Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get Excited Folks!

"So you're telling me there's a chance..."


Glutton Red Sox Pass On Another?

The Red Sox are about to release Brad Penny. Let's make it an even three for three. I wanted Penny before the year began, and I believe that LaDuncan would be great for him. The Sox are on the hook for at least $5M (not counting incentives). Since Penny was already placed on waivers and pulled back the Sox have painted themselves in a corner and cannot trade Penny. This means that Penny will be signed at quite a discount (probably back in the NL) with the Red Sox footing another fat paycheck while another teams reaps the benefits. Theo is looking less and less golden these days. We have the options (off the top of my head) on Hawksworth and Boggs--so there is room to maneuver. The main problem is that Penny would be simply pitching depth once Lohse comes back from the groin injury. I'm not sure if Penny would be interested in working as a set-up man--especially once the post season came around. However, I don't believe his tank is close to empty and I believe he would be just the type of player LaDuncan would do wonders with.

Not completely unrelated, Chris Duncan was released from the Sox the other day. I for one, unlike others, would love to see him signed to a minor league deal. Although Cardinal Nation is still wondering about the PTBNL in the Lugo-Duncan deal, this sure looks like it panned out well.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Read it. Learn it. Apply it.

OBP vs. BA

Thanks, Pip.


P.S. Check out the newest Cardinals blog. Good reads.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All On Their Dime...

So my cousin sends me this little video message:

And I guess he'll be right...when Lugo and Smoltz win alongside the rest of the Cardinals. BTW Trey has plenty of right to toot his own horn as MANY MANY others predicted doom and a downslide in Aug for the Redbirds.

Lugo-"Red Sox to pay all of approximately $13.5M still due Lugo in 2009 and 2010" -Cots Check out the difference between Lugo's play with the Red Sox and with the Cards.

Smoltz-signed for league minimum (Red Sox, after releasing him are on the hook for >$5M) It's a bit early to call this one a win, but in the world of baseball $100k is a drop in the bucket. It's certainly a no-lose. However, I'm still gonna call this a win as Smoltz delivered a dazzling performance against the Padres the other night.
Next, we hear that the Sorcerer Dave Duncan is at it again. Turns out that Smoltz was tipping his pitches. Look what happened when they fixed it.

So, to Dave and the Red Sox, we here at the Cardinal Virtue say: Thanks and good luck making the playoffs.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Playoffs a sure thing?

You know how I HATE to toot my own horn, but I did say a while back that the schedule was quite favorable for the Cards to go on a nice run. They've exceeded my expectations, however, with their latest feat being a 5-2 West Coast road trip to extend their lead in the Central to an MLB-best 8 games over the Cubs. With the Cubs on the skids and no other Central team above .500, it seems almost a certainty the Cards will win the division. Lots of baseball left I guess, but it seems pretty unlikely we could lose an 8 games lead with 36 left to play. Tomorrow is an off-day, then a 9 game homestand against the Astros, Nationals, and Brewers. Best news of all: that black hole known as the 5th starter role my now be filled! Certainly, it's just one start, but Smoltz gave us quite a bit more than Wellenmeyer, Boggs or whomever else we've tried at the back of the rotation. Now, if we could some get Lohse turned back around, but really, it's hard to complain. The team is playing great, and life is good as a Cardinals fan right now.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Dodgers game

The first game of the west cost trip was on ESPN tonight, and it was a very interesting entertaining affair to watch. The Dodgers had a rookie knuckle-baller pitching against Carp for us. Sure thing right? Well, it didn't look that way through the first few innings. Carp seemed very out of sorts the first two innings and was lucky to give up only one run in the first (aided greatly by Ludwick ending the inning with a great throw to third on a sac fly to get Ethier trying to advance). He seemed find himself in the third though, and was dominant the rest of the game. The Cardinals on offense seemed to swing at a lot of high knucklers in the first three innings especially. Second time through the line-up was a little better, but only Albert did any damage with the solo home run. The third time through guys seemed to finally try and wait for their pitch, and Ankiel delievered the big blow with the game winning two run homer. Rick has obviously had a very dissapointing season overall, but at least he's been more of a positive than a negative in the lineup the last month or so. Props to TRL using Miller to get Ethier and then Franklin against Manny and Blake in the 9th. I believe it only took five total pitches to get those three final outs, so those two guys will obviously still be available tomorrow. I guess Boggs will be the guy again tomorrow....hopefully he'll do a little better than the last start. L.A. has their best guy, Billingsley, against him. At least Waino has the last game of the series the next day, so not too much pressure on Boggs. Would be nice to keep the winning streak going though.


Sunday, August 16, 2009


Wow. Like most rookies, Colby Rasmus has had his ups and downs in his first year in the bigs. He got-off to a slow start, then had a great May and June, but struggled in July. He lost playing time when Holliday was acquired obviously, and Ankiel seemed to play better at the same time Rasmus was struggling. The last 10 days or so, Rasmus has started to turn it back around though and he put a big exclamation point on that by hitting his SECOND walk-off home run of the year. That made-up for a botched squeeze at home earlier in the game and a shaky start by Lohse. The bullpen deserves credit today as well, especially Hawkesworth, who got Reyes out of of two on, no out jam in the 7th and then added a scoreless 8th. Anyway, the Cards have done a good job so far taking advantage of the soft schedule winning eight of the last nine. West coast roadie coming-up with three against the Dodgers and four back with the Padres. Hopefully, we'll keep rolling.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Chance to make some hay

The schedule for the next month is VERY favorable. The only games we have against a team currently over .500 is a three game set against the Dodgers in L.A. We do also have three key games against the Astros at home, and 6 games against the Brewers (3 at home, 3 away). We play the Pirates 5 more times over that span. 7 against the Padres, 3 against the Nats and three against the Reds. That's 15 games against probably the 4 worst teams in the NL right now. If we could say, go 20-10 or better over than span, that would set us up real nice for the stretch run. We'll see. Carp was not great tonight, but we still won. Of course, his "not great" still means he went eight innings. Would be nice to see Waino and Pineiro do a little better and lead a sweep.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Post-deadline thoughts

Well, what a difference a year makes. Last year, everyone in the Cardinals' Nation was screaming and begging for management to do something, anything, to keep us in the race with the Cubs and Brewers. This year, they did quite a lot. Obviously, Holiday has been on absolute fire since he was acquired, but DeRosa has hit SEVEN home runs and been a huge upgrade at third and Lugo has added almost as much to the offense in the middle infield. He looks like a huge get right now especially with Brenden Ryan's injury. The question is of course, did we savage our farm system for the next couple of years to get all these guys? I don't really think so, as Wallace was the only A-level guy we gave-up. I think there is a real good chance we re-sign at least DeRosa after this year. He'll come cheaper than what we are paying Glaus this year for instance. Lugo is on the team basically for free next year. Holliday might be another matter, but we will have some cash to play with with Pineiro, Glaus, and K. Green all coming-off the books. And if we lose him, we get two new first-round picks to re-stock the farm system. Now, for the rest of baseball:

NL Central - the Cubs made a couple of additions to their bullpen, but that's it. They are pretty cash-strapped with the NL's biggest payroll and an ownership transition. Unfortunately, their line-up has started to wake-up, so I see it as a pick'em between them and us down the stretch. The Brewers weren't able to do anything, and their lack of pitching is catching-up to them. Ditto for the Astros. We have a great chance to help bury them this weekend as they are sans Lance Berkman for a couple more weeks it looks like. Strange trade by the Reds to get Rolen, as it looks like they are out of it with Volquez and Bruce still on the DL.

NL East - Obviously, the Phils are the big winner here. Big favorite to not only win the Division, but get back to the World Series with Cliff Lee in the fold. Smart move to go for him rather than give-up the farm (literally) for Halladay. Braves could make a run at the wild-card if LaRouche can help-out the offense. Mets are playing better, but it looks like Reyes and Delgado won't be back anytime soon.

NL West - Nice move by the Dodgers to get Sherill. They needed help in the pen, especially from the left side, so he was a perfect fit. They should win this division easily, and will be a threat in the post-season, but I think their starting pitching is just not quite good enough. Giants upgraded the offense some, but weren't able to really get that "impact" bat. Still, I see them as the favorite for the wild-card because their pitching is just so good. The Rockies weren't able to do anything to match and seem to be cooling-off a little, but they are streaky team and could always get right back in the wild-card race.

AL: Red Sox made the only moves really in the east, which is surprising. Victor Martinez adds not just power, but versitillity to there everyday line-up. The Yanks are playing great right now, so I guess they didn't want to mess with anything. The Rays obviously, have limited resources and seem doomed to being the third-best team in the entire AL, but not making the playoffs. In the Central, the Tigers and White Sox both bolstered their starting rotations. Peavy to the White Sox was the big move, but it seems questionable if he will really be healthy in time to have a big impact this year. He's signed though 2012, however, so the next couple of seasonsthe White Sox will have a great rotation. The Tigers have to be favored to win the division this year, as Washburn gives them the left-hander they needed to split-up Verlander and Edwin Jackson. The Twins made a nice move to get help in the middle infield getting Cabrera from the A's, but it's doubtful that will be enough. In the West, nothing much happened, so you have to still favor the Angels if they can get even marginally healthy, but unlike past years, they don't look like much of a post-season threat.

That's it. I've gotten to see the Cards on TV a bunch recently between the Astros' games and a few nationally televised games as well. I like what I've seen from the new offense, but the bullpen has shown a few kinks recently. Hopefully, they'll get things turned back around. Last night was a good start. The rotation looks solid aside from the 5 spot. Boggs was rocky last night, but much better than Wellenmeyer sadly. We have a lot of off days the rest of the year thankfully, so we'll be able to skip that spot quite a bit. I'm more excited to be a Cardinal's fan right now than I have been since 2006, I know that!