game. The innings came and went and it never happened.

Sure, the Dodgers have Greinke and Kershaw going the next two games, if they get by tomorrow. But it looks like Hanley Ramirez is done for the series. The Dodgers haven’t hit a home run in four games. They are completely neutralized right now, and that is why I think my pick for the 2013 World Series winner probably bows out tomorrow in a tight game.

Magical season, a ton of cool memories of a team I unexpectedly fell for a bit; but it likely ends on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-October at the hands of Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals.