Ankiel Provides Another Lift and Springfield Adds More Hardware

 St. Louis Cardinals' Rick Ankiel watches his solo home run in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in a baseball game Sunday, Sep. 2, 2007, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

First, best wishes to Juan.  Ricky goes boom, again.  Memphis falls, again.  Springfield wrapped up the second half Texas League Northern Division title.  The Swing are demolished and Blake King impresses. 

The Cardinals will go with a six man rotation.  In a surprise move, Maroth will be back in the rotation replacing Reyes. 

In my previous (short) post, I forgot to talk about Thompson’s start.  He looked really good when he kept the ball down.  Thompson gave up 4 hits and I believe each hit came on balls he got up in the zone.  I was sitting right behind home plate, and his sinker had good 10 to 4 movement. 

It was the first time I got to see Brian Barden, the prospect from the Arizona system the Cards picked up on waivers.  He would definitely be the Cardinals best option, defensively, at third.  He has good range and an above average arm.  He also played some short, and although he might not be a long term solution there, he certainly doesn’t embarrass himself.  He provides good depth to the system and should be an option next year due to his versatility.

I had a chance to talk to Blake Hawksworth and Joe Mather.  I will post the interviews in their entirety later (I am trying to figure out how to post them as an audio file plus, I really don’t like my voice).  Blake tells me his shoulder feels good and that he has been playing catch.  Joe is really excited about the Arizona Fall League.  He tells me the biggest difference between this year and his previous seasons is maturity.  Both guys were really cool and gracious with their time.  I would like to thank Josh with the Memphis Redbirds for setting things up.  Josh only has a couple weeks with the organization left and I would like to wish him luck where ever the road leads him. 

A lot of news from Springfield courtesy of Kary Booher:

Seems that before Allen Craig left Palm Beach for Springfield, he set the Palm Beach’s single-season record holder for RBI (77) and runs (77).

Seems that the Memphis organization is biding its time before reuppping its player development deal with the Cardinals.  Seems that it is tired of running out a poor product.  Ya think? 

Cardinals 3 Reds 2

Slicky Ricky does it again, hitting his sixth HR to score the first run of the game in the sixth.  Looper went 7 innings while allowing only 4 hits.  The Cards have now won 15 of their last 19 at home and are one game above .500 for the first time since Tax Day in April.  Izzy picked up his 28th save even though he and Franklin both allowed a run. 

The Cubs and Brewers both won so the Cardinals remain 2 out.

 mccoy.jpg  Mike McCoy from flickr

Memphis 4 Nashville (Brewers) 5

MikeMcCoy went 3-3.  Brian Barden had a hit and 2 RBIs.  Danny Ardoin walked 3 times and scored 3 times.  Randy Keisler had 2 hits and scored run.  On the mound, Keisler gave up 5 runs in 6 innings.  Troy Cate gave the Redbirds one shutout inning and Brian Falkenborg pitched 2 shutout innings. 

hamilton.jpg  Mark Hamilton from the Springfield News-Leader.

Springfield 11 Arkansas (Angels) 1

After winning the Northern Division First Half title, the Cardinals finally wrapped up the second half title on Sunday night.  Springfield got 5 in the first and never looked back.  Mark Hamilton provided the big blow in the first with a 3-run HR.   He finished the game 3-4.  Allen Craig hit his second HR since being promoted, a solo shot.  The recently quiet Bryan Anderson had 2 hits and 3 RBIs including a solo HR, his sixth.  Reid Gorecki and Casey Rowlett each chipped in 2 hits.  Cory Rauschenberger was outstanding, allowing 1 run on 3 hits over 6 innings.  Luke Gregerson got in his first Double A action, allowing one hit and striking out the side. 

mccormick1.jpg  Mark McCormick

Palm Beach 4 Jupiter (Marlins) 3

Mark McCormick had a nice outing, pitching 3 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 2.  Let’s hope he can stay healthy next year.  Trey Hearne allowed 4 hits in 5 shutout innings. Donnie Smith and Jon Mikrut gave up 3 in the top of the ninth.  Luke Gorsett hit a 2-run HR. 

marmol_28_tightweb_270.jpg  Oliver Marmol from the Swing website

Quad Cities 0 Beloit (Twins) 13

Ouch!  Shaun Garceau gave up 7 in only two-thirds of an inning.  Matt Spade then came in and gave up 4 in 2.2 innings.  Firstbaseman Tim Dorn, a former pitcher, finished the game for the Swing.  Jose Ramirez had 2 singles and a stolen base.  Oliver Marmol also added 2 singles. 

blake-king.jpg  Blake King from Flickr

Batavia 0 Williamsport (Phillies) 2

Pete Kozma went 0-4 with to Ks.  Jon Edwards had a hit.  Logan Coller gavve up 2 runs in 4 innings.  Blake King gave up 1 hit in 4 shutout innings, striking out 5.

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