April 29, 2012

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2

Not even close. Lucroy tags Greene to end it. (AP photo)

They let the sweep get away. The Cardinals’ offense, which produced 20 runs in the first two games this weekend, drove in only 2 this afternoon, and, after one crummy inning for starter Jaime Garcia, it wasn’t enough.

They had their chances, the last one in the bottom of the 9th, with runners on the corners and nobody out. Brewer reliever John Axeford got David Freese to strike out, then Yadier Molina. But with Molina’s third strike, runners Tyler Greene on third and Carlos Beltran on first took off. Brewers’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy pumped as if to throw, freezing both of them, then they got Greene at home.

Sad way to end an otherwise great weekend. Come Tuesday, Adam Wainwright hopes for better things against the Bucs.



Happy Birthday, Duke Ellington

April 29, 2012

Edward Kennedy Ellington, born this day in Washington, D.C. in 1899. Composer, bandleader, genius.

The Great Man in action:

One reviewer called Ellington’s autobiography, “Music is My Mistress,” “the story of jazz itself.”

Here are some observations by his friend, music and social issues critic Ralph J. Gleason, at the time of his passing in 1974.

If you’d care to keep this legend’s spirit alive in our young people, consider a donation to the the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.


Yadi puts on a show

April 28, 2012

Cardinals 7, Brewers 3

Molina heads around the bases after homering in the 6th. (AP photo)

Starter Kyle Lohse may not have been at his best this afternoon, but catcher (and my own MVP) Yadier Molina sure was. Molina went 4 for 4 with a 2-run homer in the 6th and 2 RBIs as well as 2 runs scored.

Lohse got his 4th win, but he had to work for it. In 6 innings, he gave up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 home runs, and 4 walks, while striking out 5.

David Freese also homered, and John Jay went 3 for 4 with an RBI.

Leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal still bothers me. He was 0 for 5, although he managed to reach first on an error and later score in the 3rd. Matt Holliday also wore the collar, although he drove in an RBI.

Garcia tomorrow as we go for the sweep at home.



April 27, 2012

Cardinals 13, Brewers 1

John Jay had a big night. (AP photo)

Well, my complaints about the Cardinal’s recent lack of offense have been laid to rest, at least for tonight.

13 runs, including an 8-run explosion in the 3rd inning. 15 hits. Every starter save pitcher Jake Westbrook scored at least once, and everyone save Westbrook and leadoff hitter (!) Rafael Furcal had a hit, although Furcal walked twice.

John Jay, back from resting the shoulder he hurt crashing into the center field wall last week, went 3 for 5 with a run and 3 RBI. Matt Holliday was 3 for 3 with a run and 2 RBI. Even Skip Schumaker went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.

One thing that really made me happy, beyond the fact they gave the Brewers another shellacking (they’ve out-scored Milwaukee 39-9 in four games) is that they did it all without a single home run. I have long felt homers were way over-rated. Most people like them for the sheer excitement of the power they represent or the thrill of a timely-hit dinger changing a game with one stroke. A walk-off homer gets some of the biggest applause of anything in the game.

It has always irritated me that teams who win without sluggers driving the ball over the fence are referred-to as playing “small ball.” Tonight, at least, the Cardinals sneered at that insulting characterization.

Westbrook had another quality game. 7 innings. 7 hits. 1 earned run. 5 Ks. 20 first-pitch strikes to 27 batters, and when a ball went into play, it was more than twice as likely to be on the ground rather than in the air.

In fact, the whole rotation, save Adam Wainwright (and we’ve already covered that) is performing very well, as Derrick Goold writes in the Post-Dispatch.

In other circumstances, I might be tempted to ask, “how’s the view from the cellar, Albert?” But that would be petty, and doubtless premature, at this point.

Lohse goes for number 4 tomorrow.


Late Night Listening with the B-52s

April 27, 2012

Okay, in this live version, they obviously have, well, gotten older. But this song, and the band, still rocks like nobody’s bidness . . . .


Happy Birthday to Me

April 27, 2012

Well, not me, personally, but this past week marked the third anniversary of this blog.

I’d have asked by friends at Birchgrove Baking to make me a cake, but I’m betting they’re rather busy. Maybe next year.

Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!



April 25, 2012

Cardinals 5, Cubs 1

David Freese watches his homer. (Getty Images)

Some offense supporting strong starting pitching usually makes for a winner, and David Freese made sure of that this afternoon.

Freese went 2 for 4 with a home run, a double, and 3 RBIs. Carlos Beltran was 1 for 3 with an RBI double. Matt Holliday, though, returned to his slump, going 0 for 4. Freese’s homer and Beltran’s double both came in the 6th, which ended starter Chris Volstad’s game.

Lance Lynn pitched 8 innings, giving up 6 hits and 1 earned run, with 7 Ks.

Back home to face the Brewers and the Bucs.