Stan Musial’s Seventh Inning Stretch

By Editorial Staff
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When I went to the 2005 Baseball Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, Stan Musial was one of the old timers that made an impression on me. Musial was jovial up on the stage, smiling from ear to ear all day. He really loves the game and he really loves people. He put on a show that summer day during the traditional “Seventh Inning Stretch” of the ceremonies. Who said Ozzie Smith was the most entertaining Cardinals player ever? Musial led the crowd in a serenade of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as we celebrated the addition of two new members to the Hall. It was another great memory from a great day and I’ll always remember that small performance Musial gave the crowd. In honor of Stan the Man, I’ve decided to start a series on Redbird Rants called “Stan Musial’s Seventh Inning Stretch.” During the seventh inning of each game, I’ll give a few interesting bullet points on the game thus far as it heads into the final two frames. I plan to do this as often as I can throughout the season — at least once a week. I hope you enjoy the added in-game coverage of the Cards in addition to the game recaps. So, how are the Redbirds looking tonight?

Seventh Inning Stretch

-Speaking of all-time greats, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan threw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight. Morgan is a familiar face to baseball fans young and old. The young will recognize his face and voice in the booth with Jon Miller. The old will remember Morgan as a key cog of the Big Red Machine. He is considered one of the best second basemen ever. It’s nice to see Morgan wearing the Reds jersey again.

-Dusty Baker kicks some dirt around as he shows some early season intensity while arguing a call in the second inning. Baker hopes this Reds team will have a breakout season as many of the so-called experts predict. The club has some good young talent especially in the pitching department. Mike Leake is skipping the minors entirely to pitch for Cincy as the fifth man in the rotation. Cuban Aroldis Chapman throws smoke and should see time in the majors soon if all goes well. Add Aaron Harang, despite his recent struggles, and Johnny Cueto to the mix and it looks like this team could make some noise in the Central.

-The Reds finally made some noise this season in the sixth inning. Orlando Cabrera put the Reds on the board with a two-run blast that scored the “The Natural.” Before Cabrera’s home run, Wainwright was cruising through the Cincy lineup. He started with five scoreless innings and has looked good on the mound until surrendering that blast. The game was tied at 2-2, but now stands at 6-2 St. Louis. The Cards have had to work a little hard to be in line for another win. Wainwright’s line right now: six innings, two earned, five strikeouts and two walks.

-Ryan Ludwick made the score 2-0 in the third with an RBI single off Cueto. David Freese got the Cards on the board in the second. Other highlights for the Redbirds at the dish: Colby Rasmus is 1 for 1 with a double, two walks, and a run scored. Albert Pujols singled in Skip Schumaker to put St. Louis back on top in the seventh. He and Brendan Ryan came around to score on Matt Holliday’s double. Holliday is 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base to go with his RBIs. The birds have taken control 6-2 with an offensive flurry led by the big bats in the middle of the lineup. Every Cardinals hitter except Wainwright and Ryan have a hit tonight. Ryan walked though, so all but the pitcher have reached base safely. Freese is now 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs on the night after making it a four-run lead for St. Louis.

-Heading into the bottom half of the seventh, the Cards lead 6-2. Adam Wainwright has a comfortable lead to work with to get his first win of 2010. He has thrown 83 pitches so far and should be able to handle another winning to get the win.

Due up for the Reds: Rolen, Bruce, and Gomes

Have a great rest of the night watching Cards baseball.

UPDATE: Cardinals won 6-3. Adam Wainwright breezed through the seventh for the win and the bullpen finished the game with only a minor hiccup. Kyle McClellan gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning, but Ryan Franklin was better, pitching a scoreless ninth. The bullpen is the major — and only — cause for concern to take from the first two games of the season. Franklin was awful in Monday’s win and the ‘pen has many cracks at this point in the season. Otherwise, the starters are getting the job done and the lineup is looking solid.

Thanks for joining me for Seventh Inning Stretch. Let me know what you guys think and if there’s anything else I can do to improve my coverage this summer.

(In-game photos and statistics courtesy: ESPN.com)

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