I spent this past week in Florida. I was only able to make one Spring Training game, but it was worth the trip. Being able to experience Spring Training in person is something I would definitely recommend to any baseball fan. It is a more laid back atmosphere and the crowds really get into it. You also get to see players that you don’t get to see during the regular season, which is a treat.
The recaps of the games from this past week are below. The Redbirds are on a 7 game winning streak, so the recaps were all fun to write.
Monday March 19, 2012–Cardinals 4 Braves 3
The game was pretty uneventful until the 4th inning. The Cardinals got on board starting with a double by Molina to left field. Matt Carpenter followed with a 2-run homer to right field. 2-0 Cardinals. The Braves responded in the 5th with 1 run on two singles and a sacrifice fly. In the 6th, Carlos Beltran “belts” a HR to right center field. Freese follows with a single and is pinch run for by Komatsu who steals second base. Molina hits another double to center, scoring Komatsu. Cardinals lead 4-1. The Braves score a run in the 7th via a Brian McCann homerun and another in the 9th but it was not enough. Redbirds prevail 4-3.
Tuesday March 20, 2012–Cardinals 6 Astros 1
The Redbirds start off strong in the 1st inning. Leadoff hitter Daniel Descalso hits a single up the middle. Komatsu follows with a single to left field. Matt Holliday then plates both on a smoking triple to right field. Lance Berkman gets Holliday home on a sac fly to center. Designated hitter Bryan Anderson hits a double to left field but is left stranded. 3-0 good guys. In the 5th, Alex Cora gets on base with a single to left field. After Descalso grounds out to second base, Komatsu sends a triple to left field and sends Cora home. 4-0 Redbirds. The Astros get on the board in the bottom of the 5th when Chris Johnson leads off the inning with a solo homerun off of Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals answer back in the 6th with a single by Anderson, and a ground rule double by Tyler Greene. Anderson then scores on a groundout to short by Adron Chambers. 5-1 Cardinals. The Redbirds add a final run in the 9th with a single by Ryan Jackson, a hit by pitch on Descalso which sends Jackson to second and a Komatsu single to left field, scoring Anderson. Final score 6-1. Lohse is the winning pitcher, going five innings with only 3 hits, but one being the HR by Chris Johnson.
Wednesday March 21, 2o12–Cardinals 2 Mets 1
This is the game I attended. It was a low scoring but eventful game nonetheless, as I outline in my post, My Day at Roger Dean. In addition to the raccoon and the tossed bats, Jake Westbrook tossed an eye popping 6 innings against the Mets, giving up only 3 measly singles and no runs. The Mets Johann Santana answered in kind giving up only 3 singles in the first five innings, but blinked in the 6th when the Cardinals got on the boards with a single by Tyler Greene, a single by Carlos Beltran and an RBI single by Lance Berkman. The score remained 1-0 Cardinals until the top of the 9th. Mets leadoff hitter Jordany Valdespin hits a long ball off the left field wall, tying the score. But the Cardinals were not to let the game go beyond regulation by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th on three straight singles by Matt Adams, Tony Cruz, and Jon Jay. After a practically flawless 6 innings of pitching, Westbrook was not to get the win, that going instead to Fernando Salas, who gave up the tying homerun. Baseball is a funny game.
Thursday March 22, 2012–Cardinals 9 Nationals 0
It was see the ball, hit the ball day for the Cardinals against Nationals pitching. The Cardinals score first in the second inning when Shane Robinson hits a line drive single to center field, followed by a single to right field by Tony Cruz sending Robinson to 3rd. While Matt Holliday is in the process of striking out, Cruz gets caught in a run down trying to steal second, causing Robinson to sneak on home while the Nationals fielders are chasing Cruz. The Redbirds score again in the 3rd; a double by Beltran, a walk by Holliday, a groundout by Freese sending Holliday and Beltran to second and third and finally a single by Molina that brings both Beltran and Holliday home. Score 3-0 Birds. But the hit-a-thon is just getting started. In the 4th inning the Cardinals start with a single to right field by Shane Robinson. Tony Cruz then smokes a double to left field, scoring Robinson. After a sac bunt by pitcher Jaime Garcia, Tyler Greene comes to the plate and blasts a two run homer to left field. After a walk to Beltran, Adron Chambers, who replaced Holliday in left field, hits a double to left field, sending pinch runner Eugenio Velez to 3rd. Matt Carpenter, replacing Freese plates both Velez and Chambers with a single to left. Molina walks and Rafael Furcal strikes out looking. Coming to the plate for the second time that inning, Shane Robinson ends the rally by grounding out to the shortstop. The score is now a whopping 8-0 Cardinals. Eight runs scored in 4 innings off Nats starter Gio “I’m having a bad day” Gonzalez. The Cardinals kick the dying horse in the 6th by scoring another run on two singles by Carpenter and Bryan Anderson, a force play grounder by Alex Cora and a sac fly by Shane Robinson. The Nationals never score a run, get only 4 hits and limp out of Jupiter. Garcia gets the win.
Friday March 23, 2012–Cardinals 2 Marlins 1
Low scoring affair with Waino on the mound for the Cardinals (what did you expect?) and Carlos Zambrano for the Fish. No Gatorade coolers were harmed. Redbirds scored both of their runs in the second inning. Matt Carpenter leads off the inning with a double to center. Koyie Hill draws a walk and Carpenter steals third with Alex Cora at the plate. Cora then singles Carpenter home and sends Hill to third. Waino pops out and then wascaly Cora attempts to steal second while wily Dan Descalso is batting, sending the wary but also wascaly Hill home on the throw to second. 2-0 Cardinals. The game snoozed on in to the 8th when reliever Kyle McClellan threw a meatball to Jose Reyes, who promptly sent it over the right field fence. That was the end of the scoring for both sides and the game ended quietly in the 9th with Shane Robinson caught napping on a third strike. Waino gets the win but he probably didn’t care because everyone was asleep by then. Zzzzzzzzzz………..
Saturday March 24, 2012—Cardinals 6 Mets 6
Another one of those darn tied games follows Friday’s snoozer. Lance Lynn was pitching. Mets score three in the 1st inning after a single and an error by Tyler Greene puts two Mets on the bases and then Lynn gives up a home run to Ike Davis. Cardinals come roaring back in the 3rd, scoring 4 runs. Tyler Greene reaches on an error and Eric Komatsu follows with a single. Rafael Furcal singles the bases loaded and Descalso doubles Greene and Komatsu home. Mets pitcher Pelfrey plunks Berkman on the knee (of all places) and then Jon Jay singles to left scoring Furcal and Descalso. 4-3 Cardinals. The Mets tie the game in the 4th when Lynn gives up another home run to Lucas “Camptown racetrack 5 miles long” Duda. In the 5th Jon Jay doubles, Molina doubles, making the score 5-4 Redbirds. The Mets come back in the 6th and score two more thanks to a walk, a stolen base, another walk, a passed ball, a single and a throwing error by Descalso. It was fug ugly. 6-5 Mets. The Cardinals tie the game in the 9th on a single by Bryan Anderson, a sac bunt by Ryan Jackson, a wild pitch, and a sac fly by Mark Hamilton, which was not caught for an error by the Mets left fielder. The 9th inning was also notable for the sudden introduction of the Cardinals newest recruit, Minor League Guy on Third, who pinch ran for Hamilton. Neither team wins defensive trophies for this one with three errors on both sides. The game ends in the 10th tied 6-6.
Sunday March 26, 2012—Cardinals 9 Twins 2
The Twins scored first in the 1st on a home run by Luke Hughes off Kyle Lohse, who is going to get a nasty nickname if he doesn’t knock it off with the long balls. The Redbirds come back in the 4th and score two on a single by Beltran and a 2 run jack by Matt Holliday. The Twins tie the game in the top of the 6th on three straight singles, but that was all she wrote for the Twinkies. The Cardinals come back in the bottom of the 6th with a single by Descalso, a single by Beltran, a sac bunt by Komatsu and an RBI single by Lance Berkman. Then there was a rain delay. After the rain delay, nothing significant happened. In the 7th the Cards add two more when Furcal singles, Anderson singles, and pinch runner Nicholas Longmire scores on a double play ball by Descalso. Matt Carpenter then proceeds to smoke one out of the park scoring another run. Somewhere in the 8th inning there is another rain delay, but the Cardinals manage to score 4 more runs in there too. Single by Tony Cruz followed by a double by Carpenter, scoring Cruz. Tyler Greene walks and Jon Jay hits one over the right field wall to score three more. Score 9-2 Cardinals over Twins.