St. Louis Cardinals

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!!      🙂

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.

Holliday homers in probable farewell with St. Louis Cardinals

After weeks of trying and trying and trying to get his fractured thumb healthy enough to be in the lineup, Matt Holliday rejoined the active roster Friday so the Cardinals could do something bigger than using him in a key at-bat or sending him out for a start. They wanted to say goodbye. With one swing, he handled the rest. In what could be his final at-bat as a Cardinal, Holliday came off the disabled list and into the batter’s box Friday against Pittsburgh, and hit a home run out to the right-field bullpen. Holliday’s 156th career homer for the Cardinals — his first ever as a pinch-hitter — punctuated a 7½-year tenure with the team, one that included an unprecedented run of success for the franchise. Having told him this week that they would not exercise his option for the 2017 season, the Cardinals wanted to give the home crowd a chance to acknowledge its All-Star and longtime No. 3 hitter. He earned a victory lap. “Still have chills,” manager Mike Matheny said after a 7-0 victory. Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak agreed to activate Holliday for the final series of the regular season and, if the opportunity presented itself, get him an at-bat. Holliday did not want an at-bat with a game or playoff berth on the line. A ceremonial one would be tough enough. The Cardinals didn’t want him to see him leave without an ovation. It started in the dugout. The applause spread from his teammates out through the crowd and onto the scoreboard that read, “Thank You Matt Holliday.” On an 0-2 pitch from Pittsburgh lefty Zach Phillips, Holliday hit his 20th home run of the season, landing with the relievers, for safekeeping. Kolten Wong pushed Adam Wainwright out onto the field with Yadier Molina to share a hug with the three players who have shared championships and five consecutive postseason berths. Holliday received a curtain call, averting his weeping eyes even as he raised his helmet. “Not much better way to go out than that,” Wainwright said. People who saw him described Holliday as “too emotional” to comment before or after the game. He conveyed some thoughts in a statement: “While I’m disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.” “This guy has been a pillar in this organization for a good amount of time,” Matheny said. “Not knowing how things play out over the winter (we’re) trying to give him the respect that he deserves. Tough conversation for him. A tough conversation for all of us. But to try to make sure you don’t have any regret.” Holliday, 36, approached Mozeliak earlier this week to gain clarity on his future with the club. The former batting champ wanted to know as the final home stand came toward an end, if he should have his family present, if he should be planning some farewells. In eight years with the Cardinals, Holliday came to call St. Louis his home, spending several offseasons in the area. He developed a close relationship with several charities and was a regular visitor at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. At least once he delivered a home run ball to a patient there — on his way home from the game in which he hit it. The Cardinals hold a $17 million option for 2017, though Mozeliak said the probability of picking it up is “low.” As far back as spring training, Holliday understood that possibility and expressed a hope to discuss a lower-cost extension that would allow him to finish his career with the Cardinals. A hoped-for conversation in August was derailed by a fastball — in and hard to Holliday’s right hand. On Aug. 11, Cubs pitcher Mike Montgomery fractured Holliday’s right thumb with a pitch. Holliday elected to have surgery on the thumb to accelerate his recovery by providing stability. He could not hasten the healing of the bone and after each attempt to return his finger would swell up to a point he could not hit. The injury made the Cardinals’ decision for them. “It stinks,” Mozeliak said. “The unfortunate part of baseball or sports is injuries. But when you sit in my seat it cannot solely be relationship-driven. I have to think about this long term and what we think is best for this organization and how we think we can be stronger and how we can get stronger. So it’s unfortunate nothing lasts forever, especially in sports.” Mozeliak made Holliday his first major trade, pursuing talks first with Colorado and then successfully in July 2009 with Oakland. A free agent at the end of the 2009 season, Holliday signed a seven-year, $120 million deal that remains the largest in Cardinals history. During the span of the contract, only 16 hitters, six of them MVPs, had a higher OPS than Holliday’s .862. Holliday’s career OPS of .872 with the Cardinals ranked 10th in club history, as did his .493 slugging percentage and 156 homers. “Matt meant much more than statistics to the St. Louis Cardinals,” his agent Scott Boras said Friday. “Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine a clubhouse without a player and you realize it when you don’t have that player.” The Cardinals expect to generate some churn on the roster this offseason, and that could mean reshaping the middle of the lineup, the outfield, or both. Holliday will probably look to the American League, where there will be an opportunity to be a designated hitter. He has also shown he can play first base. That position could prompt the Cardinals and Holliday to engage in future discussions about a deal that would reflect a different, even part-time role on the team. Matheny stressed that they wanted to make sure the team gave him a fitting farewell, but not necessarily finality. “I wouldn’t say the future is set,” he said. “Doors are open. The way things are going I think it goes back to how do we not miss an opportunity, an opportunity to let our fans show the admiration they have for a great player and for us as an organization to tip our cap as well? Not saying that destines a decision any one direction, but just to make sure we at least do our very best to try and do what’s right.” If Friday was his last swing, it went where he took the team. A long way.

Indeed!  What a touching story about a real class act.  Thanks to Derrick Goold over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for bringing us that piece.  It’s so great that the Cardinal front office is keeping “doors open” about the future.  So, ya never know..  But, for now..this was a fitting tribute.  To see Matt’s (probable) final at bat with the Red Birds, and his curtain call, click on the text above.  Thanks for the great memories, Matt.  Hope you’ll continue to call the great city of St. Louis home.  GO CARDINALS!!!    🙂