I've decided to try to do a daily recap of the games, with my thoughts. At the end of each week, I'll be putting together the entire week's game recaps to one, plus weekly comments, player of the week, etc.
Last night was probably the best win by the Cardinals so far this season. Braden Looper gave up 3 hits in 5 innings, and the bullpen was sesational. The offense got lots of clutch hits and made heads up running plays. As in most wins, Cards got the early lead, 1-0. Brewers tied it 1-1 thanks to a couple walks by Looper. In the 4th, Kennedy lead off with a single. With two outs, Kennedy was on second, and Schumaker hit a single. Agressive move by Jose Oquendo to send the runner rather than let him stay at 3rd. It payed off, with a bad throw and cutoff by Braun and Hall, and Schu made it to second. Great baserunning. This was really a team win. 7 different players either scored, drove in a run, or both. Schumaker has been real hot recently, going 11 of 24 after his atrocious 1 for 20 start. He's raised his BA from .050 to .273. Every starter besides Looper, the pitcher, got a hit. Kennedy also made a great play in the 6th to increase the lead, by going from 1st to 3rd on a ground ball OUT! He was pretty much the rally starter in all of the scoring plays. Batting the pitcher 8th has been beneficial so far this season. With two lead off hiters after the first time round the order, there are a lot more chances for Pujols, Ankiel, and Glaus to drive guys in. Kyle McClellan has been outstanding. Got out of 2 on, noone out with a double play from Bill Hall and stranding the guy at 3rd. The bullpen just allowed one runner, a walk by Franklin, on Prince Fielder. Better safe than sorry. Shut down the rest of the Brewers' lineup though. Eventually though during the stretch run, every runner on is adding to a pitcher's pitch count, so the Cards will have to pitch to some of the big bats. Also, I'd like to see Loop go further into games. He starts to hit a wall in the 5th and 6th. If he can get over it and keep pitching well, it would help the pen very much.
Player of the Game: Adam Kennedy, 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI
Kennedy was like David Eckstein last night, scoring the go-ahead run, an insurane run, plus driving a run in. He made some great baserunning decisions, thanks in part to Jose Oquendo. Tony should keep him batting 9th for now. I almost chose Skip Schumaker, but Kennedy was the guy that started everything. Schu went 2 for 4, 1 R, 2 RBI. Very important in the win, still. This could be a very good offense if everyone keeps up what they're doing.
Current NL Standings:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (10-4)
2(tie). Milwaukee Brewers (8-5)
2(tie). Chicago Cubs (8-5)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-7)
5. Cincinnati Reds (6-8)
6. Houston Astros (5-9)
WOOHOO! STILL FIRST PLACE, NOW BY 1 1/2 GAMES!!!