Thank you, Pirates

 Seems the Pirates were just what the doctor ordered.  In desperate need of a win, the Cardinals shelled the Pirates 9-4.  I know it is the Pirates, but the Cards needed a win against anyone.  Furthermore, they got a win against a soft tossing lefty and we all know how bad this team has been against southpaws the past couple of years.  Wainwright was very mediocre, but he pushed on without his best stuff and was able to get a win.  Eckstein was great in his return to the leadoff spot with 3 hits.  Chris Duncan hit a bomb. 

I was quite impressed with Todd Wellemeyer.  The guy can throw it through a wall but I am not sure he could hit the wall no matter how big it is.  He got in some trouble in the eighth.  I liked how he pitched through it without giving up a ton of runs.  He walked in a run.  He beared down and got Freddy Sanchez to hit a routine grounder to short.  Eckstein booted the ball and another run scored.  Instead of getting upset with his defense, Wellemeyer buckled down and struckout an ever dangerous Jason Bay.  This guy seems like he just throws it without really thinking where it is going.  If Duncan can teach this guy how to pitch, he could become a great asset.

Memphis had trouble scoring runs and fell to Nashville (Brewers) 3-1.  The Redbirds faced one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Yovani Gallardo.  Gallardo went 6 innings and struck out 10.  Former Cardinal Luther Hackman picked up the save for Nashville.  Blake Hawksworth fell to 2-6.  Hawks gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and had 5 Ks in 6 innings.  Skip and Edgar V. Gonzalez each had 2 hits and Skip drove in the only run.  Ankiel went 0-4 with 3 Ks.  Ryan Braun, one of the top hitting prospects in the minors, went 2-3 with a solo shot. 

Springfield  tied the game in the ninth but gave up a run in the bottom of the inning to fall to  San Antonio (Padres) 3-2.  Nick Webber got the loss.  Reliever turned starter Kevin Ool gave up 2 runs in 4 innings in 6.1 innings.  The Cardinals had only 5 hits.  Bryan Anderson and Juan Richardson had 2 hits each.  Sean Danielson had the other hit.

Here is an article I missed from Milb.com about Colby Rasmus.  I find it interesting that teams are already implementing the shift when he comes to the plate.  Is this something for Cardinal fans to worry about?  Rasmus seems like a kid that is maturing the correct way and realizes that he is going to have to work to achieve the success Redbird Nation is hoping for. 

Palm Beach scored all of its runs in the sixth and topped Fort Myers (Twins) 3-2.  Tyler Norrick was solid in 5.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and striking out 5.  He did struggle with command, walking 4.  The bullpen pitched 3.1 scoreless innings and struckout 7.  Luke Gregerson picked up his ninth save and his ERA is now 1.03.  Shane Robinson and Mark Hamilton each had a pair of hits.  After an awful start, Hamilton has his average up to .307.  Allen Craig had a hit and scored a run. 

Quad Cities scored one in the ninth and another in the tenth to beat South Bend (Diamondbacks) 3-2.  Daryl Jones’ only hit drove in the winning run.  Brandon Buckman had 2 hits.  Catcher Chris Grossman went 3-5.  Christian Lopez was 2-4.  P.J. Walters impressed again, pitching 5 scoreless innings.  He has not allowed a run in his last 2 games but doesn’t have a win in either game.  He has not allowed a run in his last 5 appearances. 

Those Cardinal fans hoping for a return home of Mark Buerhle in 08, this has to be promising.  Buerhle made some comments in the Chicago papers about teammate A.J. Pierzynski and his blow up with Ozzie Guillen on a Chicago radio show. 

Former Cardinal John Mabry has been released by the Rockies.

A name thrown around by Cardinal fans this winter, Mark Redman, has been released by the Braves.

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