All Star week makes it a shortened week for baseball. I will briefly recap the All Star game focusing on the contributions made by Cardinals’ players. A three game series sweep by the Reds is the only baseball to talk about for this edition of Week in Review.
Tuesday July 10, 2012—National League 8 American League 0
The Senior League prevailed in this year’s Midsummer Classic, for the third year in a row. This one was a blowout. Basically, 2011 American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, starting the game for the AL, looked very much un-Verlanderish. Verlander surrendered 5 runs to the NL in the first inning. Cardinals’ outfielder Carlos Beltran walked and scored one of those runs. In the 4th inning, one more run was contributed to the cause solely on the efforts of two Redbirds. Rafael Furcal blistered a triple to right field and then the next batter, DH Matt Holliday, singled him in to score a run. David Freese made an appearance playing 1B ( only Tony LaRussa would do this) but struck out on his only plate appearance. Lance Lynn did not make an appearance in the game. Defensively, Rafael Furcal contributed to a couple of double plays, making playing SS look easy. Furcal also remained in the game longer than any other starter, making Cubs fans irate because his backup, Starlin Castro, didn’t make an appearance until the 8th inning. Two innings were probably just enough to keep Castro awake out there. The final score was a whopping 8-0 in favor of the NL, giving the NL the home field advantage in the World Series again this year
Friday July 13, 2012—Cardinals 3 Reds 5
Starter Adam Wainwright looked like the Wainwright of old, and kept the Reds at bay for 4 innings before surrendering a solo [cough] home run to Todd Frazier in Great American Little League Park on a good pitch that Frazier managed to hit just enough to get it just barely in the stands. In the meantime, the Cardinals had scored first in the 2nd inning on a double by Yadier Molina and a single by Skip Schumaker. In the 3rd inning the Birds added another run when Rafael Furcal singled to center. With Jon Jay batting, Furcal steals 2nd base, and then Jay gets a infield single, sending Furcal to third. Matt Holliday then hits a fielder’s choice grounder to short, scoring Furcal. Unfortunately, Wainwright falters in the bottom of the 7th and gives up successive singles to score two runs, and relief pitcher Victor Marte comes in and allows the third run to score, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Reds. The Cards manage to add a run in the 8th when Carlos Beltran singles to center, Allen Craig reaches on a force out, Yadier Molina singles to right, David Freese reaches on a force out, and Shane Robinson singles to left, scoring Allen Craig. The Reds increase the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the 8th, and the Cards are unable to come back. Adam Wainwright suffers his 9th loss of the season.
Saturday July 14, 2012—Cardinals 2 Reds 3
With Kyle Lohse on the mound for the Cardinals, the game remained scoreless until the 5th inning when the Reds get on the board with a single by Brandon Phillips and a double by Jay Bruce. The Reds add another run in the 6th on two singles and a sacrifice fly. The Redbirds tie the game in the 7th, scoring two runs on a Yadier Molina solo jack, a single by David Freese, a double by Skip Schumaker, and a single by Rafael Furcal. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 10th when former Cardinals Ryan Ludwick wins the game for the Reds, hitting a walk off home run to left field. It was an exciting game, but unfortunately ended in another devastating loss for the Cardinals.
Sunday July 15, 2012—Cardinals 2 Reds 4
In a third day in a row of great Cardinal pitching and not so great Cardinal offense, the Birds lose another tie game in late innings. Starter Jake Westbrook did his job but lost anyway, a walk, a hit by pitch, and an ineffective bullpen did him in. The Cardinals get on the board first in the 2nd when Lance Berkman reaches on a fielding error and Yadier Molina hits an RBI double to center field. The Reds answer back in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on two singles and a double. The Birds tie the game in the 6th on Yadier Molina’s second home run of the series and a new career high of 15 home runs on the season. In the bottom of the 8th, Jake Westbrook walks Joey Votto and hits Brandon Phillips with a pitch. Westbrook then exits the game, and Marc Rzepczynski enters. Rzepczynski gets Jay Bruce to ground out, moving Phillips and Votto to second and third. Enter Mitchell Boggs, who intentionally walks Ryan Ludwick to load the bases. Former Cardinal Scott Rolen then burns the Cardinals again by hitting a single to right field scoring both Votto and Phillips. The Cardinals are unable to come back in the 9th and leave Cincinnati having been swept in their first series post All Star Break.