The Gas House Gang

News, Notes and Historical Information on the St. Louis Cardinals

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October 1, 2006

Cardinals Lock Up NL Central Despite Another Loss to the Brewers

by @ 5:41 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

The Cardinals split their four game series with the Brewers and it turns out that it’s exactly what they needed.  Had they lost one more game, they would have played that make up game, and I know the Cards didn’t want to be there.  I did see a highlight and the Cardinals have the third lowest winning percentage of a team to make the post season.  Regardless, they’re in and they’ll square off against the Padres on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Brewers jumped all over Jason Marquis in his 16th loss of the season.  He gave up six runs in only two innings of work and Josh Hancock gave up two more in an inning of relief.  Preston Wilson and Scot Rolen both went yard and Wilson drove in three runs in the 9-4 loss.

On Friday, the Cards returned the favor and doubled up the Brewers 10-5.  Jeff Weaver was good enough to improve to 5-4 and Preston Wilson and Albert Pujols both went deep.  Pujols drove in three runs and Scott Rolen scored three times in the blowout win.

Yesterday’s game pretty much locked things up.  Jeff Suppan was very good through seven innings but he left the game down to 2-0.  It wasn’t until the eight inning when the Cardinals got the bats going.  Scott Spiezio came through with a huge three run bases loaded clearing triple to give the Cards the lead.  Tyler Johnson got the win and Adam Wainwright picked up the save.

Today’s game was kind of ugly.  The Brewers jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.  The Cardinals didn’t score a single run until they scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and they were all on solo homeruns by Spiezio, Pujols and Chris Duncan. 

So next up is the NLDS and the Padres.  It would have been nice to start at home but the Cards lost that opportunity some time ago.  Chris Carptenter should get the start in game one.

September 28, 2006

Albert Pujols’ Three Run Homerun Ends Cardinals Seven Game Skid

by @ 5:33 am. Filed under 2006 Season

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 25, 2006

Cardinals Magic Number Stuck at Five After Sweep by Astros

by @ 2:20 am. Filed under 2006 Season

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 17, 2006

Cardinals Magic Number Now Nine After Two Game Sweep Over Giants

by @ 12:38 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

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 14, 2006

Cardinals Magic Number Now 13 After Series Win Over Astros

by @ 2:59 am. Filed under 2006 Season

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 11, 2006

Cards Drop Three Straight to Diamondbacks

by @ 2:37 am. Filed under 2006 Season

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 6, 2006

Cardinals Lose Series to Nationals, Finale Ends in Heartbreaker

by @ 12:26 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

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 3, 2006

Cardinals Extend NL Central Lead With Series Win Over Pirates, Albert Pujols Hits Three Homeruns in Series Finale

by @ 5:01 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

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 1, 2006

Cardinals Win Series Over Red Hot Marlins

by @ 3:30 am. Filed under 2006 Season

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.

August 28, 2006

Cardinals Sweep Cubs, Extend NL Central Lead to Three Games

by @ 4:04 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

It’s nice to see we finally figured out the Cubs.  After some pretty rough series, the Cardinals won last weekend and now this time around, they swept the Cubs in St. Louis.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.

On Friday, Jeff Suppan threw one of his best games all season.  He gave up five hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out two.  Jason Isringhausen picked up the save and Scott Rolen had two singles, a run and an RBI in the 2-0 win.

Saturday’s game was another close one.  Gary Bennett won it in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single.  Bennett had also put the Cubs on the board in the third inning with a solo homerun.  Chris Carpenter held the Cubs to a single run on two hits in eight innings pitched and got a no decision for his troubles.  Flores picked up the win after he pitched a shutout ninth.

Yesterday’s game was runfest after the two previous pitchers duals.  The Cards jumped out to a 6-3 lead only to have the Cubs come back and tie it.  Then in the ninth, Bennett did it again and he hit a huge walk off grand slam to win it.  Jeff Weaver was knocked around in 6 1/3 innings and it was Brandon Looper who picked up the win after a perfect ninth.  Juan Encarnacion, Ron Belliard and Aaron Miles all scored twice in the 10-6 win.

The Reds have lost three straight so the Cardinals have pushed themselves back into a three game lead in the division.  Next up is three against the Marlins.

August 25, 2006

Cardinals Fall Into Tie For First Place After Sweep in New York

by @ 12:18 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Sigh, it’s come to this.  We’re in late August, and the Reds have caught the Cardinals.  Not because they’ve caught fire, but because the Cardinals are struggling.  I’m really worried about this rotation.  Outside of Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals have no consistency.

Tuesday’s loss was probably the toughest.  Jason Isringhausen gave up a two run homerun to Carlos Beltran in the bottom of the ninth and he lost his seventh of the season.  Albert Pujols was simply on fire.  He drove in all seven Cardinal runs and homered twice.  Unfortunately, he can’t do it all though.

Mark Mulder was shelled on Wednesday.  He gave up nine runs in three innings in a 10-8 loss.  Preston Wilson homered and drove in two runs while Scott Rolen and Wilson scored twice.  Give some credit to the pen.  They gave up one run through six innings and that allowed to the Cards to make it close.  Who knows, with another inning or two, we might have won this one.

Thursday’s game looked like a rollover.  After a rain delay, Dave Williams of all people shut us down.  Jason Marquis was pretty mediocre in six innings and he dropped to 13-12.  Gary Bennett accounting for both Cardinals’ runs with a homerun in the fifth inning.

Next up is the Cubs.  We handled them last time, so hopefully we can handle them again.  The Cardinals have put themselves into a situation where ever series is a big series from here on out.

August 20, 2006

Cardinals Finally Figure Out Cubs, Take Two of the Three in Weekend Series at Wrigley

by @ 6:00 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

What a weird season.  Between the extended losing streaks and the lack of real competition in the division, the Cardinals have been hovering.  At this point, if we can go on a run, I think we can bury the Reds.   On the other hand, if we go on another losing streak, the Cardinals could find themselves on the outside looking in at a playoff spot much less the division.

Monday’s game was a relief.  Six different Cardinals went yard with Albert Pujols hitting number 36.  He drove in three and scored twice.  Jason Marquis threw a decent game and he improved to 13-11.  Also give some props to the pen.  Four different relievers combined for four shutout innings in the 11-3 win.

The Cardinals came from behind and tied the Cubs in both the eighth and ninth yesterday, but a poor tenth inning by Jason Isringhausen ended up being the difference.  Jeff Suppan was roughed up in 4 1/3 innings and Isringhausen dropped his sixth game of the season.  Yadier Molina and Chris Duncan both homered in the 5-4 loss.

The Cardinals bounced back today though.  Chris Carpenter did his job and picked up win number twelve.  Chris Duncan homered again as did Juan Encarnacion.  Encarnacion drove in three runs in the 5-3 win and Isringhausen saved his 30th of the season.

Unfortunately, we have a tough matchup this week.  The Cardinals travel to New York to take on the New York Mets who are the best team in the National League.  The day off tomorrow will be nice though.

August 18, 2006

Cardinals Extend NL Central Lead With Series Win Over Reds

by @ 4:36 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

After a rough weekend, the Cardinals bounced back to win two of three against the second place Reds.  At the end of the day, the Cards pick up a full game and now stand 2 1/2 games ahead in the NL Central.

Chris Carpenter came up huge on Tuesday.  He threw a four hits shutout and struck out six.  He didn’t walk a man and he improved to 11-6 on the season.  Ronnie Belliard drove in two runs on a single and a double and Chris Duncan hit a two run shot off of Aaron Harang in the 5-0 win.

The Reds bounced back on Wednesday against Anthony Reyes.  The rookie gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings and he dropped to 4-6 on the year.  Albert Pujols and Perez drove in the two runs on seperate ground outs in the 7-2 loss.

Big time players come up in big ways.  Down 1-0 in the seventh, Scott Rolen hit a solo homerun to tie the game.  Then in the bottom of the ninth, he hit a walk off RBI single to win it for the Cardinals 2-1.  Jeff Weaver had a nice start and hopefully he’s finding his groove.  He gave up one run on three hits and walk in 7 1/3 innings in what was his best start of the season.

Next up is three against the Cubs.  While I enjoy the rivalry, I haven’t enjoyed how the Cubs have manhandled us despite being one of the worst teams in baseball.  Hopefully we can turn things around on them this weekend, because the Reds have the Pirates.

August 13, 2006

Cardinals Hit Rock Bottom, Lose Three Straight to Pirates

by @ 4:50 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

If you weren’t feeling worried before, it’s time to start.  The Pirates have the second worst record in all of baseball, and they took three straight from the Cardinals.  To make matters worse, the Reds took two of three so they now sit only a game and a half back of the Cards in the NL Central.

Juan Encarnacion singled home Albert Pujols in the first inning on Friday. The Cardinals would then be held scoreless over the final eight frames in a 7-1 loss.  Jeff Suppan was knocked around again and he dropped to 9-7 on the season.  Pujols finished the game with four hits which is impressive because the rest of the team matched him with four.

Yesterday’s game was the closest and it was the best the Cardinals got from their offense, which was sad because they scored only two runs.  Albert Pujols hit a two run homerun in the fifth to give the Cards a 2-1 lead, but Jeff Weaver gave the lead up in the fifth and then lost it in the sixth with another run.  Once again the Cardinals bats were stifled.  They had only five hits the entire game. 

Today’s game was pretty ugly.  Jason Marquis threw six solid innings but Adam Wainwright was shelled.  It didn’t matter though, because the Cards didn’t score a single run despite racking up ten hits and six walks.  The Cards left thirteen men on base in the 7-0 shutout loss.

Next up is a huge three game series against the Reds at Busch Stadium.  Anything less then a series win and the Cardinals NL Central lead will be reduced, if not given up.  Hopefully Chris Carpenter will get the job done, although the Reds have their ace going in Aaron Harang.

August 7, 2006

Cardinals End Skid With Two Wins Over Brewers

by @ 2:30 am. Filed under 2006 Season

This has been a weird year.  The Cardinals have had two really bad stretches that’ll probably cost the Cards their second straight 100 win season.  Regardless, the Reds were just as bad during those two stretches so the Cardinals were able to hold on to their lead.  It seems like no matter how bad we’ve played, we’ve stayed just ahead of the pack.

Chris Carpenter looked mortal on Friday, and the end result was the Cardinals eighth straight loss.  Carpenter gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings of work and Carpenter is now a pedestrian 10-6.  Juan Encarnacion had two hits and two RBIs in the 4-3 loss.

The Cardinals turned the tables on the Brewers on Saturday.  Anthony Reyes threw five solid innings and the bullpen was flawless for the final four frames.  Albert Pujols continued his run towards a second straight MVP with a big game.  He went two for four with a homerun, two RBIs and two runs in the 4-3 win.

Jeff Suppan was very solid in the rubber game.  He gave up only a single run on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.  Juan Encarnacion and Scott Rolen both went yard in the 7-1 win and Pujols had three hits and two runs.

Next up is a big four game series against the Reds.  This is what it’s all about as first plays second in a four game series.  If the Cardinals can go to Cincinnati and win three of four, it’ll go a long way towards another division title.

August 4, 2006

Cardinals Swept by Phillies, Drop Seventh Straight Game

by @ 3:50 am. Filed under 2006 Season

This is another one of those stretches where the Cardinals just can’t win.  I still like their chances for winning a relatively weak NL Central at this point, but their chances of advancing the playoffs really worry me.  Outside of Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals have been pretty inconsistent.  And when you lose seven straight games to anyone, it’s not a good sign.

Jeff Suppan was knocked around on Tuesday.  He dropped to 8-6 and he gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks with four strikeouts through five innings.  The Cardinals managed a whopping theee hits in the game.  I’m surprised they scored any runs, much less three in the 5-3 loss.

Wednesday was downright ugly.  Jeff Weaver is proving he doesn’t have it any more and while we got to Bret Myers late, by then the game was well over with. It was also a very disappointing outing by the bullpen, although you wonder if they were pitching to the score.  Chris Duncan and Aaron Miles homered in the 16-8 loss.

Yesterday was equally as ugly.  The Cardinals scored one run on two hits and Jason Marquis and the Cardinals pen were knocked around.  Marquis is now 12-9 and Scot Rolen drove home the only run on sac. fly.

Fortunately, the Reds are on a losing streak as well, so the Cards 3 1/2 game lead is still intact.  Next up is a three game series against the Brewers.  Chris Carpenter throws in the opener, so I’m really hoping our ace gets us back on track.

July 31, 2006

Cardinals Trade Minor Leaguer Rich Scalamandre to Braves for Jorge Sosa

by @ 5:39 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Jorge Sosa hasn’t had a stellar season, but the price was low and it gives Tony LaRussa another option from the pen.  Nobody else in the NL Central did much, so it’s not like the Cardinals were forced to react to, say, a major deal by the Reds.

July 30, 2006

Cardinals Swept by Cubs

by @ 5:07 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

I know the Cubs are our rivals, but this is ridiculous.  The Cubs are a pretty bad team this year, mostly due to injuries, but for whatever reason the Cardinals can’t seem to beat them.  Fortunately the Reds dropped two games this weekend as well, so our lead is still somewhat intact.

The Cardinals took an early lead on Thursday but Jeff Weaver and Tyler Johnson gave it up as the Cubs scored three runs in the sixth inning.  Juan Encarnacion hit homerun number 15 in the 5-4 loss  and he drove in three runs with three hits.  Weaver gave up four runs on ten hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Cards had the lead on Friday as well, but a Jason Marquis was touched up for six runs (three earned, everything was scored in the fourth inning).  The Cardinals tried to comeback and scored two runs in the seventh to make it 6-5, but that would be the final.  David Eckstein scored twice and Encarncion drove in two runs.

Yesterday, Greg Maddux shut us down.  Scott Rolen drove in a run in the first and the Cardinals didn’t score until the ninth when Chris Duncan singled home a run.  Anthony Reyes dropped to 2-5 but he was hardly knocked around.  He was just outpitched by a future Hall of Famer.

Today, the Cubs tagged Chris Carpenter for five runs in the first two innings and Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs pen held the Cardinals to three runs.  Scott Rolen drove in two in the 5-3 loss.

Next up is a three game series against the now weaker Philadelphia Phillies.  In the meantime, the Cardinals trade for Ronnie Belliard to shore up the infield.

July 27, 2006

Pitching Gets it Done In Two Wins Over Rockies

by @ 2:08 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

All of sudden, Coors Field is a pitchers park.  There were two shutouts this week, and in the other game, the losing team scored only one run.  Very strange year.

Jeff Francis shut out the Cardinals on Monday.  All the Cards could muster were two hits and they didn’t draw a walk.  Anthony Reyes dropped to 2-4 and he gave up six runs on nine hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings.

Chris Carpenter got the Cardinals back on track on Tuesday.  He and two relievers combined to throw an eight hit shutout.  Carpenter improved to 10-4.  The only run of the entire game came on Albert Pujols solo homerun, his 33rd of the season.

Jeff Suppan got things done yesterday.  He gave up only one run on five hits and two walks through six innings.  The pen was perfect through the final three frames, so give them a big assist.  Jim Edmonds was three for three with a homerun and two runs scored.

Next up for the Cardinals is a four game set against their archrivals, the Chicago Cubs, at Wrigley Field.  The Cardinals are sitting on a 5 1/2 game lead, so hopefully with three wins in Chicago, they can pad that a little more and head into August in a comfortable situation.

July 23, 2006

Cardinals Get Some Excellent Pitching In Sweep Over Dodgers

by @ 5:53 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Two runs.  That’s all the Dodgers scored in their three game series with the Cardinals.  And the Dodgers have had one of the best offenses in the league this year.  So now the Cards have a nice even, five game lead over the Reds.

Jeff Suppan and two relievers combined for a six hit shutout on Friday.  Suppan improved to 7-5 and Chris Duncan drove in the first of two runs with a solo shot in the fourth inning.

Yesterday was the first of two consecutive 6-1 wins.  Jeff Weaver got the job done and put a notch in his belt over his former team.  He gave up one run on six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings.  Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols and Chris Duncan all homered for the Cardinals, and Pujols drove in two.

This afternoon, it was Jason Marquis who held down the Dodgers.  He threw eight shutout innings and improved to 12-7 on the season.  Juan Encarnacion had a big day and he homered twice.  Scott Rolen had two hits and two RBIs.

Next up is a three game set in Colorado.  I doubt that we’ll hold them to two runs in that band box, but at this point, the Cardinals just have to keep on winning series so they can keep up the pressure on the Reds.

July 20, 2006

Cardinals Drop Two of Three to the Braves

by @ 3:07 am. Filed under 2006 Season

The Cardinals winning streak came to an end on Monday.  In fact they dropped the first two games in their series with the Braves and had to win the final game to avoid being swept.  In the meantime, the Reds keep holding on and they’re only 3 1/2 games back in the NL Central. 

And it wasn’t so much that we lost, it was how we lost.  Monday was the first blowout.  Jeff Weaver gave up five runs in third and it went downhill from there.  By the end of the game, the score was 15-3.  Jim Edmonds hit a solo homerun for what was probably the only real highlight for the Cards.

Tuesday was just as bad.  The Cards scored two more runs and the Braves fell one short of Monday’s total, but a beat down is a beat down.  The Braves scored in the first six innings of the game.  John Rodriguez drove in two runs and Jason Marquis was tagged for twelve runs in five innings of work.

Finally, things turned around yesterday.  Chris Carpenter did his job as ace and put the minilosing streak to rest.  He improved to 9-4 and he gave up two runs on five hits with six strikeouts through seven innings of work.  Jim Edmonds had a three run shot and Scott Rolen drove in two runs in the 8-3 win.

Next up is a three game series against the Dodgers.  The Dodgers have been hot and cold all season, and right now, they’re cold so hopefully we can pick up a couple of wins this weekend.

July 18, 2006

Jeff Weaver Experiment Gets Off To Rough Start

by @ 2:50 am. Filed under 2006 Season

What an ugly game yesterday.  Jeff Weaver lasted all of four innings and gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks.  He’ll get one more start before the Cardinals really have to decide whether to pull the trigger on a trade to get another starter or not. 

July 16, 2006

Cardinals Sweep Dodgers, Win Seventh Straight Game

by @ 5:50 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Alright, things are looking up.  After a tough June, the Cardinals are now back on track.  The only thing that stopped them from further extending their lead in the NL Central is a four game winning streak by the Reds.  They got it done with some great pitching.

Thursday, Albert Pujols was the hero.  In the bottom of the fourteenth inning, he went deep for a walk off homerun.  Jason Marquis had a nice start without a decision and it was Brandon Looper who picked up the win.

Friday was Chris Carpenter at his best.  Two hits, no runs, no walks and seven strikeouts.  Chris Duncan and Juan Encarnacion homered in the 5-0 win.  David Eckstein was four for five with two runs.

Saturday was another extra inning thriller.  Albert Pujols did it again with a solo homerun to tie it in the sixth.  Then Scott Rolen singled home David Eckstein in the tenth to win it.  Jeff Suppan was solid through seven innings and Looper picked up his second win of the series with two shutout innings to close out the game.

Today’s game was a beat down.  Anthony Reyes had a solid start and he picked up his second career win.  Albert Pujols drove in three runs and Chris Duncan had three hits and three runs.  Yadier Molina had three hits and three RBIs.

Next up is three against the Braves.  It’d be nice to take this series and knock the Reds back a game or two.

July 10, 2006

Cardinals Win Three Straight Before All Star Break

by @ 4:28 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

The Cardinals needed extra innings in the last two games of their against the Astros, but the end result was pretty good.  We took three of four and the Reds dropped two straight so the Cards are heading into the break with a somewhat nice four game lead.

On Thursday, Sidney Ponson had one of his better starts but still dropped to 4-4.  Man were the ESPN announcers brutal towards Ponson.  The end result was, he’s designated for assignment.  Guess they’d rather try their hand with Jeff Weaver. 

The Cards got back on track Friday.  Rodriguez, Scott Rolen and Juan Encarncion all scored two runs and Bennett had three hits, a run and an RBI in the 8-2 win.  Jason Marquis improved to 11-6 with 7 2/3 innings of solid work and Jason Isringhausen picked up his 26th save of the season.

The drama started on Saturday.  The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-1 lead but the Astros tied it up with three in the fifth.  The Astros then took a 6-4 lead in the seventh and that stood until Scott Spiezio hit a solo homerun and Aaron Miles singled hom Chris Duncan to tie the game up in the ninth.  In the tenth, Albert Pujols did his thing and put the Cardinals ahead with a solo shot.  Give some credit to Jason Isringhausen. He threw over an inning the night before and threw two perfect innings Saturday to close out the game and win his third game of the season.

Last night the Cardinals played on ESPN Sunday’s game of the week and they didn’t disappoint.  The Astros came from three runs down and tied it in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra frames.  Neither team scored until Aaron Miles drove in two with a double in the top of the twelth to make it 7-5.  That score would stand because Josh Hankcok came in and closed the door in place of a resting Jason Isringhausen.  Scott Rolen drove in three runs and David Eckstein scored three times.  Brandon Looper improved to 4-1 with two shutout innings in the tenth and eleventh.

Next up for the Cards is the Wild Card leading Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers come to St, Louis to play four, so hopefully they Cardinals can ride their three game winning streak and turn it into a successful second half.

July 6, 2006

Cardinals Continue to Struggle, Drop Series to Braves

by @ 5:03 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

The only thing that’s helping usis that the Reds are playing worse then the Cardinals and the Brewers haven’t quite caught up yet.  And the Cardinals troubles on the road continue as well.  As it stands, they’re 19-21 on the road.

On Monday, the Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to see that lead flip when Anthony Reyes gave up five runs in the bottom of the third.  Reyes was having a really tough time and he plunked two guys, one of which was a head shot.  If looks could kill, Bobby Cox could have stared Reyes to death after he hit that second guy (I was watching the game, but can’t remember who it was, Giles or Francouer).  Albert Pujols hit is 28th homeruns and Aaron Miles drove in two in the 6-3 loss.

Tuesday was the win, and it was the exact score as Monday’s game only the teams were reversed.  Chris Carpenter improved to 7-4 and he gave up two runs on four hits through five innings.  Juan Encarnacion drove in two runs with a homerun and Yadier Molina scored twice in the win.  Jason Isringhausen picked up his 25th save of the season.

Last night’s game was ugly.  Jeff Suppan gave up ten runs through 3 1/3 innings and he dropped to 6-5.  Hector Luna drove in two runs with his fourth homerun and Scott Rolen hit his thirteenth of the year. 

So we’re still 2 1/2 games up of the Reds but we have a very important series against the Astros heading into the break. Right now the Astros lead 1-0 in the series opener.

The Cardinals shored up their rotation by trading for Jeff Weaver.  He comes cheap and while he’s volatile, he’s had success in the past.  He was the Tigers ace (if you call it that) until he got dealt to the Yankees.  Then he made stops for both Los Angeles teams before getting trading to us for minor league prospect Terry Evans.

June 29, 2006

Cardinals End Skid With Win Over Indians in Series Finale

by @ 3:22 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

At least the Cardinals finally won, and at least they’re still in first place.  What a stretch though and just what the doctor ordered, we have the worst team in all of baseball this weekend.  Hopefully the Cardinals can get the job done this weekend against the Royals.

On Monday, Jason Marquis took a tie game into the fifth and got knocked around.  He ended up giving up seven runs on nine hits with three homeruns through six strikeouts.  So Taguchi and Scott Rolen had three hits and RBI and a run each in the 10-3 loss.

Tuesday was the antithesis of Monday’s game.  Cleveland scored two runs in the first off of Anthony Reyes and that’s all they’d need.  Reyes ended up giving up two runs on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts.  David Eckstein had three of the Cardinals’ six hits and drove in the only run in the 3-1 loss.

Yesterday was the win and boy was it exciting.  The Cardinals had a 3-1 lead when the Indians scored three in the eighth to take a one run lead.  Then in the ninth, Aaron Miles doubled home So Taguchi to tie the game and then Miles scored on Johnny Peralta’s throwing error.  It wasn’t pretty, but it counts as a win.  A nice start by Chris Carpenter went to waste and Jason Isringhausen picked up the win (despite blowing the save in the eighth).

Time to turn it up.  With the All Star break coming, it’d be nice to give the beat up Cardinals some breathing room so hopefully they’ll do that against the Royals.

June 25, 2006

Cardinals Lose Sixth Straight Game After Sweep in Detroit

by @ 3:26 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Not even the return of Albert Pujols has gotten the Cardinals back on track.  All I can say is, this Tiger team is for real.  Similar to the White Sox, they find a way to win.  And it was nice going to head to head with them because these two teams have some tradition.  The Cardinals dynasty team in the 1960s pretty much came to an end at the hand of the Tigers in 1968, and it was the Gas House Gang that won an exciting World Series against one of the best Tiger teams ever in 1934.

This is 2006 though, and on Friday, rookie Justin Verlander outdueled the Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter.  The big inning was the fifth when the Tigers broke a 3-3 tie and scored four runs to put the game pretty much out of reach.  Carpenter gave up seven runs on nine hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings.  Albert Pujols was four for four with his 26th homerun of the season.  Scott Rolen and Yadier Molina each had three hits.

Yesterday’s game was the heartbreaker.  The Cardinals took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth and Jason Isringhausen blew the save and took the loss.  He gave up a two run homerun to Marcus Thames and then Placido Polanco drove home Curtis Granderson for the walk off RBI double.  A decent start by Jeff Suppan went to waste and David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio both had two hits and two runs a piece.

Today was just as dissappointing.  The Tigers and Cardinals were tied heading into the eighth when Sidney Ponson and two relievers gave up three runs to put the Tigers on top by three.  David Eckstein had three hits and Albert Pujols uncharecteristly struck out two times in the game.  The only run was scored on Aaron Miles RBI single. 

Fortunately, the Reds and the rest of the division haven’t fared much better and the Cardinals still have a two game lead in the NL Central.  The Astros haven’t used Roger Clemens return to catapult themselves into contention either and they’re 5 1/2 games back at a game below .500.  The Cardinals do come home though to play the Indians.  So we get the home field advantage and we play a struggling team, so hopefully we’ll use that to get back on track.

June 18, 2006

Cardinals Sweep Rockies, Extend NL Central Lead

by @ 4:40 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

This is what I like to see.  The Cardinals host the Rockies and sweep the series while the second place Reds get swept in their own ball park.  The lead in the central is now a comfy five and a half games and Albert Pujols could be coming back soon.  Just what the doctor ordered.

On Friday, Jason Marquis won his ninth game and had a great start.  He gave up only one run on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts.  Hector Luna drove in two runs and Jim Edmonds went two for four with an RBI and two runs.

Yesterday’s game looked like it was going to be a blowout but the Rockies scored four runs in the final two innings to make it a close 6-5 game.  Juan Encarnacion had a monster game with two homeruns and three RBIs and John Rodriguez scored twice.  Jeff Suppan won his 100th career game and went 7 2/3 innings.

Chris Carpenter got the job done this afternoon.  He gave up one run on seven hits with four strikeouts to improve to 6-3.  Jason Isringhausen threw a perfect ninth and he saved his 24th game of the season.  So Taguchi scored twice and Scott Rolen homered and drove in two runs.

The Cardinals travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox after a day off tomorrow.  The White Sox just got done sweeping the Reds for us, and it’d be awfully nice if they laid down and lost a couple to us.

June 15, 2006

Cardinals Take Two of Three Against Pirates, Extend NL Central Lead to 2 1/2 Games

by @ 3:58 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Normally I’d be annoyed if the Cardinals lost even one game against the Pirates in a three game series, but in this day and age without Albert Pujols, taking two of three is acceptable.  If we win series, we’ll win the division. 

Tuesday’s game was pretty exciting.  Chris Carpenter struck out 13 over seven innings in the Cardinals 2-1 win.  Scott Rolen was key on both Cardinals runs.  He drove in the first one, then scored the second in consecutive innings.  In the process he went four for four.

You have to feel for Oliver Perez.  This was probably his best start of the season, and his team scores one run, and even that was in the ninth inning.  Speaking of the ninth, Jason Isringhausen got into trouble and gave up a run, but he buckled down and picked up his 21st save of the season.

Yesterday was the 9-7 loss.  Sidney Ponson was roughed up and gave up six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.  Even worse, he blew a 5-3 Cardinals lead.  Also blame Thompson out of the pen because he was beat up for three runs in his one inning of work and that ended up being the difference. 

Scott Rolen had another big day.  He went three for five with a homerun, three runs and three RBIs.  Hector Luna and Juan Encarnacio also had three hits.

In today’s game, Mark Mulder did just enough to win.  It wasn’t pretty but he improved to 6-4.  He gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings.

Chris Duncan had the big game with the bat for the Cardinals.  He went three for four with a run and an RBI.  Scott Rolen went one for four with a run and an RBI to cap off a great series.  Isringhausen pitched a shutout ninth to pick up his 23rd save of the season.

Colorado comes to town for three games before interleague play starts back up.  Two night games and then a Sunday day game.  The Cards have been very good in their new stadium, so hopefully we’ll be able to keep it up.

June 6, 2006

Albert Pujols Injured, Cards Drop Two of Three to Cubs

by @ 5:04 am. Filed under 2006 Season

Short on time today, so I’ll leave you to the 1926 Cardinals.  Will Carroll covered the Albert Pujols injury and it doesn’t look good.  And to make matters worse, the Ken Griffey took us to task yesterday so we now have only a two game cushion.  Things aren’t going to get an easier.  Our big three have all had something wrong, and the Pujols injury is obviously the worse.

I’ll check back after the Reds series, and hopefully things will have improved.

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