News, Notes and Historical Information on the St. Louis Cardinals
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Sometimes excitement is good and sometimes it’s bad. The excitement over the past week has definitely been bad as the Cardinals looked like they might have a near historic collapse. Thankfully, Albert Pujols came through for the club again and the Cardinals are now a little bit closer to winning the division.
The Padres touched up Jeff Suppan for five runs in the second inning and while the Cardinals eventually tied it up, an RBI single by Mike Piazza in the seventh won it for the Padres. Jim Edmonds came out of nowhere to almost save the game. His three run shot in the fourth inning tied the game up. Chris Duncan also homered in the 6-5 loss.
Chris Carpenter had his second straight mediocre start on Tuesday. He gave up six runs on twelve hits in seven innings of work. Ronnie Belliard had the big game at the plate. He homered twice and drove in three runs in the 7-5 loss.
Yesterday looked like it’d be more of the same. The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the eighth but the Cardinals answered when Albert Pujols hit homerun number 47, a huge three run shot to give the Cards the win. Anthony Reyes was very good through six innings of work but he didn’t get a decision. Tyler Johnson ended up picking up the win.
So the Cardinals magic number if four. If they win out, it doesn’t matter what the Astros do. If they don’t, then they’ll need some help. There’s also still that makeup game to consider with the Giants so you could potentially see them tie, have to make up the Giants game, then play the Astros in a one game playoff, all before the NLDS.
Next up is four against the Brewers. Saturday’s game should be one of the games on Fox game of the week.
September 26, 1926 at Crosley Field
Reds 2, Cardinals 1 (89-65)
The final game of the season, which had the top two teams in the National League going head to head, was anticlimactic because of a late September slide by the Reds. Hi Bell threw a very nice game and left with a 1-0 lead by Bill Hallahan gave up two runs to the Reds in the bottom of the ninth as the Cards lost their final game of the season.
Les Bell doubled and scored the only run of the game for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals got almost a week off before they began their best of seven series against the New York Yankees.
September 25, 1926 at the Polo Grounds
Giants 12, Cardinals 2 (89-64)
The Cardinals found out who their World Series opponents would be today and it’s none other then the New York Yankees. After winning three straight pennants and a World Series earlier in the decade, the Yankees came back from a seventh place finish last year to win the American League pennant.
What a weird season. The NL Central is probably one of the worst divisions in baseball and the Cardinals are limping into the final week with things pretty much in hand. The Astros are making things interesting and are now four back in the loss column after they swept us. I wonder how many playoffs teams have existed that had three eight game losing streaks. If the Cards drop their next three, they’ll have done just that this year.
All of the games against Houston were relatively close. Thursday’s game was probably the most disappointing though. Chris Carpenter was knocked around and you don’t want to see that rolling into the playoffs. He gave up six runs on nine hits with five strikeouts in eight innings of work. Preston Wilson scored twice in the 6-5 loss.
Friday’s game was a carbon copy of Thursday’s down to the late inning come back. Chris Narveson made his first career start and lasted four solid innings. It was the pen that lost this one though. Adam Wainwright gave up two in the eighth and Brandon Looper gave up two in the ninth to blow the 5-2 lead. Chris Duncan hit homerun number 19 and Ronnie Belliard and David Eckstein both went yard.
On Saturday. David Eckstein’s RBI double tied it up for the Cards in the ninth but Tyler Johnson gave up a walk off three run homerun as the pen lost another game. Duncan hit his 20th homerun and Eckstein had three this and two runs in the 7-4 loss.
Not a lot of drama in last night’s game. The Cards just got beat. Once again it was the pen that gave up a four run seventh inning in the 7-3 loss. Jeff Weaver was actually okay in his six innings. Chris Duncan had a single, two walks and two runs.
Next up is three games against the Padres, who looked like they’d be the Cards first round opponent but not as much now with the resurgence of the Phillies. It’d be nice to win a couple of games and lock this division up by the weekend.
September 24, 1926 at the Polo Grounds
Cardinals 6, Giants 4 (89-63)
It was definitely a day to celebrate as the Cardinals clinched their first ever National League pennant. Flint Rhem was shelled in the first inning for three runs but the Cardinals got the bats going and Bill Sherdel did some quality relief pitching. The big inning for the Cards was the third inning, in which they scored five runs to pen the game up.
September 22, 1926 at Ebbets Field
Cardinals 15, Robins 7 (88-63)
The Cardinals could smell their first pennant and really turned on the offense in this game against the Robins. Les Bell tripled three times and scored three times and Jim Bottomley and Tommy Thevenow both homered.
Art Reinhart use almost half of those fifteen runs in a poor outing. He gave up seven runs on eleven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
The win gave the Cardinals a two and a half game lead and their magic number was now down to two with three games left to play.
September 21, 1926 at Ebbets Field
Robins 4, Cardinals 3 (87-63)
The Cardinals went into a losing streak at a pretty bad time, fortunately, the Reds entered into an even worse one. So despite the Cardinals losing three straight games, the Reds were mired in a five game losing streak. The end result is, the Cardinals had a two game lead with only four games left to play.
Bill Sherdel was throwing a great game and had a shutout through seven innings until he ran into trouble in the eighth inning. In the eighth, the Robins tagged Sherdel for four runs and despite the Cards scoring two in the ninth, they fell a run short.
Jim Bottomley tripled, singled and scored a run in the Cards loss.
September 19, 1926 at the Polo Grounds
Giants 6, Cardinals 5 (87-62)
Jesse Haines was bounced after four innings in this game after he gave up five runs to the Giants. The Cardinals actually tied the game up in the fifth but a single run against Bill Sherdel in the sixth inning ended up being the difference in this one run game.
Chick Hafey doubled twice and scored a run to lead the Cardinals on offense.
September 18, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Cardinals 7, Phillies 3 (87-60)
Flint Rhem pitched the Cardinals to their fifth straight win and in the process, the Cardinals finally shaked the Reds. It was Rhem’s 20th win of the season and he gave up three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts.
September 18, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Phillies 3, Cardinals 2 (87-61)
The Cardinals bats didn’t get the done and the team lost despite a solid start by Grover Alexander. The loss put the Cardinals a half game ahead of the Reds in the race of the National League pennant. Alexander gave up two runs on four hits and two walks, Art Reinhart took the loss in relief of Alexander when he gave up the game winning run in the ninth inning.
Bob O’Farrell led the way with the bat. He singled, doubled and scored a run in the loss.
Today’s game was postponed due to rain and it’ll only be made up if it’s neccesary. Regardless, the two wins put the Cardinals 6 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals and their magic number is now nine. It should be eight by the end of the afternoon because the Cubs are mopping up on the Reds.
Scott Rolen led a fourteen run offensive assault on the Giants. He drove in seven runs and both he and Scott Duncan homered twice in the 14-4 win. Jeff Suppan was solid and he coasted to an easy win. He improved to 12-7 on the season.
Chris Carpenter keeps getting it done and yesterday was no exception. He gave up one run on only five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Juan Encarnacion homered and Albert Pujols had four hits and three runs in the 6-1 win.
Next up is three against the Brewers.
September 17, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Cardinals 10, Phillies 1 (86-60)
For the fourth straight time, the Cardinals beat the Phillies and for the third straight time, they did it by racking up at least ten runs. More importantly, the Reds lost so the Cardinals now have a one game lead in the National League with only eight games left to play.
Bill Sherdel coasted to an easy win after the Cards offense game him four runs in the first inning. He gave up a single run on eight hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
September 16, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Cardinals 23, Phillies 3 (84-60)
The Cardinals definitely made a statement in their blowout win over the Phillies. With the Phillies up 2-1 after two innings, the Cardinals scored 12 runs in the top of third inning to open the game up. Flint Rhem coasted to an easy win and he gave up three runs on six hits.
September 16, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Cardinals 10, Phillies 2 (85-60)
While it wasn’t as impressive as their 23 run performance earlier in the day, it was still a blowout win that kept the Cardinals in lock step with the Reds. Art Reinhart held the Phillies in check and allowed only two runs on six hits and one walk with one strikeout. Reinhart also helped out his own cause at the plate. He went four for five with a run.
September 15, 1926 at the Baker Bowl
Cardinals 9, Phillies 2 (83-60)
The Cardinals turned on the offense as they topped the Phillies. The end result is, they remain just a few percentage points below the Reds in a virtual tie for the National League pennant.
The Cardinals are getting closer to their third straight NL Central title. They did it by beating up on the Astros who find themselves slipping out of the playoff chace completely. There’s still more then two weeks left though, and a lot can happen.
Chris Carpenter is a vital cog to this team if the Cardinals are going to go anywhere come playoff time. On Monday, he showed that he can carry the team on his back. He threw a six hit shutout to start the series off and he’s still in the middle of the Cy Young race despite missing some time earlier in the year. Ron Belliard had a big day at the plate. He drove in four runs in the 7-0 win.
Tuesday’s game definitely had it’s share of drama. The Cardinals entered the bottom of the ninth down by a run and it was the MVP, Albert Pujols, who got it done again. His two run walk off double won it for the Cardinals and you’d have to think by now that Brad Lidge has nightmares about facing Pujols from time to time. Jeff Weaver was knocked around but lasted five innings. Brandon Looper picked up the win with two solid innings and he’s now 9-1.
The Cardinals couldn’t lock down the sweep yesterday though. The Cards managed only one run with Roy Oswalt on the mound and Jason Marquis was bombed in his one inning of work. If you’re looking for positives, the pen pitched really well. Eight innings and they gave up only one run.
Next up is three against the streaking Giants. They’ve tapered off this week but they were one of the hottest teams coming into their latest series with the Rockies.
September 13, 1926 at Braves Field
Braves 5, Cardinals 4 (82-60)
The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker and in the process, dropped into a tie for first place with the Cincinnati Reds. Bill Sherdel gave up the tying run in the eighth that sent the game into extra frames. Grover Alexander took over with two outs in the ninth and was very good, but the Cards’ bats disappeared and in the fourteenth, Alexander was tagged for the winning run.
Billy Southworth and Rogers Hornsby once again led the way for the Cardinals at the plate. Southworth had three hits and a run while Hornsby had two hits and a run. Taylor Douthit did his part with the only homerun of the game for either side.
September 11, 1926 at Braves Field
Cardinals 2, Braves 0 (82-58)
Jesse Haines was lights out in the Cardinals first game of a doubleheader with the Braves. He threw a four hit shutout in which he walked three and struck out one.
September 11, 1926 at Braves Field
Braves 4, Cardinals 3 (82-59)
It seemed like no matter what the Cardinals did in this game, the Braves matched. The Cardinals scored two first inning run as did the Braves. Then in the sixth, the Cards scored a single run and again, the Braves matched it in the bottom half of the inning. Finally, Flint Rhem succumbed to an eighth inning rally and gave up a single run that ended up being the difference.
Billy Southworth and Rogers Hornsby each had two hits and a run to lead the way with the bats for the Cards.
While you’d like to see a bigger lead, four and a half games isn’t so bad considering where we were at this time a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the Cardinals appear to be going into one of those slumps. Hopefully they’ll be able to nip this one against the Astros before it gets out hand.
The one good game came in the series opener. Scott Spiezio homered twice and drove in three runs and Jeff Weaver threw five solid innings. Weaver has really been throwing well lately and I like our chances more if his arm is working for us. Aaron Miles had two hits and two runs in the 6-2 win.
Friday’s game was just plain ugly. Anthony Reyes was bounced in the third inning and the pen didn’t fare much better. All the Cardinals managed was a single run, but ten more would have just made it a close loss. Juan Encarnacion hit a solo homerun for that one run in the 13-1 loss.
On Saturday, the Cards ran into Brandon Webb. He held the Cardinals to a single hit in a complete game shutout. In the meantime, a decent start by Jason Marquis went to waste.
Yesterday, the Cards blew a 7-4 lead. The Diamondbacks scored three in the seventh and two in the eighth to finish off the series as the Cards were handed another loss. Jeff Suppan pitched a fair game but again, that went to waste because of the poor pitching by the pen. Albert Pujols hit homerun number 45 and Chris Duncan and Scott Spiezo both went yard as well.
Houston rolls into town for three games. We could bury one of our competitors in the NL Central right here and now. Hopefully the Cards take advantage of this chance to do just that.
September 10, 1926 at Braves Field
Braves 11, Cardinals 3 (81-58)
Grover Alexander was roughed in the later innings in the Cardinals series opener against the Boston Braves. The game was actually tied 3-3 heading into the eighth inning when the Braves exploded for six runs in that frame.
September 7, 1926 at Forbes Field
Cardinals 8, Pirates 0 (81-57)
The Cardinals made a statement in their final game of the season against the defending World Series champs. Bill Sherdel threw a nine hit shutout and the Cardinals ran up the score in the Cardinals win.
With the way the last week and a half went, we could get away with a bad series and that’s what happened here. The Cardinals rolled into the nation’s capital and rolled out with two losses.
On Monday, the Cardinals didn’t get their first hit until the ninth inning. Ramon Ortiz took a no hitter into the ninth in tough loss for Jason Marquis. He gave up only two runs on six hits in seven innings of work. The only Cardinals’ run came when Albert Pujols hit a solo shot in that ninth inning. It was homerun number 43 for Pujols.
Jeff Suppan returned the favor yesterday. He and two relievers combined for a five hit shutout. It was Suppan’s eleventh win of the season. Pujols hit homerun number 44 and Yadier Molina had two hits and an RBI in the 2-0 win.
Today’s game was tough to take. The Cardinals took a 6-5 lead in the ninth inning on Preston Wilson’s two run shot but in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Isringhausen walked two and gave up a two run single to Jose Vidro in a blown game. Scott Spiezio homered and drove in three runs in the 7-6 loss.
The Reds lost again, the Cards still have a 6 1/2 game lead. Next up is four against the Diamondbacks.
September 6, 1926 at Forbes Field
Cardinals 8, Pirates 1 (80-56)
A big fifth inning and some great pitching by Flint Rhem pushed the Cardinals over the Pirates in the first game of the doubleheader. Rhem gave up one run on only four hits with six walks in the win.
September 6, 1926 at Forbes Field
Pirates 4, Cardinals 2 (80-57)
The Cardinals couldn’t hold on to a two run lead as the Pirates salvaged a split with a game two win. Allen Sothoron took the loss. He gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings of work.
September 5, 1926 at Crosley Field
Cardinals 7, Reds 3 (79-56)
Grover Alexander picked up another win for the Cardinals and he’s been solid down the stretch. He gave up three runs on nine hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
September 4, 1926 at Crosley Field
Reds 5, Cardinals 0 (78-56)
The Cardinals gave up first place with a lost to the Reds. The Reds now lead the Cardinals by a half game in the American League with two games remaining between the two teams.
It was a scary moment in the first inning when Rogers Hornsby collpased in the first inning after losing a pop fly in the sun. Hornsby was tended to by a physician and ended up getting up and finishing out the game.
Bill Sherdel was shelled and he gave up four runs in the first inning and was pulled after getting only two outs. There’s not much to say about the Cardinals on offense. They managed only five hits and they were all by different players.
September 3, 1926 at Crosley Field
Reds 4, Cardinals 2 (78-55)
What happened to the Reds? A little over a week ago, we were tied with them. In the last ten games alone, the Cardinals have picked up five games to extend their NL Central lead to a comfortable six games. The Cardinals magic number now sits at 21.
Chris Carptenter was the man on Friday. He held the Pirates to one run on three hits with eight strikeouts in the complete game. Zach Duke was almost as good but the Cards tagged him for three runs. Preston Wilson homered and scored twice in the 3-1 win.
You hate to lose a game 1-0 and this was the only thing that stopped the Cards from sweeping the Pirates. Jeff Weaver threw one of his best games all season but he was outdueled by Shawn Chacon and the Pirates pen. The only run of the game came on a sac, fly by the Pirates in the seventh inning. Aaron Miles had three of the Cardinals eight hits.
Albert Pujols helped the Cards bounce back today. He homered three times and and drove in five of the six Cardinals’ runs. Anthony Reyes’ 6 1/3 shutout innings helped out the cause too and he walked away with win number five. He struck out nine batters in an impressive outing.
Next up is three against the Nationals who are one of the lower ranking teams. The Cardinals could wrap things up sometime late next week if they put together a winning streak although it’s unlikely. The Astros are also putting themselves back into the mix and they sit just a game back of the Reds so anything can and will happen.
September 2, 1926 at Wrigley Field
Cardinals 2, Cubs 0 (77-54)
The Cardinals own their fifth straight game behind a masterful three hit shutout by Grover Alexander. Oddly, Alexander didn’t strikeout a single Cub despite mowing them down one after another. Alexander even helped out his own cause with two hits and a run.
Taylor Douthit led the way with the bat. He had two hits, including a triple, he scored the other run and he drove in Alexander for the other run.
September 2, 1926 at Wrigley Field
Cardinals 9, Cubs 1 (78-54)
Rogers Hornsby had another big game at the plate in the Cardinals sixth straight win. He homered, finished with two hits and he scored two runs. Billy Southworth also was hot with the bat. He had three hits and two runs in the blow out win.
Flint Rhem coasted to an easy win but he was just as effective as the other starters during the Cardinals winning streak. In the six consecutive wins, only one time did a starter give up more then two runs and in that one instance only three runs were scored. Rhem gave up one run on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
September 1, 1926 at Sportsman’s Park
Cardinals 5, Pirates 2 (76-54)
Rogers Hornsby led the way for the Cardinals in the series finale over the Pirates. He homered and tripled in the win and he scored one run. Les Bell also had a solid day at the plate. He had two hits and two runs.
Art Reinhart threw a solid game. He gave up two runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
It’s hard to believe that just a week ago, the Cardinals were tied with the Reds. Now with a few wins, the Cards have a five game lead because the Reds have dropped off, and bad. I’ll take it though.
Mark Mulder just seems like he’s done. He was shelled on Tuesday to the tune of five runs in less then two innings. The only run for the Cardinals came on Preston Wilson’s solo homerun.
Fortunately, that was the only loss. On Wednesday, the Cards really got their bats going and drove in 13 runs on 20 hits. Albert Pujols hit homerun number 39, Preston Wilson drove in three and Scott Rolen scored three times in the 13-6 win. Hard to believe that at one point, the Marlins led 5-1. Jason Marquis hung in there though, and he picked up the win.
Yesterday’s game was the lowest scoring. Down 2-1, the Cardinals broke out with four runs in the eighth inning. Chris Duncan got the scoring going with a solo homerun to tie the game and then the flood gates just opened. Juan Encarnacion had two hits and two runs in the 5-2 win. Jeff Suppan threw seven solid innings in the start but it was Brandon Looper who picked up the win. He’s now 8-1 and Jason Isringhausen picked up save number 32.
Next up is three against the Pirates. Should be a nice break, although with the September callups, the Pirates may have some guys looking to prove something.
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