Seven runs, 14 hits, 2 home runs — great night for the offense. Seven innings pitched allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts from Lance Lynn to tie Adam Wainwright for second in the National League with his 8th win — great pitching night (yet again!) And all against the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks to top it off.
That outburst on offense came from the usual contributors. Yadier Molina was 2 for 4 with one of those homers and an RBI single to raise his batting average to an NL-leading .350. Carlos Beltran was 3 for 5 with a 2-run homer and an RBI single. Allen Craig was 2 for 4 with an RBI single. David Freese was 2 for 3 and has upped his average to .265. Even Lynn had a hit.
Oh, and Matt Carpenter.
He did what he has been doing like crazy all season — he was 3 for 5 leading off and scored 3 runs. He now has a 12-game hitting streak and increased his batting average to .319. And those aren’t the only good numbers he has.
Bengie Molina, who was the acting first base coach yesterday made that very clear.
“That kid out there didn’t have a feel for the game,” he said. “Did he warrant being thrown out? I don’t think so. He threw a helmet. If you’re going to throw him out for that, then you’re going to have to throw out half the team because they get mad sometimes when they get an out or somebody made a good play.”
“He’s frustrated with himself, which happens every single day in this league, and the wrong decision was made … I just don’t understand how that call can be made if you’re not out looking for it — especially from a young umpire, it’s frustrating.”
Twelve batters came to the plate in the third inning, with the dynamic duo of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma getting things started with a double and a single. Shelby Miller then sacrificed Koz to second before Matt Carpenter got the scoring started. It continued when Jon Jay singled, Allen Craig singled and Matt Adams singled with three more runs scoring.
May was quite the month for the St. Louis Cardinals — and for Yadier Molina.
Provided you are impressed with someone batting .394/.438/.500 with a homer, stolen base and 12 RBI, that is. And, from behind the plate, guiding 17 different pitchers through games including three rookie starters and two rookie relievers. While ending the month with the second-best batting average in the National League.
Yep, as mentioned the other day, there’s one easy choice for Cardinals MVP thus far in 2013. Yadi also was the easy choice for our May BAMF as well. His month was amazing.
Not that he didn’t have some competition. When a team goes 20-7 during a month, there obviously are a lot of contributors.
Surprisingly enough, there are a few things the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals are not good at — and coming back to win a game they trailed after seven innings was one. Going into last night, they were 0-12 in those circumstances.
Now they’re 1-12.
After power hurler Luis Mendoza and his 5.05 ERA held the Cardinals scoreless despite allowing five hits and walking two in five innings, Matt Holliday took out everyone’s collective frustrations about the Cards trailing 2-0 to the Royals with a tremendous homer to lead off the sixth — see it here (and it definitely bears repeated viewings).
Then came this scene in the Cardinals dugout.
Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The score remained 2-1 until the top of the eighth when the Royals added a run on two singles and a ground-out off Seth Maness. It just added to the comeback drama in the bottom of the eighth.
‘These Cardinals are playing SOME kind of baseball,” KMOX announcer Mike Shannon claimed as the Redbirds picked up victory No. six of this eight-game road trip. They’ve won 20 of 25, and at 34-17, they continue their grip on the best record in baseball. So, “SOME” baseball? Is that like “SOME pig” from Charlotte’s web?
Well, there’s SOME pitching at the root of that success, as has been the narrative all season. This time, though, it was a rookie mowing down hitters with a slider and a curve ball, and without the help of Yadier Molina.
Tyler Lyons gets the credit this time for manhandling the Royals lineup in seven innings of two-hit ball. While he was admittedly wild with the fastball in the first inning (when the Royals scored their only run on a walk and a hit), he would go on to retire 17 in a row. He pounded his breaking pitches low in the zone until he recaptured the feel for his fastball. Then, it was all over for the Royals.
“Impressive” is hardly accurate. We all acknowledged the pitching depth John Mozeliak and company had stockpiled, but little did we know how good the talent pool was beyond Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez, Seth Maness, Michael Wacha. By a show of hands, who had Tyler Lyons on their radar at the start of the year as a guy who would come up and steal the show? On the day Wacha’s call up was made official, it was Lyons who left us in awe.
Certainly, a two-run Carlos Beltran homer in the first helps get things off on the right foot. Solo blasts from Matt squared (Carpenter & Holliday) in the sixth added an exclamation point for the young southpaw, before he gave way to Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth. (If you ever wonder how loose the best team in baseball is, just check out the receiving lines, especially here after Holliday’s blast that broke an 0-for-13 stretch. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.) Continue reading →
With Social Media Night just one week away, the Cardinals announced details for the event. Even if you can’t physically make it to the game, you won’t want to miss the creative ways the Cardinals staff is incorporating you — yes, you! — into the festivities.
Here’s the plan:
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (May 28, 2013) – The St. Louis Cardinals announced that Social Media Night in the Budweiser Bowtie Bar at Busch Stadium June 4th will focus on fan engagement, including giving fans the opportunity to take over the team’s twitter account (@Cardinals) for the game.
“Like radio in the early days of baseball, social media enables fans to follow the team, but with a modern twist that allows them to also be the voice of the Cardinals,” said Ron Watermon, Director of Public Relations. “We thought it would be fun to let fans in our ‘Twitter booth’ to help us call the game.”
The Cardinals will allow fans to tweet the play-by-play and story of the game during Social Media Night by selectively re-tweeting fans that include the hashtag #STLFanTakeover in their tweets.
Fans who buy a special ticket to the Social Media Night event at Busch Stadium will receive access to a pre-game Q&A program featuring Cardinal players who are active on social media. All fans may submit their questions for the players prior to the event via the Cardinals Facebook page (facebook.com/cardinals) and Twitter (@Cardinals, #CardsSocial).
Social Media Night is a great chance for fans of all ages to interact with their favorite “tweeting Birds” face to face, as well as engage with other fans and team officials. In keeping with the fan engagement theme, the team ran a social media contest on Tumblr to have fans design and select the t-shirt that will be given out as part of Social Media Night. For $25, fans receive a Left Field Porch Ticket for the 7:15 p.m. game between the Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks, access to the pre-game program featuring Cardinal players, the fan designed t-shirt, the chance to win autographed prizes and more. Tickets are still available at cardinals.com/socialmedianight. Social Media Night is presented by Budweiser.
Now, that sounds like one hot ticket! Time to start thinking up questions and comments …
If you had to name the St. Louis Cardinals 2013 MVP through these first 50 games, chances are very good you’d say Yadier Molina. Right?
Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
After Monday’s 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals, Yadi is currently leading the team with a .346 batting average — which is third in the National League — and has 27 RBI, 14 doubles, three homers and is tied for the team lead with three stolen bases.
Perhaps even more valuable is his leadership behind the plate. With all the injuries to the starters and fluctuations in the bullpen, 16 pitchers have taken the mound for the Cardinals thus far including seven starters (with an eighth coming this Thursday). And still the team leads the majors in overall ERA at 3.11 as well as in starter ERA at 2.64. The reliever ERA also is improving, currently at 4.32 (and two NL and two AL teams are below that).
Yadi also was a big part of yesterday’s win. He was batting second for only the third time ever, and immediately made it count — giving the Cards a 2-0 lead with this bomb toward the fountains in left at Kauffman Stadium. He was far from finished, however.
Everyone has a day they’d just rather forget. And baseball players — yes, even the first-place, 31-game winning St. Louis Cardinals — have days they’d rather forget too.
On occasion, a bunch of Cardinals have them at once. The result is something exactly like the Cardinals 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But you know what? It was one game.
Let me repeat: one game, which happened to be game 48 of a 162-game season.
Sure, it was ugly — and the ugliness started early on. Leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, for example, although the Cards did score one run thanks to an error on Nick Punto. (He more than up for that with his 3-for-4, one walk night.)
That Punto walk came courtesy of John Gast to lead off the bottom of the first, and he scored on a double by another guy the Cards pitchers were very kind to: Adrian Gonzalez, who was 3-for-3 with a fifth inning homer.
After Gast walked Scott Van Slyke to start the second inning, he was gone. Left shoulder tightness.
In came Joe Kelly. Not all was ugly — he struck out six in three innings pitched. Unfortunately he gave up two runs, an RBI single to Gonzalez to score Punto (those two were constantly on base) and the Gonzalez homer. After walking Matt Kemp following the homer — Cards pitchers walked seven total on the night — Carlos Martinez relieved him. Nothing ugly there, as he retired three in a row to end in the inning and received plenty of praise on national TV.
Some nights, everything looks so easy for the St. Louis Cardinals. Given that it was another late-night-for-those-of-us-in-the-Midwest game, that was good. Always better to go to sleep happy, right?
And all of us were happy after the Cardinals 7-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Those of us who like good pitching saw plenty of that from the Cards — starter Lance Lynn and all three relievers who followed.
Lynn was terrific, dominating the Dodgers with nine strikeouts and allowing only two hits with one walk in six innings. The only drawback to Wolf Pup’s night: discomfort in his back that caused him to leave the game after only throwing 77 pitches, as Jenifer Langosch details:
“As the game went on, it just kept getting tighter and tighter and it kept getting harder to get looser,” Lynn said. “I would have loved to go longer, and I wish I could have, but we made the decision that we’ll let the bullpen finish it from there and we’ll get ready for the next one. With the run support and the day off [on Thursday], it was a good time not to hurt myself and let some guys get some work.”
First up was Randy Choate, who retired all three Dodgers in order — and they just happened to be Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.