MLB

Another pennant race, another squirrel on the field that sparks a Cardinals rally

For six innings, the Cardinals-Tigers matchup on Sunday was a pitchers’ duel. And then an old friend stopped by: A squirrel scurrying around the field and apparently casting a hex on the opposing team during a close game in the midst of a pennant race? Yes, that’s right: The Rally Squirrel has returned. Of course St. Louis took the lead in the top of the seventh, and of course it did it on a ball that didn’t even leave the infield: Adjust your postseason predictions accordingly.

YEAH!!! If you’re not aware of the infamous “Rally Squirrel,” then Google:  “St. Louis Cardinals Rally Squirrel.”  In the 2011 MLB season, it made several appearances at very key moments.  And, when the Cardinals won the Word Series that year, the guys even had a little pic of a squirrel on their rings to pay homage to the little critter that brought them good luck.  No joke!  You can even get a stuffed rally squirrel…  Yes, your humble blogger here has one.  GO CARDINALS!!   RALLY SQUIRREL!!     🙂

Ozuna homers, St. Louis Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set. Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam. Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30. Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four. Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities. Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt. St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It’s the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative. Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two. Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth. The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

Yeah!!!  GO CARDINALS!!!     🙂

St. Louis Cardinals rookie’s no-hit bid broken up by fire alarm, then Reds

In his first game as a starter for the St. Louis Cardinals, rookie pitcher Austin Gomber was throwing a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds going into the seventh inning Tuesday. Then the fire alarm went off. Gomber’s shot at a no-hitter was abruptly interrupted by ear-piercingly loud sirens that caused a game delay of nearly 8 minutes at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. The Reds said it resulted from “a malfunction in one of the detector units,” according to MLB.com. When the game finally resumed, Reds first baseman Joey Votto delivered a single with one out in the inning — and Gomber’s shot at a no-no was gone. Nevertheless, his impressive start came one day after Daniel Poncedeleon made his first MLB start with the Cardinals and pitched a no-hitter through seven innings against the Reds on Monday, MLB.com reported. Twitter was quick to call out the rather bizarre timing of the fire alarm going off as a mere coincidence. “Setting off the fire alarm while you’re being no-hit is the ultimate home field advantage power move,” one Twitter user wrote, while another praised the person who pulled the alarm as a “hero.” The Reds eventually tied the game, but the Cardinals got the last laugh, winning 4-2 victory in 11 innings.

Yeah!!   GO CARDINALS!!!    🙂

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who had brain surgery after being hit in head tosses 7 no-hit innings in MLB debut

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon was 14 months removed from suffering a life-threatening injury when he stepped on the mound in Cincinnati for his first major start — and tossed seven no-hit innings. Monday night was Poncedeleon’s MLB debut and his lengthy rehab culminated in a magnificent performance. Even though he didn’t earn the win. And the Cardinals didn’t either. Poncedeleon, 26, was struck in the right temple by a line drive on May 9, 2017 while pitching for Triple-A Memphis. He suffered a fractured skull, which caused bleeding in the brain and required emergency surgery. A slow recovery followed. The righty made his first start this season with the Triple-A squad on April 5 and quickly worked his way back to form. In 18 minor league games, Poncedeleon posted a 2.15 ERA with 103 strikeouts. Opponents were only batting .198 against him in the Pacific Coast League. Monday, he finally got a taste of the major leagues and was able to get the Reds’ first batter, Jose Peraza, to lineout to right field. “I don’t know if words can describe that,” interim Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “It’s what’s magical about this game and what we love about this game — stories like that.” Poncedeleon was battling a sore neck heading into his debut and once he threw pitch 116, Shildt had no qualms about taking him out early. “We weren’t in a situation where he would have been able to finish that game with a no-hitter,” Shildt said. The Cardinals had a one-run lead when Poncedeleon left. However, the Reds made a charge in the bottom of the ninth against Cardinals closer Bud Norris, winning the game, 2-1.

What a great story, indeed!  Congrats to Daniel for his performance.  GO CARDINALS!!!    🙂

St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher hits 105 mph twice on radar gun

A relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday lit up the radar gun with two pitches registering at 105 mph in the team’s 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. USA Today, citing StatCast, reported that Jordan Hicks threw the five fastest pitches in the major league this season, hitting 104.2 mph, 105, 104.3, 105 and 103.7– all with sinkers. “You see 105 up there. That doesn’t happen. I don’t know what the exact mph was, but we’re all wondering if it was 105 point, or where on 105 it was,” Jack Flaherty, the game’s starter told MLB.com. “I wish I could throw 105.”

Holy crap!!  Click on the text above for a video, and more on this incredible story.  Go Cardinals!!      🙂

Opinion: MLB’s Opening Day: What the NFL could learn from Major League Baseball

On Major League Baseball’s opening day Thursday, hope springs eternal across the country. Even as Chicago Cubs fans shiver in their puffy blue jackets, New York Yankees fans rub their hands together in the Bronx, and millions of baseball fans search box scores at work, a unity among people from all backgrounds not only exists, it flourishes. So does patriotism. The “Star-Spangled Banner” actually debuted in the sports world thanks to baseball. In 1918 during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Babe Ruth – a man who would become arguably the most iconic home run hitter – and his teammates first sang along to the national anthem. The Cubs followed suit, and the pageantry quickly spread to every team across the league. Appropriately, baseball earned the nickname “America’s Pastime.” Now, compare that to the modern-day National Football League, where the en vogue trend has been to kneel for our country’s most emblematic sign of solidarity. This movement, spearheaded by the now-unemployed Colin Kaepernick, is meant to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Supporters will tell you it has nothing to do with the flag … despite players using the American flag as a prop to give themselves the most publicity. When President Trump weighed in on the matter, which he repeatedly and rightfully did, at least 200 players knelt or sat during the anthem last Sept. 24. Many of those players – on the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars rosters – actually had the audacity to still stand for “God Save the Queen” prior to kick off in London. It was a blatant sign of disrespect, followed months later by an even more egregious act. The league rejected a print ad for this year’s Super Bowl program that read “#PleaseStand.” In response, a NFL spokesperson said the Super Bowl has “never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.” Hey, Commissioner Roger Goodell, how about you tell your own players that? You know how many baseball players have knelt during the national anthem? One. Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland A’s, joined in the protest late last fall. It was short-lived and he failed to garner any participation from teammates. This is in part because most baseball players see the consequences of an ongoing problem in this current political climate: Debate isn’t just relegated to politics anymore. Athletes and coaches increasingly use America’s beloved pastimes, and their participation in them, as a method of division. But in reality, sports should exist as a way to bring Americans together. Just one regular baseball season provides 162 opportunities for refuge from tiresome rigors of everyday life or from the wounds of tragedy. At Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, baseball helped Americans transcend the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil – 9/11. Against security recommendations, then-President George W. Bush decided to make an appearance and throw out the first pitch. He strode onto the field waving one hand and holding a baseball in the other. Smiling ear to ear, the president took the mound and calmness instantly enveloped the stadium. As soon as the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, cheers and chants of “U-S-A” erupted. “The country, which was rallying at the time, had further caused a rally to see baseball being played, and I was just a part of that,” President Bush told ESPN. “I didn’t realize how symbolic it was, though, ‘til I made it to the mound.” Even before that game, baseball helped bring Americans back to normalcy after 9/11. The Mets and Braves played each other when games resumed that season after the tragedy, and for one beautiful, brief moment two bitter division rivals tipped their caps to the people of New York City and shared a feeling of resiliency. That same embodiment of hope propelled an already extremely talented Houston Astros roster to a World Series clinch over the Dodgers last year. Game 6 scored Fox its best ratings in almost a decade after the Dodgers staged a rallying comeback. Even though the larger market team didn’t win the Commissioner’s Trophy, it felt like the whole country shared a piece of joy with the Astros. As Houston learned from Hurricane Harvey, catastrophe can strike from Mother Nature too, and even though thousands of Houston residents lost most of their belongings and homes, a baseball team managed to rekindle their spirit. All of our spirits will once again reignite with pleasure as the 2018 baseball season kicks off. As you enjoy a hot dog, watch a flyover, and tip your cap to veterans, take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a sport that, unlike the NFL, contributes to and enhances the patriotic fabric of our country.

Agreed!  And, well said Britt!  Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry is the author of that spot-on op/ed.  Excellent!!     🙂

Liberal Sports Media and Gay Activists Blast St. Louis Cardinals for Inviting Lance Berkman to ‘Christian Day’ at Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals have found themselves in the crosshairs of the LGBT community for inviting former Cardinal Lance Berkman to the team’s annual Christian Day event. Berkman’s presence sparks controversy amongst the gay community because of his role in the fight against the transgender bathroom ordinance, aka the “Equal Rights Ordinance,” in Houston in 2015. Pride Center of St. Louis issued this highly critical statement of the Cardinals decision to invite Berkman: “Pride St. Louis is disappointed by the decision of the St. Louis Cardinals to provide a public platform for Berkman, an individual whose words and actions towards the LGBTQ+ are divisive and demeaning.” The group initially released the statement to Outsports, an SB Nation website which prioritizes news involving the LGBT community and sports. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “On its own, Outsports has called Berkman a “bigot” and “an outspoken opponent of the LGBT community” who was “one of the faces of the campaign against Houston’s equal-rights ordinance” in 2015.” Despite the backlash, as of this writing, the Cardinals remain committed to having Berkman attend “Christian Day.” The team issued their own statement in response to those troubled by the move: “The Cardinals have hosted a Christian Day at the ballpark for nearly three decades. Lance Berkman participated in Christian Day when he was a Cardinals player, and we welcome him back this year to discuss his faith.”

Outstanding!!  Kudos to the front office of the St. Louis Cardinals for standing firm against the brazenly hypocritical bullying tactics of the gay mafia.  They want the right, and support, to have their gay days, and “pride” parades and so on…without ANY opposition whatsoever.  And yet, they don’t want the other aside (i.e. Christians) afforded the same freedom to express THEIR views and hold THEIR events.  The gay mafia are a bunch of self-righteous, self-serving, hypocritical, fascist, pc-police and speech Nazis.