This past week for the Redbirds started on a positive note with a win against the Mets in a series that has to be considered the worst the Birds have played to date this season. The Cardinals were no-hit, shut out and shut down for most of the series, but ended up on the final game with a win. The Cardinals then won two out of three at Houston, one in blowout fashion, but came home to Busch and again had a weekend of disappointment, losing two of three in interleague play to the Cleveland Indians, and having the Birds offense virtually taking a weekend vacation. All in all, more games were won than were won in the previous week, but the team is still struggling mightily, both with injuries and with itself. On to the recaps.
Monday June 4, 2012—Cardinals 5 Mets 4
Kyle Lohse on the mound for the Cardinals. After three scoreless innings by both sides, the Birds get on the board in the top of the 4th. Matt Holliday leads off the inning with a line drive double to left field. Holliday advances to third on a ground out by Yadier Molina and scores on a single by Allen Craig. In the bottom of the inning the Mets answer with a run of their own, a home run by Lucas Duda. In the 7th, the inning begins with a walk by Allen Craig, then David Freese singles to center, advancing Craig to third. Daniel Descalso then grounds into a force attempt, but a throwing error by Mets starter Dillon Gee results in no outs and a run scored by Allen Craig. Adron Chambers then singles on a ground ball to the shortstop, moving the runners over and loading the bases. Pinch hitter Matt Adams strikes out swinging, then Rafael Furcal grounds into a force out, scoring David Freese from third. In the bottom of the 7th, the Mets come back and score two more runs when relief hurler Marc Rzepczynski gives up a two run homer to Scott Hairston. The Birds come back in the 8th on a single by Matt Holliday and a two run shot by Allen Craig to put the Birds ahead 5-3. The Mets manage to make it a one run game in the bottom of the inning on a single, a double and a sac fly, but the Birds hold on to win 5-4.
Tuesday June 5, 2012—Cardinals 8 Astros 9
This game got interesting at the end, but not interesting enough to result in a win for the Redbirds. The Cardinals score first in the top of the 1st, when Rafael Furcal reaches on a fielding error by Astros second bagger Jose Altuve. With Furcal on second base due to the error, Daniel Descalso grounds out, moving Furcal to third. Matt Holliday followed up with another ground out, scoring Furcal. Unfortunately for the Birds, starter Jaime Garcia faltered (and later went on the DL with a shoulder issue) and allowed the Astros to score 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Garcia allowed two more Astros runs in the bottom of the second, and never returned to the game, being replaced by Maikel Cleto to start the 3rd. Meanwhile, in the top of the 3rd, the Birds fight back. Allen Craig singles on a ground ball to the shortstop, David Freese doubles to center, and Matt Adams hits a 3 run bomb to dead red center field, a place where few have gone before in Minute Maid Park. Score now 6-4 Astros. The Astros tack on one more in the bottom of the 4th against Cleto and then add another in the 5th against Sam Freeman and another in the 7th against Victor Marte. 9-4 Astros. But the Birds rally for a last hurrah in the 9th. Matt Adams leads off with a single to center. Tony Cruz singles to center and then Adron Chambers sends a triple to center, scoring Adams and Cruz. After Astros reliever David Carpenter is replaced by Brett Myers, Rafael Furcal sends a ball out in right field, making it 9-8. But the rally ends there and the Birds begin the series with a squeaker loss.
Wednesday June 6, 2012—Cardinals 4 Astros 3
The Birds surprise their nemesis Bud Norris, aka “BudChuck” by scoring three runs on him in the 1st inning. After Rafael Furcal strikes out to lead the inning, BudChuck’s no hitter hopes are dashed when Daniel Descalso hits a long one to right field. Carlos Beltran follows that up with a double to right, which is followed by an Allen Craig single to right, scoring Beltran. Another double by David Freese follows sending Craig to the plate. Yadier Molina hits a single to center, and just when BudChuck is about to yell for a do over, Matt Adams ends up striking out, and David Freese ends the rally with a brain fart by attempting to steal home on a who knows what play and is thrown out at the plate. Enter Adam Wainwright, who shuts the Astros down for five innings, while the Cardinals manage to score one more run in the 3rd off BudChuck, when Allen Craig waves bye bye to a ball in left field. 4-0 Redbirds. Tommy John survivor Waino falters in the 6th, allowing a triple and three singles that score two and reliever Victor Marte allows the final Waino base runner to score on a Jose Altuve single to right. Marte gets the final out before the tying run scores. Three more scoreless innings on both sides ends the game with a 4-3 win by the Birds. Waino gets his 5th win of the season.
Thursday June 7, 2012—Cardinals 14 Astros 2
What ended up a laugher, didn’t start out as one. Cardinals starter Lance Lynn began the bottom of the inning with 2 Ks but gave up a homer to left field to Jed Lowrie to put the Astros up 1-0. In the 2nd, a shaky inning by Lynn and two doubles puts another Astros run on the board. But the Birds come back in the 3rd with a lead off single by Tyler Greene, an incredible 12 pitch walk by Shane Robinson, a sac bunt by Lance Lynn, and an RBI single by Rafael Furcal to score the Cardinals’ first run. Carlos Beltran plates Robinson from third on a sac fly, Matt Holliday walks, and Allen Craig singles home Rafael Furcal to put the Birds on top 3-2. Carlos Beltran’s 16th home run of the season tacks on another Redbird run in the 5th, and in the 6th a single by Shane Robinson, a sac bunt by Lance Lynn, and a single by Rafael Furcal makes the score 5-2 Cardinals. Then in the 7th, the Cardinals bust the game open, scoring 7 runs. Yadier Molina singles to right, and Shane Robinson hits a 2 run shot to left. Then with two outs, the fun begins. Furcal singles to center, Carlos Beltran walks, and Matt Holliday walks to load the bases. Allen Craig hits an RBI single to left, scoring Furcal. With the bases still juiced, a struggling David Freese comes to the plate and crushes his career first Grand Salami to left field. After Tyler Greene makes the final out in the 7th, the score stands at 12-2 Redbirds. But the fun is still not over. Entering the top of the 9th with a depleted bullpen, Astros skipper Brad Mills sends outfielder Brian Bogusevic to the mound. After getting Matt Adams to fly out to center, Bogusevic allows Allen Craig to single to left. Mr Grand Salami David Freese then comes to the plate and sends a Bogusevic offering out of the park in left field for the second time. Final score 14-2 Cardinals. Lance Lynn earns his 9th win of the season.
Friday June 8, 2012—Cardinals 2 Indians 6
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook faces his old team. Jake Westbrook gives up 4 runs in 6 innings to his old team. The Redbirds go scoreless for 6 innings. In the top of the 7th inning reliever Maikel Cleto gives up 2 more runs to Jake Westbrook’s old team. In the bottom of the 7th, the Cardinals score their only runs of the game. Yadier Molina singles to center. Daniel Descalos singles to right. Shane Robinson grounds out, putting both Molina and Descalso into scoring position. Matt Adams blisters a single to center scoring both. Two more scoreless innings follow and the game ends in a Cardinals loss 6-2. Welcome to interleague play.
Saturday June 9, 2012—Cardinals 2 Indians 0
Low scoring affair, but the Birds handed the Indians their first shut out of the season, behind the stellar pitching of Kyle Lohse. Cardinals get on the board in the 3rd on Carlos Beltran’s 17th home run of the season. In the 8th, the second and final run by the Birds is scored when Shane Robinson doubles to right field and Adron Chambers moves Robinson to third on a sac bunt. Rafael Furcal brings Robinson home on a sac fly to center. The game featured Yadier Molina throwing out Asdrubal Cabrera stealing with a fabulous throw from his knees. Lohse pitched 7 2/3, 3 hit scoreless innings for his best start since almost no hitting the Marlins on opening day.
Sunday June 10, 2012—-Cardinals 1 Indians 4
With the loss of Jaime Garcia for probably two months with a shoulder issue, Memphis Redbirds starter Joe Kelly made his major league debut in St. Louis. Kelly, a 24 year old right hander, pitched 5 good innings against the Indians, giving up only one run in the 3rd. He exited the game to a standing ovation by the home crowd and hopefully plenty of good starts to come. The Cardinals score their only run in the first, when Carlos Beltran hit his 18th home run of the season. The game remained tied 1-1 until Cardinals closer Jason Motte gave up a 3 run home run to the Indians’ Jason Kipnis. The Redbirds lose the game and the series. Jason Motte takes the loss and the Cardinals begin a 3 game series against the Chicago White Sox at Busch tomorrow behind Adam Wainwright.