Saturday, May 29, 2010

Progressive Game Blog-5th Inning

We'll take the ball from PHE as the Cardinals are down in the hole after a 3 run 4th by the Cubs.

Top 5th
1. Rasmus leads off the inning. He couldn't get the bat off the shoulder last AB, and this time he collects the whole set by striking out swinging.

Silva has been dealing.

2. Freese gets caught looking. Silva is filthy today. He's mowing them down faster than I can type. I was going to talk about "when is Freese going to get some RotY" talk, but I'll save that for a time when he actually swings the bat.

3. Molina quickly falls behind 0-2, takes a ball outside, and then pathetically swings at ball two. I mean, this has been happening so much. We're helping out pitchers by swinging at stuff way outside--not that Silva currently needs any help.

9 Ks through 5 innnings--ouch. I always get hosed on my innings in our progressive game blogs.
Bottom 5th

Adam-O looks to right the ship after giving up the lead in the 4th. Sure could have been a massively different inning if they caught Soriano. They might have.

1. Fukudome starts things out with a leadoff walk. Adam-O has been falling behind many batters. Not surprising for a major league debut. I'm pretty happy with the start from him overall. Not sure you could expect much more.

2. Schu boots a sure-fire 4-6-3 (in fairness he was shielded by the 2nd base ump), to put Theriot on first with no outs.

3. Schu comes correct with a completed 4-6-3 as Lee hit is hard to 2nd.

4. Adam-O quickly, for a change, gets ahead of Soriano and gets him swinging .

Adam-O does well to work around the error and walk.

Well, that does it for me, I'll pass it on to Redbird Rants.

P.S. Get Smoltz--yesterday!
P.S.S. I usually watch games that Tim and Joe do with the sound off. :)

Progressive Game Blog today

The Cardinal's offense seems to have awakened just in time for the UCB's annual progressive game blog. Here's this year's order:

Pre-Game: United Cardinal Bloggers
Second: Fungoes
Eighth: Intangiball
Extras/Wrap-up: Fredbird Follys

As you can see, our own John will be handling the fifth inning, so come back later to check it out!


Sunday, May 02, 2010

First Month Analysis

Yeah, technically we are a couple of days into the second month, but since the season didn't start till April 4th, I figured I'd wait till now for this analysis. The Cards are obviously off to a great start at 16-8. Remember though we had a similar first month last year before having a tougher May and June. You'd have to think that won't happen this year though. Here's why along with my grades for the team's performance so far:

Starting Pitching: A

An "A" might be a little low actually, but I have to penalize Kyle Lohse a little. Lohse has actually looked better his last couple of starts which is scary, because the other fours guys have been sick. Wainwright looks like he wants to make sure there is no doubt about the Cy Young this year. Penny has replaced Pineiro and then some. Carp wasn't real sharp his first couple of starts, but has been dominate since. The real revelation has been Garcia though. Has already probably given us more quality starts out the five hole than we had all of last year while adding a lefty to the equation. Can he keep it up once the league scouts him a little better? Tough to say for sure, but I love the kid's stuff and composure out there..

Bullpen: B+

This was the area we were all concerned about, as it seemed a lot of the guys pitched over their heads last year. So far.....they've continued to. Franklin in particular has continued to nail down saves. Maybe its time to stop doubting him? I've also been impressed with Motte. If anything, he looks better than last year. Actually, I really like our middle relief with Reyes and Miller from the left and Hawkesworth, Motte, and McClellen for the right. Overall, the Cardinals lead the National League with a 2.67 team ERA. Wow.

Offense: B

The batting average is pretty low, but the team is hitting for a lot of power, and taking walks a little more frequently than last year, so right now, we are scoring just enough runs. The middle infield has been the big problem offensively. Shu is at .216 and Ryan .182. Felipe Lopez was hitting well when he played, but he's on the DL right now. The outfield has been good with Colby Rasmus looking like the stud we'd hoped he would be. Holliday and Ludwick have been solid if not spectacular. Freese has been better than I'd expected at 3B, giving us a big boost over what we got over there last season. Molina and Pujols have been themselves. Again, we've scored enough runs so far, but can do a lot better if we get anything at all out of the middle infield guys.

Defense: A

This was actually a concern for me. Didn't know what to expect out of Freese for instance. He had a rough first week, but has been great since then. The Cardinals are first in NL in fielding percentage, put-outs and assists. Only one error from the outfield, but only three assists out there also. Overall, you'd have to say that a big reason the pitching has been so good is that the defense has more than held their end.

Overall, you'd have to say that the pitching may take a little dip as we move through the season, but offense should pick-up the slack. Can we continue to win 2 out of every 3? Probably not, but I think we'll come close. The rest of the NL central is even worse than I though it would be, so I think we have real good chance at 100 wins this season.