MLB

#Allthehomeruns as Astros look to close out against Dodgers

If you watched Game 2 of the World Series, it was everything a sports fan wanted. Drama, great pitching, home runs galore and you saw the unbreakable Dodgers bullpen finally falter.

If you missed Sunday’s game, I’m sorry for you. Because it was nothing short of spectacular. You not only missed a barnburner, you missed the Astros setting records.

The ‘Stros became the first team ever to have five different players hit a home run in a game during the World Series. They are just the third team ever to hit five home runs in a World Series game overall. Between the two teams, they’ve set a record for home runs in the World Series, with 22. The total number of homeruns in this postseason ovrall? 101. The most ever.

Being a Cardinals fan, I’ve seen what I consider to be one of the best World Series games ever played. Game 6 of the 2011 WS, where Freese hits the walk off homer to send the series to the 7th game. But Sunday’s game was something else. I honestly thought the Dodgers had it in hand when they were up 4 to nothing in the 4th… but that’s why baseball, when it’s good? It’s great.  Add in a walkoff for the Astros and no one could write the script better.

Now how do the Dodgers respond? That’s tough. Clayton Kershaw looked great before he gave up those runs in the 4th.. and the former infallible Dodgers bullpen looks to have finally met its match against the top offense in baseball. Verlander has been dynamite for Houston but Hill has been extremely consistent in this postseason, and only threw 60 pitches in game 2.  My personal gut feeling? This is Houston’s year. They’re playing for a city that has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Had you asked me at the beginning of the series, I would have told you Dodgers in six. But the Stros have come back time and time again.

Here’s what will be the deciding factor: The bullpens. Both pens are exhausted, both emotionally and physically. This game will come down to whether once your team gets the lead, can you hold onto it. That’s an insanely big #hottake, but its simple and true.

However, I’m secretly hoping for a game 7.

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Day in STL 2014: Birds, Baseball, and Ballpark Village

Finally.  The best day of the year in St. Louis is here.  This is better than Veiled Prophet, and for those not from STL, I won’t even try to explain what that is.  Opening Day at Busch Stadium.  I can only describe it as a national holiday, because to us, Cardinals fans, that’s what it is.

Today is a day when the famous Budweiser Clydesdales will come back.  Today is a day when Fredbird will be back home in all his funny, feathery glory.  Today is a day when the young and the old can come together in mutual overwhelming, child-like joy.   The boys in red and white are finally home.  Its another season, and another year for the Cardinals to continue to prove why they are our favorite team.

I just want to clarify that Opening Day at Busch Stadium is different then Opening Day in general.  Opening Day at Busch Stadium means that I can go to games now.  It means that baseball is truly back, because before, it was almost like a dream.  Real, but not real, because I had to watch the Birds on the TV.  Now, with them home, its a reality.  And its one that is so sweet, St. Louis might explode.

St. Louis finally has the ultimate party scene that everyone has been waiting for: Ballpark Village. It’s literally a village tailored to baseball.  You can watch the Cards on big screen TV’s. You can sit and watch the game in bleachers  that were built specifically to overlook the stadium.

It’s been a year since we lost Stan the Man. It’s been a year since the World Series was ripped out of our grasp by the Red Sox. But today marks the beginning of a new season.  Chris Carpenter is throwing out the first pitch.  Michael Wacha is going to dazzle us with his magic. It’s Molina Monday. The Birds are back.  And frankly, I could not be happier.

 

An Open Letter to Michael Wacha

Dear Michael,

Can I just say that on behalf of Cardinal Nation, we are so happy that you are on our team.

Thank you for Wachtober.  For allowing Fox Sports to do a segment with the Muppets.  For your last name just being so fun to say.  And for reminding me of Pac-Man. WACHA WACHA WACHA WACHA.

But enough about your name.  Let’s talk about your game.  Let’s talk about being unbeaten in the post season.  Let’s talk about 3 games where only one or two hits were allowed.  Almost no walks.  2 major road wins.

It’s Game Six of the World Series tonight.  In Fenway.  And we are about to ask you to do exactly what you did in Game Four of the NLDS.  Bring us home a win.  Help bring home another ring to STL.

So as I watch you on my TV tonight, know I’ll be rooting for you like I’ve rooted for you all season long.  Know that a city is hoping that you will give them one more game to make it 12 in 13.

And know that we believe in you.  You are Chris Carpenter’s protegé.  Help bring home a win.

And if you ever need a date, hit a girl up.

Love,

A Cardinals Fan

but seriously, I’m available

A National Holiday in STL: Opening Day in Busch Stadium

Finally.  The best day of the year in St. Louis is here.  This is better than Veiled Prophet, and for those not from STL, I won’t even try to explain what that is.  Opening Day at Busch Stadium.  I can only describe it as a national holiday, because to us, Cardinals fans, that’s what it is.

Today is a day when the famous Budweiser Clydesdales will come back.  Today is a day when Fredbird will be back home in all his funny, feathery glory.  Today is a day when the young and the old can come together in mutual overwhelming, child-like joy.   The boys in red and white are finally home.  Its another season, and another year for the Cardinals to continue to prove why they are our favorite team.

I just want to clarify that Opening Day at Busch Stadium is different then Opening Day in general.  Opening Day at Busch Stadium means that I can go to games now.  It means that baseball is truly back, because before, it was almost like a dream.  Real, but not real, because I had to watch the Birds on the TV.  Now, with them home, its a reality.  And its one that is so sweet, St. Louis might explode.

Now, as I wrote earlier on this month, we are without our perfect knight.  Opening Day will not be the same without Stan the Man, nor will the game of baseball.  But his spirit will live on, in every Opening Day festivity, in every smile, in every call of the beer man, in every swing of the rally flag.

Stan Musial will never truly be lost to St. Louis, because he is St. Louis.

Today we take on the Reds.  We hate the Reds, because they are cocky, and from Ohio, and just basically embody everything that St. Louis doesnt like.  And every team has to have a rival, because lets be honest, the Cubs dont have much of anything to speak of for a rivalry right now. Image

So get excited Cardinal fans.  Opening Day is back.  And that means that our perfect knights in red and white are back to steal our hearts for another season.

Birds fall on Opening Day

Well, the best day of the year was back yesterday, and if you undertstand St. Louis, or follow me on Twitter, I’m sorry for the obnoxious amount of tweets that clogged your feed about Cardinal baseball, but I couldn’t help myself.

Opening Day is a happy day for half of the teams in the nation, and a sour note to the start of the season for the other half, and much to my heartache, my Birds started off the season on a sour note.

The game started off well for the Cards, with my man Matt Carpenter doubling to deep right to start the first inning.  Matt Holliday came up next, and slammed one to deep center, doubling as well and bringing Carpenter home.  Things were looking good for the Birds, with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

But then, Holliday runs into an out at third, Beltran flew out to right, and the Cards were coming out to play some defense.

Adam Wainwright was on the mound last night, and let us just take a minute to bask in that man’s delicious glory.  The man is 31, 6’7 and a glorious, good looking sight to behold when he pitches.  He has a smile that can melt anyone’s heart, and in St. Louis, Waino is a treasure that we all hope will continue to bring us good luck. But I digress.

Waino came out and debued an amazing curveball, that almost knocked me out of my chair, I was so impressed with it. He kept the Diamondbacks quiet up until the bottom of the fourth, when, with the Cards still holding on to a one run lead, Jason Kubel doubled to right field, scoring one run for Arizona. The bats kept swinging for the Diamondbacks as A.J. Pollack came up next and also doubled to center, scoring two more runs.

The Cards would never regain the lead after that, with Arizona scoring again in the bottom of the fifth on a throwing error by Daniel Descalso.  The Birds would score in the top of the seventh off a single by Descalso, bringing the score to 4-2 Arizona.

But the Diamonbacks continued to roll, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, making the final score 6-2 Arizona.

Now, I know we all wanted the Birds to win. No one likes to start their season 0-1.  But, the Cards are without 2011 World Series MVP David Freese, who is on the 15 day disabled list, as well as their closer, Jason Motte.  Our star pitcher, Chris Carpenter is out for the season, as well as Rafeal Furcal.  But just like in 2011, when we were without Waino, the Birds will do what the Birds do best.  We will over come. We will perserve. And when all else fails?

Keep calm and win on the last strike.

Opening Day, Stan the Man, and what it means to be a Cardinals fan.

The green grass blows in the wind.  The sound of a baseball smacking into a glove.  The pop of bubble gum, the smell of beer and hot dogs, and the crack of a bat as the best time of the year is finally upon us.  There is nothing better to a baseball fan than Opening Day.  I’m from St. Louis, so to me, and to so many fellow St. Louisians, Opening Day is better than Christmas.  Opening Day is when the team that never disappoints us finally comes back.

Gone are the days watching the Rams toil and fail, the Blues lose in overtime again.  Gone are those dark, dreary days of teams not amounting to anything.  Back are our boys in red and white, with that cheeky red bird proudly emblazoned on their chests. Back are the nights when you scream with joy as our team crushes the Cubs, bludgeons the Brewers, and tonight, annhilates Arizona.

Now, our greatest warrior, our perfect knight, Stan Musial, Stan the Man, is no longer with us.  But his memory will live on forever in St. Louis, because he is St. Louis. You can see him in the joy of every little kid that hugs Fredbird, every old man who reminisces about the good old days.  He’s the rally flags, the rally squirrel, the winning home run on the last strike, he’s in every single one of us.

When I heard he had passed, I bawled.  Disclaimer, I cry at anything Cardinals or St. Louis  related, that how deep my obsession with this city and team runs.  The Blues scored six goals in their game the night Musial died? Waterworks.  The Budweiser Clydesdale commercial during the Super Bowl? Niagra Falls.  The coverage of Musial’s funeral? Absolute meltdown.  But the way the city came together, the funeral procession he was given, is enough to make any baseball fan shed a tear.  You will not truly understand what it means to give your heart to team until you understand what it is like to be a Cardinals fan.  And Stan the Man understood what it meant to be a Cardinal fan.

The Cardinals will be wearing patches on their jerseys for him, and the city named one of the new Clydesdale foals after him.  Stan Musial will live on, as long as there are cheers in Busch Stadium, and the Redbirds are still flying high.  So rejoice St. Louis! Baseball is back, and so are the Birds.

Long live Stan Musial. Long live the Cardinals.

Comeback Cards

7-5.  Top of the ninth.  Down to their last out.  The St. Louis Cardinals are no stranger to this scenario, as this is the exact same situation they were in a year ago in game six of the World Series.  They triumphed then, and last night, the defending World Champions proved why you should never ever count the Cardinals out.

I watched that entire game decked out in full Cardinals gear, screaming at the TV when Washington was up 6-0, and then watched in disbelief as the Birds slowly chipped and clawed away at the score. 6-1. 6-2, and so on.  Suddenly it was the top of the seventh and the Cardinals were only down by 1 run.  But then Kurt Suzuki’s RBI to make the score 7-5.  And suddenly it was the top  of the ninth with 2 outs.  It looks like the Bird’s season is over.   But, just as before, something magical happens with this team in October. Daniel Descalo’s two run single that glanced off the glove of shortstop Ian Desmond ties the game up.  Next up at bat is rookie Pete Kozma.  And just like David Freese the year before him, he steps up big for his team.  Kozma has a two-run single to put the Cardinals up 9-7 and lead for the first time the entire game.  Jason Motte comes in to close and the Cardinals head to the NLCS to go head to head with the San Francisco Giants.

People can talk all they want, but the Cardinals thrive when they are the underdogs.  Every year they have won the World Series, it has been St. Louis’s worst year statistically. It happened in 2006, 2011, and it could happen again.  Every time you tell them that they can’t do it, that they won’t do it, the Cardinals will do their best to prove you wrong. So continue doubting the Cardinals.  You are just fueling their fire to win.