Game 42 Notes: Cardinals 3, Phillies 1

The Cardinals successfully christened by new television as Jake Westbrook out-dueled Cliff Lee in a surprising pitcher’s duel against Philadelphia tonight on ESPN.
  • After his worst start of the season, Jake Westbrook turned in one of his best. He went 7 innings and allowed just 4 hits and 3 walks while holding Philadelphia to just the one run in the top of the second. Westbrook, who moves to 3-3 on the season, has not had much to write home about this season as he has struggled in general. His ERA is now down to 6.07, much more respectable than the 6.92 he began the game tonight with.
  • Albert Pujols made his first start at third base since October 13, 2002, in the NLCS against the Giants. Apparently Pujols volunteered to play the position to give Tony LaRussa more lineup versatility against the left handed Cliff Lee. That allowed LaRussa to shuffle the lineup and play Nick Punto, potentially the best defensive infielder the Cardinals have, at second and Allen Craig in right field.
  • With another 0-for-4 performance, Albert Pujols posted his 14th game without a hit this season. He also extended his homer-less drought to 20 games, just two shy of tying his career high.
  • Fernando Salas, according to Derrick Goold on Twitter, turned in the first perfect inning for a save by a Cardinals reliever so far this season. That says something about our bullpen, I think. Also why the Cardinals are second in the major leagues in blown saves. 
  • Last note, is it just me or did Tony LaRussa look a ton better today. The week off did him well.

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Game Notes: Games 29 through 41

It’s been a 6-6 run for the Cardinals while I’ve been gone and it’s been quite the busy one for the Cardinals. For one, Joe Pettini is the acting manager on this road trip while Tony LaRussa has been out dealing with his viral issues. I know I’ve been heavily critical of Tony in the past, but I wish him a speedy recovery so he can be back on the bench so I can continue to be critical of him.

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Where have I gone?

Fear not Cardinals fans, I will be back. Over the last couple weeks I have gone through examinations and relocation. In Cubs-fan speak, I took tests and moved (Yeah, that was sort of harsh, Reds fans maybe?). Anyway, I will be back shortly for a few weeks with my typical Cardinals discussion and thoughts shared here. Then I will get married and miss about a week. I am, however, working on getting a third member of our beloved Redbird Dugout team who can help me shoulder the load that week and perhaps in the future.

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Cardinals Young Pups Report – April

After a little hiatus due to a busy schedule I am back to update you on what is going good in the Cardinals Farm System. I will make this a monthly post to keep everyone updated on the latest and greatest from our Young Pups! Let’s jump right in…

The Good

Eduardo Sanchez/Fernando Salas – It was about the time that these 2 guys got called up that our bullpen got much more stabilized. Coincendence? I don’t think so. These guys have been used in critical spots (men on, setup and closer situations). All they have done is come through just about every time. I will also say this once again (been saying it for a year and a half)…Eduardo Sanchez is our closer of the future and the future might not be that far away which is remarkable for a TLR run team. Sanchez has a dynamite FB that runs in the mid-90s with a wipeout SL. He definitely have a closer mentality as well…if you haven’t seen him on the mound make it a point to soon!

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Offense for Defense, good idea?

With April now successfully in the books for the St. Louis Cardinals, we can now try to determine whether our offseason moves were truly a success. Those moves, highly discussed and debated by all Cardinals’ fans as we tried to determine whether the team was better off with Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman rather than Brendan Ryan and Ryan Ludwick.

The team made the moves during the offseason, saying that they intended to focus on improving the offense and were going to let the defense, more or less, take care of itself. Brendan Ryan was one of the top defensive short stops in the league and Ryan Ludwick was certainly no slouch, with or without the bat, during his time with St. Louis. Meanwhile the team brought in Ryan Theriot, who had been moved to second base by each of his previous two teams, and then Lance Berkman, the former division rival who hadn’t played outfield regularly in a few years.

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