By Josh Mosley
I like to think of myself as cautious optimist when it comes to the Cardinals. Many a time, from the time I was a young pup right on up to my young adult life, I have given them my heart and then they have let teams like the Braves and the Red Sox soil all over it Robert Kelly style
-That’s my Robert. Always peeing on people. Don’t forget her hair, Robert.
So you’ll excuse me if I am a little hesitant to jump for jiz-zoy as the Cards have one of the best records in baseball after one month. It’s April, folks. If I met Adriana Lima out at a bar and she did her trademark lip pout and pity smiled at me, I wouldn’t just assume she’s going home with your boy. (I can hope, though. I think it was said in the movie “Rudy” that “dreams are what makes life tolerable.”
And I can hold out hope, too. At least for now. With that in mind, the Cards traveled to DC for four games with the Nat’s. They only got three in but took two to win the series. But that’s semantics. Let’s go to the highlights.
Thursday: You don’t poke a bear. You just don’t. Unless you want to lose valued appendages. And I like to think that Daniel Cabrera did that when he went high and in on said bear, one Albert “Not a machine” Pujols. Cabrera’s punishment: he got shamed on the next pitch as Pujols sent it over the fence for a first inning jackson, his eighth in the month of April. Still the Nattys found themselves tied at 4 in the Cards half of the ninth. My old buddy, reliever Julian Tavarez, keyed the Washington implosion though, as he walked Chris Duncan, “Slick” Rick Ankiel knocked in Duncan with a double to right field. Tavarez then walked Joe Thurston and then plunked Jason LaRue (huge ninth inning faux pas) before Tyler Greene got his first big league hit on a weak sauce dribbler that allowed Ankiel to score on an error by Nationals catcher Jesus Flores. A balk and a sac fly later, the Cards had a five run ninth and the Nats ended the game walking ten batters. Sweet relief? Not if you’re in the Nat’s bullpen. Cards win 9-4.
Friday: Usually, a good rule of thumb is to keep the ball in the field of play. I’ve found that game’s get less out of control when that happens. The Nats had a problem with that. They gave up a four dingers to the Cards, the most for them so far this season. Wellemeyer evened his record at 2-2 after going seven strong. Still it begs the question. He keeps getting these high pitch counts yet has not gotten past the seventh inning ONCE this season while his “lowest” pitch count this season is 86. I’m pretty sure his arm is one more ridiculous pitch count away from packing its shit and walking out on him Tina Turner style. There’s only so much punishment a girl can take. Cards win 6-2.
Saturday: After averaging seven runs in the previous two against the Nats, you had to think the good times would roll on in game three. Nah. 22-year-old Nat’s starter Shairon Martis (anyone got a pronunciation on that name?) pitched a five hitter and was roughed up only by the equally baby-faced Colby Rasmus with a solo shot in the seventh. It was the first complete game in the two years since Nationals Park opened. With Pujols getting the day off, Duncan took over at first. The meat of the order went a combined 1 for 11 with no RBIs in what proved to be the last game of the weekend. Nat’s win 6-1.
Hotfire player of the Series: This one goes to the outfield wall at National’s park. You provided so much entertainment for the hundreds of fans who cramped in for the three games this weekend. St. Louis hit six homers in three games and could have had more if Sunday’s game went down. This just in: the dimensions in the park are, in fact, legal major league distances and are slow pitch softball dimensions. Good to know.
Weak Sauce Player of the Series: Sunday showers in the DC area. Screw you rain. Suck failure, freak.
Next up: The defending champ Phils are in town. Which means home grown star and United Way spokesman Ryan Howard is running the streets.