This post is late - oh my, is it late - this seems to be the trend this year for the ol' blogger here.
No excuses - we're all busy.
Cardinals lost this series 2-1, losing 3-0 on Sunday, and have since smacked Brett Tomko around to win against LA 8-3. Some belated impressions of last Saturday's game (a much more pleasant experience than the 7-0 whitewash the previous night):
Five in the third was fantastic. However, it should have been 1. I thought AP had hit it out when the 3-2 pitch left his bat; I don't know if the damp SD air knocked that ball down or if he just barely missed it, but it definitely died on the track. The most inexplicable part of that ball is how Sledge missed it. He appeared (from my excellent vantage point in the Toyota Terrace down the LF line) to be there in time to make the play; next thing you know, the ball is rolling towards Mike Cameron. Wow.
The scary thing is, if Sledge makes that play, Edmonds lineout to CF is the last out of the inning. One Run. Taguchi never gets to bat with the bases loaded. And the rest of the game is significantly different. For one, LaRussa plays the 6th different after Looper was hit by a pitch (which caused my heart to jump into my throat, by the way - our best pitcher so far gets plunked. yikes). I'm willing to bet either (a) he hits for Kennedy there, or (b) some sort of squeeze would have been called. Likewise, Bard's leadoff single to start the bottom of the 8th leads to a completely different strategy by the Padres, as they try to push across the tying run.
Of course, the StL relievers probably wouldn't have been Springer and Johnson, but you never know.
I had sarcastically proclaimed, after Friday's meek showing, that I would be happy if the Cardinals had an inning with more than 1 hit in it. So, like I said, the 5-spot was nice. But they didn't hit the ball with authority; they had only 3 hits after Taguchi's double (and one of those was a GIFT - how did Yadi get credit for a single on a ball that went THROUGH Branyan's glove? That was an error when I played the game); and we all saw them get mowed down the next day.
My loyal fan-ness to this team will not wane or diminish, but after the last 6 seasons of good baseball, this is tough to watch.
21 minutes ago