September 1, 2008

Astros blank Cards in complete sweep

Despite some pretty solid pitching by Todd Wellemeyer, the Cardinals got shut out yesterday by the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Wandy Rodriguez picked up the win, now 8-6, while throwing less inning than Wellemeyer, who battled, down 1-0 for 7.0 innings, giving up that one run, walking no one, and striking out four.

With first place pretty much out of sight, the Wild Card is the next obtainable goal, and even that is beggining to slip away, both the Brewers and the Phillies ahead of the Cardinals. The Phils are only one game ahead, but are tough competitors. The Brewers, leaders for the Wild Card, are 6.5 games ahead, and there aren't a whole lot of games left before the Cardinals will have to depend on others to beat the Brewers for them. When that occurs, you know you're not of a playoff caliber, although teams of this status have made it before.

Momentum off the last win in St. Louis didn't carry over, either, and La Russa's getting tossing on ball-strike call arguing sure didn't fire anybody up. Point is, when Pujols and Ludwick struck in the sixth, you always have to go back to what properly taught youth league players are taught: With two strikes, if it's close enough to get called a strike, it's close enough to swing at. All the theories about how the great hitters know the strike zone so well doesn't hold a cup of water, because having such a high knowledge of such matters should also tell a hitter that you can't rely on a home plate umpire to make the right call in that situation. In other words, if you're so smart as to know the zone to a high degree, how comes you ain't so smart as ta know a poor ball-strike callin ump isn't someone y'all can rely on.

The only real wrap-up for the Astros series is to travel over to Arizona and take your shot at winning some games against the Diamondbacks. Doesn't matter how difficult that might be, not at this point. It's just the next chance at getting closer in the race.

According to the St. Louis Cardinals Official Web Site, you're probably going to see Randy Flores back on the roster today, with more Class AAA Redbirds on the way Tuesday as their season ends today. La Russa may not fill his roster with minor leaguers, however, he does have several that have already played on his big league team.

Joel Pineiro will get the start today, versus left-hander Randy Johnson. Game time is 3:10 p.m. CT.