Welcome to the first of what we hope will be a weekly post here at the United Cardinal Bloggers website. A dedicated group of UCB members will be writing this, trading off weeks so as to not burn anyone out or to take away from their own work at the various blogs. Right now, we have the following bloggers lined up:
Bill Ivie, I70 Baseball
Chris Mallonee, Birds On The Bat 82
Christine Coleman, Aaron Miles’ Fastball
Corey Noles, Balls & Strikes
Daniel Shoptaw, C70 At The Bat
Kevin Reynolds, Cards ‘N Stuff
Nick, Pitchers Hit Eighth
Rodney and Ryan Knuppel, Saint Louis Sports
Tara Wellman, Aaron Miles’ Fastball
Tom Knuppel, CardinalsGM
Tyler Giles, Rally Birds
What you may find here could vary every week. We hope to bring you something similar to what you see here, however.
The Cards make sure that their bats made the trip from Houston to Phoenix, busting out 22 runs on seven homers in the series. Carlos Beltran hit three of those, including a grand slam in the middle matchup. Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook both pitched outstanding games, but the bullpen sputtered a bit. J.C. Romero allowed five runs without getting an out in the first game, while Mitchell Boggs made a 6-0 lead seem precarious in the second. Kyle Lohse left the finale after five innings with a leg injury, but is expected to make his next start.
The roller coaster took a dip when the Cards returned home, as not even the pageantry and sentimentality of retiring former manager Tony La Russa’s number was enough to avoid being swept by the Atlanta Braves. The Cardinals had chances Friday night, leaving the bases loaded twice in extra innings before losing and squandering another dominant Beltran performance (4-5, double, triple, 2 HR, 4 RBI). The offense sputtered the rest of the series, scoring more in the ninth on Sunday (three on Allen Craig’s fifth home run of the year) than the rest of those two games combined. Adam Wainwright was uncharacteristically wild on Saturday, walking in two runs in the first, and while Lynn put together a quality start, he allowed three runs with two out in the third and that was more than the offense could overcome versus Tommy Hanson.
It’s the return of that blight on the schedule, the two game series. The Cards host the Cubs for two before jetting out to San Francisco for two more. Finally, the week wraps with a more traditional three games against one of the Cardinals’ most historical opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This will be the third time the Cards have matched up with the Cubs, having split the first six meetings. The Cubs are 1-2 in Busch this year, having ruined the ring ceremony but that’s all. As befitting the fact that the Cards have stayed mainly in the NL Central, they have not faced the Giants or LA yet this season.
Monday: Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02)
Tuesday: Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.08) vs. Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.05)
Wednesday: Jaime Garcia (2-2, 4.09) vs. Madison Bumgarner (5-2, 2.80)
Thursday: Adam Wainwright (2-4, 6.16) vs. Matt Cain (2-2, 2.28)
Friday: Lance Lynn (6-1,1.81) vs. Ted Lilly (5-0, 2.11)
Saturday: Jake Westbrook vs. Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.56)
Sunday: Kyle Lohse vs. Chad Billingsley (2-2, 3.32)
Game of the week: It’ll be interesting to see if Lance Lynn can continue his early-season dominance against the NL West-leading Dodgers on Friday, but from a pure pitching standpoint, you can’t go wrong with Wainwright vs. Cain if Wainwright is, well, right.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
“I’d like to point out that to honor #TLR10, the pitcher is now batting eighth.”–@gr33nazn
“Beltran has found his inner 2004.”–@dgoold
“Carlos Beltran just unlocked the ‘NL MVP’ badge on @foursquare for checking in to the right field bleachers at Busch Stadium.”–@CardinalTales
POSTS OF THE WEEK
Daniel Solzman took a look at Lance Lynn and his early season success over at Redbird Rants.
I70 Baseball focused in on the strong Cardinal offense.
The celebration of Tony La Russa this weekend prompted 10 observations over at Aaron Miles’ Fastball.