St. Louis Cardinals: How Memphis Flew into the Break
The St. Louis Cardinals’ AAA-affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, concluded the first half of their season on Sunday capping a four-game win streak.
With their win on Sunday, the Memphis Redbirds (the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league affiliate) closed the first half of the AAA season with their fourth consecutive win. Simultaneous to this, the St. Louis Cardinals won their game driving into the All-Star break.
Let me add a little here that I am not one who enjoys the All-Star break. I find this diversion a massive distraction and simply cannot bring myself to watch or enjoy any of the festivities surrounding this mid-summer silence.
That said, I am glad that the St. Louis Cardinals and the Memphis Redbirds get some time off to heal. While Jhonny Peralta has returned to action for the St. Louis Cardinals, a few additional days of rest will suit him well. And who can argue with some days of rest for Yadier Molina? See? Not being selected as an All-Star may have benefits not first seen.
To the Memphis Redbirds, a few days of rest will suit them well too as they currently have players such as Jeremy Hazelbaker and Patrick Wisdom riding the pine due to injury. These days off might allow players such as these to rebound and find their way back into action.
So, to the close of the first half in Memphis. This bright sunny game- an ice cream bowl give-away day- was miserably attended in the Bluff City. The game, for the most part, followed suit and provided for disappointing offensive performances and frustrating pitching performances.
Let’s start with the pitching… Deck McGuire, a pitcher I like, had a very rough day. McGuire lasted only two-thirds of the first inning having allowed four runs to the opposition (the Round Rock Express). This was just too pitiful. A quick hook had McGuire swapped for a series of pen arms who held the Express to only one additional run over the remaining 8.1 innings.
On offensive side of things, the Redbirds initially showed very little patience facing a left-handed hurler in Michael Roth. Roth ended up pitching six solid innings for the Express and surrendered only four hits and one earned run.
Entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Redbirds were facing a deficit of 5-1. This predicament sounds eerily familiar to many of the games the St. Louis Cardinals have experienced this season. On the other hand, the Redbirds, facing Francisco Mendoza (a right-handed pitcher), were able to scratch out an earned run in two-thirds of the seventh inning cutting the deficit to 5-2.
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This is when the action heated up! As the shadows were approaching the playing surface, the Redbirds seized their opportunity in the bottom of the eighth inning when they roughed-up Neal Cotts for five hits and four earned runs to take the lead 6-5.
Of these five hits, Jose Martinez accounted for a single followed by a double by Jacob Wilson which was then followed by a 2-RBI double by Nick Martini. Breyvic Valera, who went three-for-four on the day (now hitting .565 in his last seven games), scored Martini with a double and later scored thanks to Matt Williams‘ RBI single.
The top of the ninth was closed by Miguel Socolovich (who had a little trouble with his command) who lasted only one-third of the inning, and LOOGY-in-waiting Dean Kiekhefer who faced the following three lefties recording a K, walk, and K.
What a great way to dive into the break! Great as well since the St. Louis Cardinals won on Sunday as well. Now these two franchise teams can carry this positive energy into what is to come.
Next: Time for a Memphis Check-in
What do you think? Will this first-half-conclusion be a harbinger of things to come? Will these teams ride these waves into exciting starts of the second half? Follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think.