Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: Baseball Digest

Oooof Course He Did…

 

Maybe he hurt his elbow taking this picture?
Photo by @CardsInsider

Fine: I’ll admit it. When I got home from work yesterday and the first thing I heard was that Adam Wainwright – my boy, my favorite – might be shut down before his last start of the season after sleeping on his elbow wrong of all things, my only reaction was to say ‘Of course he did!’ out loud, alone, standing in the middle of my apartment. At this point, nothing will shock me.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? I think we need to look at when all of our busted up boys were shut down…

May: Brad Penny pulls his oblique while hitting a grand slam. He is never seen from again.

June: David Freese rolls an ankle while running the bases. While rehabbing he drops a weight on his toe and breaks it. When he is finally sent out for a rehab assignment in Springfield during the first days of August he injures the same ankle rounding third bases. He has since had surgeries/procedures performed on *both ankles. Sheesh kid. They’re called ankle braces. My volleyball girls wear them. You make more money than them. Invest.

Good thing you’re cute… still, Erika’s calling you
‘Prince Boo-Boo Foot’… are you going to take that?
Photo from STL Post-Dispatch

August: Jason LaRue takes multiple shots to the face and head from the cleats of one Reds pitcher whose name is no longer mentioned within the confines of this blog. After suffering a severe concussion, the effects of which are still lingering over a month later, LaRue decides to retire from the game of baseball. His farewell posts have almost read like eulogies to me, so I don’t even want to link ‘em up for you (Sorry Erika…).

September: One year removed from Tommy John surgery, Jaime Garcia throws a career high innings total that eventually begins to catch up to him. Despite a very solid year in which he leads all rookie pitchers in pretty much every possible category, he was shut down by the team – not for physical issues, but as a preventative measure. I’m still on the fence about this one I guess, but I definitely will throw a ‘plays like a Cardinal’ tag on his locker for his plea to the powers that be to keep pitching after the premature announcement was made to the media for his abrupt end to the season before telling Jaime himself.

Ooooh the aching knees…
Photo by Scott Rovak

Also in September: Yadier Molina is a workhorse of a catcher. In the past two years he has caught more innings than all but two catchers in all of baseball. Squatting for minutes a day is no fun, so turn those minutes into hours and it’s pretty clear that Yadi’s knees have taken a beating. After being sent back to St. Louis for an MRI the announcement was made that Yadi’s kaput for the year as well.

More in September: On Saturday in Chicago Blake Hawksworth was smashed in the face by a line drive off the bat of a Scrubbie (oops, forgot I’m not supposed to take shots at the Cubs on here. Hi Grandpa!) and was immediately taken to the hospital. I screeched when I saw it happen, and my first thought was ‘broken nose’ because those just suck (Personal experience? Yes). Somehow Blake escaped with no broken bones, but around 30 stitches to his upper lip and face. Yikes! Needless to say, I will not be seeing Blake over the last week of the season.

September isn’t over yet?: Yesterday, as stated above, the announcement was made that Waino might be done for the year as well.

Please make it stop. There are only five of us here at the CDD, and we can only bandage so many boo-boos at a time. We love you boys and we want to take care of you, but we would really prefer that you take care of yourselves as well!

Of course, the announcement of Waino’s possible end of the season came as I was writing a Baseball Digest piece about him. Do me a favor and head over to read it anyway, would you? It’s called “Twenty Wins Is A Serious Number”… apologies, it was just too good a title to pass up! :)

A Productive Day, and Jaime’s Productive Rookie Year

Yadi celebrating his grand slam yesterday.
(AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

“From now on, we have to win. That’s the rule.”

This quote, from Yadier Molina after yesterday’s win over the Brewers, caught my attention. It might be because I’m very much a “rules” kind of person (the result of attending Catholic schools from third grade through high school), but it’s also the simplicity of it. Yadi knows what needs to be done, and certainly the rest of the team does as well. They have to win. Period. Although it might have helped if Yadi had made this rule several weeks or months ago …

He gets a break, though, since his grand slam yesterday gave the Cardinals an 8-6 win over the Brewers on a day when the Reds, Braves and Phillies all lost (although the Phillies also won game two of their double-header) to make it a productive day in the NL Central and wild card standings. With 27 more games in the next 27 days, anything still could be possible.

Yesterday was a productive day for the Memphis Redbirds too, as they beat the Iowa Cubs to give the Redbirds the division championship. They start the Pacific Coast League playoffs on Wednesday night. Hopefully that will be a productive night all around, as the Springfield Cardinals and Quad Cities River Bandits also began their playoff hunts that night. Tonight, it’s the Batavia Muckdogs. Hopefully all the levels of Baby Birds are aware of Yadi’s rule and they all win from now on.

Jaime Garcia has been winning a lot this year, as his rookie year has been very productive. What are his chances of being named National League Rookie of the Year? He keeps expanding his credentials with each start he makes, and that’s just what I explored today for Baseball Digest. You can read that here.

So, here we go. Time to see how productive Jaime and the Cardinals can continue to be, in addition to how well they follow the rules.

Jon Jay – Rookie Luck or Here to Stay?

Welcome to your Tuesday Baseball Fans!


Warning! Slow baseball week ahead!

TWO Cardinal off-days (Monday and Thursday)  plus a day game on Wednesday will leave a lot of evenings to fill with something other than Cardinals games.  Last night I caught the Padres/Cubs game on WGN and watched our old pal Ryan Ludwick in San Diego blue as the Padres beat the Cubs (something the Cardinals should have been able to do in their last two games).

While I will always cherish the fond memories I have of Luddy wearing the Birds on the Bat and patrolling right field for the Cardinals, there is this new fella that has helped ease my heartache.  Jon Jay has stepped up and become the new darling of the Cardinal rookies.  *Sorry Freese… absence is not making my heart grow fonder! ;)*

Today I profile Jon Jay at BaseballDigest.com.
You can find it here.

Give it a read and let me know your thoughts/opinions.  Has Jay peaked as a rookie already or will the baseball magic continue?

Cardinals vs Brewers (2 game stand at Busch Stadium starts tonight at 7:15pm)
GO CARDS!!

One Step Closer, and Looking at Wainwright’s Cy Chances

Quite the game last night, wasn’t it? Wow.

First, and most importantly, the Cardinals beat the Reds 7-3 thanks to their most productive inning all season: six straight hits (including an infield single from Yadi!) in the fourth that was capped by the first-ever grand slam from Skip Schumaker to give them six serious runs before there was even an out. During his second at-bat of the inning, Albert singled again to drive in the seventh run. And, with Chris Carpenter pitching, those were more than enough runs.

Ah, yes, Carp. No, there’s not (yet!) a feud here over his displeasure with Brendan Ryan delaying the bottom of the first inning. (Thanks, C70!) But, really, haven’t there been plenty of comments made throughout this season about a lack of fire and spark on the team, how they’re just business-like out there and act like they don’t really care? Then how can you complain when Carp understands the importance of this particular game and series, is all amped and ready to go, gets ticked when he has to wait because the guy who’s always the last one to the field anyway (based on our observations last week) delays his start of the inning and Carp lets him know about it later? Angela made a good point during the game: that it might not have been noticed at all were it not for the ESPN cameras focused on the dugout. But the look of fear on Brendan’s face that the camera did capture … yeah, the Hyperactive Puppy won’t be doing that again!

I could go on and mention the Jim Edmonds trade (who’s next, Walt?) or Brandon Phillips (think he’ll be regretting those comments?) but instead will switch gears a bit to talk about tomorrow afternoon’s starter, Adam Wainwright. After his brilliant two-hit shutout last Friday against the Marlins, he’s continuing to reassert his position as one of the top National League pitchers. So what are his chances for winning a well-deserved Cy Young Award this season? That’s exactly what I explored for Baseball Digest, which you can find here.

With all the drama and entertainment that the first game of this series provided, it’s hard to know what to expect tonight. Here’s to Jaime bouncing back from his outing-we-want-to-forget last Tuesday and providing another dominating performance again tonight. Because a win will bring those magic words “first place” back once again …

Go Cardinals!!

A Search For History

If you’re here looking for Cardinal writing, today there isn’t any here. However, I have a new post up over at Baseball Digest that I would appreciate you checking out. It talks all about Tony making players work for their playing time, and I had some fun writing it! In the meantime, I have a story for you, if you will indulge me for a few minutes…

I received a challenge from a friend when talking about ‘A League of Their Own’ one evening. Every time I watch that movie I remember that I live in the town where one of the teams from the AAGPBL was located, and I wonder where they played and what still exists to showcase the historic area. I made the mistake of mentioning my curiosity to said friend, who challenged me to go out and find it. I couldn’t say no, so I started researching. Unfortunately, what I found has left me frustrated.

The Racine Belles played at Horlick Field, which made me happy since I’d actually been there to watch a high school football game, not knowing that there was a baseball field on the other side of the bleachers I was sitting on. I’ve been searching for baseball in this goofy town for a year and didn’t know I already had found the field! What started to deflate my sails was when I found out that the championship game had not been filmed in Racine, but in Indiana, at a minor league ballpark that hadn’t even been in existence when the AAGPBL was playing. More confusion came when I learned that the championship game was actually played between the Belles and the Kenosha Comets that year, not the Belles and the Rockford Peaches. I don’t know why the movie changed those details, but that’s how it goes.

At this point all of my research had been online, and I had been coming up fairly empty as to what history might still exist that I could go and physically see. I finally decided that if there was something to see, I would find it at Horlick Field, so I made the five minute trek to the field to explore.

If you’re looking at the picture to the left, you are looking at all there is to see. I drove around the entirety of the complex before parking to get out. The whole place was locked up, which wasn’t particularly surprising, but I stuck my head through the gates to see if there was anything on the inside that might actually give clue to the history on this ground. Women in baseball is such an under-appreciated story, I felt like if I just looked hard enough I would surely find something. The Belles played there for over 10 years! How could there just be nothing?
After looking as far as I could through the gates, I gave up. Frustrated, I started walking back towards my car. I had been looking around by the baseball field, which is why I hadn’t noticed the plaque at the entrance of the football field. I almost missed it again, but happened to glance over as I was waiting to cross the street. This little plaque is the only reminder of the tough women who played their hearts out day in and day out on the grass of Horlick.
My search might be over. I’ve been poking around, but nothing has come up. My last play was to get in touch with the Racine Kiwanis Club to see if there is something else hidden away in a museum or something. I sent out an email to every branch in town, but I don’t think I should hold my breath. After being so excited to finally have something baseball-related near me, I could not be more frustrated with how this search has ended.

All Star Musings on the Off Day

Most of the free world had yesterday off to continue on with their Fourth of July fun, so what better day for the Cardinals to have an off day, right? No, wrong. What’s worse is that the Mets couldn’t do us a favor and take a game from the Reds. Losing ground when you don’t play is no fun at all!

Speaking of the Reds, Erika spoke yesterday about the Cardinal All-Stars, and I think Joey Votto for the Reds got a raw deal by not being selected to the team. If you’re into that sort of thing, head over and vote for Votto to be the final player on the NL squad. I admit – I watch every second of the All-Star festivities and love it to death. No, the game doesn’t really mean anything, despite what MLB tells you about home field advantage. I don’t usually make comments on who is on or off the rosters, and I won’t even stand up here and argue that Jaime Garcia should be in or anything like that. I will say 3 things: 

  1. Ryan Howard over Joey Votto is a joke. I don’t really care that Howard is a St. Louis product – he’s crazy overrated, and the most annoying three true outcome player ever. You know that the managers don’t actually care about the outcome when Charlie Manuel states that he chose Howard just because it was ‘his guy.’ If he really cared he’d put the best players on. You’re not going to change my mind on this.
  2. I support Stephen Strasburg not being on the team. That probably contradicts what I just said about having the best players on, but they already are not pitching wise when the second best ERA in the league didn’t make the team. Yes, the second best ERA belongs to Garcia (fine… *honk honk*). Also, the NL squad has one lefthanded pitcher. AL squad? Five. Solid roster Manuel.
  3. I definitely support Albert Pujols not being in the Home Run Derby. He is tired of it, LaRussa hates it, and despite their denials of this, I hate what it does to Albert’s swing for the first week or two after the break.
This has probably been the least Cardinal centric post to ever appear on this site. Apologies for that, but I will make it up to you by rolling out a new post over at Baseball Digest. It talks about Cardinal teams in the second half under Tony LaRussa, and what we can hope to see for the second half. It was a labor of love for me, so please head over and check it out.

Blake Hawksworth has been officially announced as tonight’s starter for the Cards in Colorado. You might disagree with me, but I’m happy to see him getting sent out there over Jeff Suppan. Game time is 7:40 PM – Go Blake and go Cards! :)

The Cardinals Big Three

Yes, it’s only two of them.
Photo: Dave Einsel, USA TODAY

Inter-league play continues tonight, with the Cardinals taking on the Blue Jays north of the border in Toronto. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Chris Carpenter, as he again visits the city and stadium where he spent the first six seasons of his Major League career. (Anyone else remember what happened last time he pitched in Toronto?) In addition to Carp pitching on Wednesday, the other two of the Cards’ “Big Three” are pitching this series as well: Jaime Garcia tonight and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.

Coincidentally, the Big Three also are the subject of my article today at Baseball Digest. Check it out here.

In non-pitching news, congratulations to Matt Holliday for being named National League Player of the Week! He definitely heated up over the weekend, so it’s good we weren’t the only ones who noticed.

It Worked!

Well well well… Tony’s merry-go-round lineup last night worked to the tune of a 9-3 Cardinals win. Maybe the boys were just tired of being out West playing at ungodly hours of the night, or needed some home cooking, but we’re pretty sure that the lineup had a big something to do with it.

What we would really appreciate now is if the Cards could show the same kind of run support tonight for Suppan… he might need it. However, considering his opposition on the bump tonight is Ryan Rowland-Smith, (uhh… k) who currently possesses an 0-5 record with a 6.62 ERA, the pitchers might be pretty evenly matched. Game time is 7:15.

It’s my week to take a turn over at BaseballDigest.com. Head on over there and check out what I have to say about the I-70 series coming up later this month!

It’s Tuesday at Cardinal Diamond Diaries

The Cardinals remain tied for first in the NL Central and Chris Carpenter will be king of the mound tonight for another late night ballgame at Dodger Stadium (first pitch 9:10 pm CDT).
  
For those of you trying to forget last night’s brutal 12-4 Cardinal crushing at the hands of the Dodgers or want to read something other than the *yawn* MLB draft coverage (we promise to spice that up for you later in the week) …

Here are Your Tuesday Field Trip Links:
   
Erika moonlights at Baseball Digest, giving our Baby Birds (Memphis Redbirds) some love & gushes about minor league baseball.
Chris stirs the pot and makes a case for the Cardinals’ Most Valuable Rookie.  Who gets her vote?  David Freese or Jaime Garcia?
Angela’s claws came out in her surprise Sunday post about the recent roster moves including the acquisition of Randy Winn and Aaron Miles at the expense of the Cardinal “Baby Bench.

Back in First

Hello, first place in the Central. We’ve missed you. Taking back first is made all the more sweet by the fact that the Cardinals did it by taking Bronson Arroyo and the Reds out to the woodshed yesterday. The boys finally gave Jaime Garcia some support with a 12 run explosion after giving him back to back no decisions in his last two starts. What’s worse? In those last two starts before yesterday, Jaime gave up 0 earned runs combined, and received 2 no decisions for his efforts. Terrible.

Chris took a turn over at Baseball Digest this week, and has a great piece on All-Star Game voting. Head over there and tell her your thoughts!

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