July 5, 2008

Redbird Ramblings -- 7-5-08 -- Lohse, Edmonds, Pujols, Mather, Parisi, De La Cruz, Miles

Tonight’s probables: Kyle Lohse (10-2, 3.67) will get the call for the St. Louis Cardinals while the Chicago Cubs will counter with lefthander Ted Lilly (9-5, 4.56).

Albert Pujols reached a milestone in last night’s game, hitting his 300th career home run in a losing cause against the Chicago Cubs.

#50: The Cards, at 49-39, are still looking for win #50. They will try for that mark versus the Cubs at Busch Stadium tonight.

Cards make deals with Latin American prospects: According to an offiicial release on the St. Louis Cardinals official web site, the team announced that they are about to sign six prospects from Latin America. Four prospects come from the Dominican Republic and two are from Venezuela. (Update: Reportedly, the Cardinals have now signed these players, all of them 16 years old. Allegedly, Roberto De La Cruz received a signing bonus of over $1 million dollars.)

(Players signed are: Roberto De La Cruz, Santo Franco, Dennis Monter, Gradiel Hernandez, Cesar Velara, and Jose Weffer.)

Veterans honored at Busch: As part of Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans campaign, four veterans were honored on the field prior to last night’s game, a perfect fit for the Independence Day weekend. The Busch Stadium crowd gave John Abbamondi (Navy), Vern Cox (Air Force), Rocky Sickmann (Marines), and Leo Tevlin (Navy) an uplifting display of applause.

Jimmy Baseball, who Cardinals’ fan know is Jim Edmonds, received a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat at Busch Stadium last night. The fact that he was wearing a Cubs uniform made no different to the SRO crowd. Edmonds’ former manager and who he has considered a longtime friend, Tony La Russa, was irritated over some comments Edmonds had made concerning his trade and the St. Louis Cardinals. Edmonds stated that La Russa misunderstood him. Cardinal Nation had no doubts, however, the rousing applause for Jimmy Baseball lasting several minutes, the former Redbird removed his helmet, holding it up toward the crowd, before taking his cuts versus his former team.

One streak ends, one continues: The 15-game game hitting streak of Aaron Miles (career high) died last night, but Yadier Molina’s single extended his to 11 games.

Flores progressing: With only a few days left on the 15-day DL, lefthanded reliever Randy Flores has been cleared and will probably throw some innings with one of the Cardinals’ minor league affiliates before re-activation.

C’mon ump, that was outside: Or it could’ve been something else Troy Glaus said to home plate umpire Ted Barrett during his ninth inning at bat. With the game on the line and a 3-1 count, Glaus took what he thought was a ball far to the outside. A moment later he was jumping in the air, voicing complaints before his spikes touched down. Barrett must not have appreciated getting shown up in front of a capacity crowd, because the next pitch was outside, and called a strike as well. Tony La Russa wasn’t pleased with Barrett either, commenting after the game that the suddenly new and expanded strike zone affected the at-bats of Yadier Molina and Ryan Ludwick.

Parisi rolls with Redbirds: Since returning to the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, Memphis Redbirds, pitcher Mike Parisi has won four straight, according the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In his fourth victory, Parisi got help from Joe Mather, who hit his 16th home run, and Josh Phelps, who homered twice in the 4-2 win versus the Omaha Royals. Kelvin Jiminez closed, recording his seventh save.

Standings slippage: With last night’s 2-1 loss to the Cubs, the Cardinals hold on second place slipped to 3 1/2 games. The Brewers’ 9-1 pummeling of the Bucs set them 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs, but only one game behind the Cards. At the beginning of the three-game set with the Cubs, the Cards had hoped for a switch in the first place slot by Sunday. Now the Cards must concern themselves with avoiding a switch into third place.

Today’s game between the Cubs and the Cardinals will take place at Busch Stadium in St. Louis; game time 2:55 p.m. CDT.