I tuned in to watch the Cardinals’ game today and a softball game broke out. The Cards/Cubs combined for 21 runs and 33 hits as the wind was blowing out. Pujols delivered like old, hitting a 3 run shot out of the Wrigley Field. Pujols had 3 hits. Duncan hit his fourth HR. Scott Rolen had hits including a HR. Jimmy Edmonds showed some life with 2 hits including a HR. Adam Kennedy added 2 RBIs. Izzy was charged with a blown save and that is not completely fair. As most of you saw, DeRosa hit a bloop pop up that I believe P. Wilson should have caught but he was not close to catching it. That to go along with getting picked off in the eighth. Eckstein also made a mental mistake in the ninth. He could have doubled off Barrett at first, but Barrett took a path back to first that put him in between Eck and Pujols. Instead of throwing it, Eck ate it. If he made the throw, double play.
Something struck me in the pregame. As the game was getting close to beginning, the network is showing down in the Cardinals’ dugout and Rick Horton makes the comment on how relaxed the players are and no one is panicking. While I agree that it is no time to panic, especially in this weak division, I do not believe this team should be so relaxed. The offense has been terrible. Maybe it is time to pick it up a notch. Maybe this team looks at how it struggled last year, barely made the playoffs, and won the World Series. If it worked last year, why not this year? I have never been in a major league clubhouse, so I am not going to pretend to know what these players are thinking. But I know when the a little pressure needs to be applied and to me it seems that time is now.
Bernie has some insight into the Cardinals’ struggles.
Memphis put up double digits on Omaha (Kansas City), winning 10-5. Tagg Bozied has been hot of late, he had 2 hits including a 2-run shot. Nick Stavinoha has been struggling but he had 2 hits. Rick Ankiel went 1-4, with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Ryan Ludwick added a double and 2 RBIs. Mike Smith got the win going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs. Troy Cate pitched another scoreless inning, as did Mark Worrell. Andy Cavazos gave up 3 runs in his only inning of work and his ERA now sits at 10.38.
Springfield beat Tulsa (Colorado) 4-2. The Cardinals take the series 3 games to 1. The game was a matchup of two of the top pitching prospects in baseball, the Cards’ Jaime Garcia, rated as the number 70 prospect in baseball by Baseball America vs. Greg Reynolds, rated number 76, but neither factored in the decision. The game was certainly a pitchers’ duel, as Springfield had 5 hits and Tulsa netted 4. Jaime Garcia pitched six innings, struckout 7, gave up 2 hits, and a lone run on a solo shot to Matt Miller. Chris Perez got his second save, striking out the side in the ninth. Joe Mather continued to crush the ball, going 2-4 with 2 HRs, both solo shots. He now has 7 HRs on the season. For Tulsa, Greg Reynolds went 7 innings, allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, the runs coming on the 2 HRs by Mather, and struckout 6.
Palm Beach was off on Sunday.
The Swing thumped Fort Wayne (San Diego), 10-1. Mark Shorey hit his first HR, a solo shot, and added another hit and RBI. Brandon Buckman hit his fifth HR of the season, a 3-run shot. Luke Gorsett had 3 hits. Donovan Salono had his second good game in a row, going 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Daryl Jones, who has really been struggling, went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .160. Shaun Garceau started for the Swing and struggled, but did pitch 3 scoreless innings. Armando Carrasco and Matt Lane each pitched a scoreless inning while Lane was credited with the win. Michael Schellinger was credited with the save, pitching 4 innings, giving up one run on five hits and adding a K. Swing 2B Jared Schweitzer was placed on the DL and C Christian Reyes was called from Extended Spring Training.
I called it yesterday, Blake Dewitt can hit. The Empire used a different strategy in trying to get the former first round pick going, leading him off vs. Lancaster and Daniel Bard. Dewitt responded going 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs, 2 Runs scored, and a walk. Bard is a highly touted pitcher out of the University of North Carolina. He was Boston’s number 1 pick in 2006. He has a fastball that can reach 99, but has struggled with command. Pitched a classic game in the final game of last year’s College World Series against Oregon State.
Southeast rallied from 8 runs down to beat Austin Peay 16-14 on Sunday. Omar Padilla and Nick Harris each had 4 hits. The Redhawks host Memphis on Tuesday starting at 6pm. Memphis has had an up and down season, beating teams like Mizzou and Tulane but getting swept in a two game series at Murray. The Tigers beat Austin Peay in a two game series last week. Michael Murray is their leading hitter, hitting .366. Bill Moss is their power having hit 9 HRs and driven in 34. K.K. Chambers has 21 steals in 24 attempts. Check out more on Memphis here.
Mizzou fell in the series finale to Baylor 8-3. Evan Frey had 5 hits for the Tigers, the last Mizzou player to do that was Sikeston’s own, Jacob Priday. Priday went 1 for 5 on the day and stranded 6 runners.
Vanderbilt swept Tennessee on Sunday, pulling out the victory on a basehit in the bottom of the ninth.
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