Friday, May 02, 2008

Cubs vs Cardinals - Game 1

Thank goodness for WGN. The Cubs are back to broadcasting their games on the superstation. The majority of Cardinals games I will see this year will be played on WGN. I ignore the announcers for the most part, so it really isn't so bad.

Of course, with all that's going on I didn't think to check and see if they were showing the game until almost 1900 PDT, by which point it was 2-1 Cardinals, bottom of six. But a little baseball is better than none.

What a strange game. Alfonso Soriano had a seventh inning to forget; first he struck out with runners on second and third to end the top half, then he lost Pujols' pop-up in the lights (that was charitably scored a single), then he made perhaps the worst effort for a lazy (although well-struck; it was very high) fly ball off Molina's bat, and missed the catch. I'm not sure he got any leather on it at all. That was even more charitably scored a ground rule double, although if he didn't touch it how can you give Soriano an error?

Franklin proceeded to ride the ragged edge of disaster in the top of the eighth, but induced Soto to ground to third and end the inning. However, he faced six hitters, which meant Soriano would get a chance to redeem himself in the ninth.

I will now validate my soothsayer credentials by reporting that, as Soriano strode to the plate, I remarked to no one in particular, "Don't be surprised if he hits a 2-run homer here."

Wouldn't you know it.

At least the Cardinals pulled it out in the eleventh. Single by Miles, wild pitch, well executed sacrifice bunt by Ryan (on a 3-1 pitch, no less, on a pitch that was high), then Schumaker's 2-run shot.

Izzy didn't look comfortable to me warming up in the bullpen before he came in. I'm certainly not an expert, but he didn't look comfortable. And I swear he was aiming his fastball. He had a good curve tonight (except for the one he hung to Soriano), but can't locate his fastball at all. No wonder he's blown 3 saves so far this season. He looks like he did in 2006, when his hip was really bad. Perhaps it's time to call up Perez from AAA Memphis.

And although I understand why the fans were booing him, I don't agree with it at all. Izzy's been a rock for this team for years; he's not the Cardinals all-time saves leader for nothing (and considering that Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith pitched for this club, that's saying a lot). He deserves better. He's being treated much like Trevor Hoffman's being treated here in San Diego, another guy who deserves much better from his fan base.

On to tomorrow. I'll be reporting on the first inning of tomorrow's game, and hope to see you then.

Until next time...

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