Cardinal baseball, from the girls
There’s something to be said about how life can change in the blink of an eye. Yesterday was one of those days on many levels in my life. On a personal note, my family suffered the unexpected tragic loss of a dear loved one, much too young. Late breaking news of Osama Bin Laden’s death united the nation and brought spontaneous celebrations and outpourings of patriotism. And sandwiched somewhere in the middle of a day that will forever be remembered for everything else, there was baseball.
Being that this is a site about baseball, and if you’re reading this now, you are probably looking for something about baseball, let’s talk.
Heading into the weekend, Cardinal Nation was riding high. The Birds have been collecting wins at an impressive rate, winning 14 of their last 18 games going into Sunday, with a chance to get their first series’ sweep of 2011 against the Braves. A young bullpen surge from Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez has helped distract from the ongoing crash-and-burn of Cardinal closer, Ryan Franklin. Jake Westbrook, the early weak link in our rotation, has picked up the slack and added two improved outings to his 2011 resume. Matt Holliday, solid as ever, has defied his “notorious slow starter” label and is batting .418 and slugging .646 with a.521 OBP. (Translated: Matt is hitting the ball and hitting it well.) Lance Berkman too, is absolutely killing it right now. On April 28th, Lance had another two homerun game, his THIRD multiple homerun game in this young 2011 season. Combine the offensive threat of Holliday, Berkman and one Albert Pujols with the scrappy play of newcomers Daniel Descalso, Nick Punto and backup catcher Gerald Laird and it was easy to see why Cardinal fans were smiling.
Even cautiously playing only 2 of every 3 games due to his having both ankles surgically repaired in the offseason, Freese has again reminded the Cardinals why they took another chance on him. David was batting .356 with 2 homeruns and 14 RBI as of yesterday’s game.
However, disaster struck in the 6th inning when Dave was hit on the back of his left hand by a fastball pitched inside, breaking his 3rd metacarpal. Estimates of recovery time for this injury are 6-8 weeks. Go ahead… take a moment and let it sink in. It took me a while too….
Can the guy be any unluckier? After months of grueling rehab on his ankles (both during the 2010 season injuries and then again after surgeries) Freese was finally back in the game only to be sidelined AGAIN. My heart goes out to him. After all, we were just getting past those “bubble wrap” and “injury prone” comments. Luckily we have some third base alternatives not named Albert Pujols to hold down the hotcorner until Dave heals yet another injured extremity.
Let’s not talk about how Ryan Theriot dropped that routine pop fly in the 9th inning yesterday, helping to earn down-on-his-own-bad-luck Ryan Franklin the loss after pitching a gem of an 8th inning that could have been a turning point in his string of unfortunate events. Nah…. We won’t talk about that.
And being that utility infielder Nick Punto, fresh off the DL himself, was also pulled from the game yesterday as a precaution for hamstring tenderness, we won’t talk about our dwindling supply of infielders. (Although watching Albert Pujols briefly patrol 3rd base yesterday was an enjoyable oddity.)
All good reminders not to take anything for granted… in baseball, or life.
Get Well Soon, David Freese!
Have a blessed Monday, Cards fans.