The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Archive for 2009

Six years of Cardinals minor league all-stars

Analyzing changes in levels of recognized St. Louis Cardinals minor league standouts since 2004.

Could a World Series win drive La Russa and Duncan out?

At least one recent Cardinal thinks a World Series win would set up a “leave on top” scenario for the manager and pitching coach.

Cardinals minors all-star representation down

The number of St. Louis Cardinals minor league selections for all-star and elite competitions was down 18 percent from 2008.

Cardinals minors won-loss record backslides

After a robust 60 games-over-.500 total in 2008, the top six Cardinals minor league clubs posted their fourth losing mark in five years in 2009.

Is Pujols out of the Triple Crown race?

Though the odds are clearly against him, Albert Pujols still has a chance to match Ducky Medwick.

The sun shines on Albert, but not on Sunny Jim

The Cardinals current RBI leader has nothing on an under-recognized former great from the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Wednesday evening live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday evening’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

DeRosa: One is the loneliest number

90 percent of Mark DeRosa’s home runs with the St. Louis Cardinals have come with the bases empty.

Cardinals spur Houston in-season managerial changes

The last two Astros managers lost their jobs when St. Louis arrived in town.

Cardinals top minor league manager – Chris Maloney

No Cardinals minor league skipper with at least six years of service has won a higher percentage of regular season games than Chris Maloney.

McClellan Cardinals unsung hero Friday

Cubs’ 1-2-3 hitters were sat down in order via strikeout by Kyle McClellan in a crucial situation Friday night

Does a big September lead mean Cardinals October success?

2009 is the third time this decade that the St. Louis Cardinals entered the final month with a double-digit lead. That hasn’t yet meant much in October.

Cardinals and September not made for one another

The St. Louis Cardinals have not played well in recent Septembers. That doesn’t mean they will fail in October, however.

Wednesday afternoon live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest returns

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday afternoon’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

TCN blog’s trio of 15-game winners article featured on KSDK Channel 5

The Cardinal Nation blog has again been highlighted on KSDK Channel 5, the Sunday home of the St. Louis Cardinals. This time, the focus was on three 15-game winners – if Joel Pineiro can squeeze out one more…

Cardinals early September results mean next to nothing

Looking at the results of the first dozen games in September by world champions this decade.

Riding the Cardinals horses versus saving bullets

Can aces be pitched too much and peak too soon? Will it be too late to adjust if it happens?

Was it Holliday, the schedule or the pitching?

The St. Louis Cardinals have played superb baseball since the late July arrival of Matt Holliday. Why is that?

Tough Friday defeat invokes memories of past 1-0 Cardinals losses

Looking back at recent 1-0 St. Louis Cardinals defeats, including Friday’s game with Atlanta

Holliday re-signing hype and hysteria receiving too much ink

With three weeks still remaining in the regular season, speculation over Matt Holliday’s future is getting out of hand

Top Cardinals minor league managers – 1966 to present

Re-starting an earlier series by reviewing the top St. Louis Cardinals minor league managers in a number of statistical categories

Albert and Babe

Albert Pujols’ 2009 home run, doubles, RBI and stolen base output matches only a select few in MLB history

Wednesday afternoon live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday afternoon’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Ryan’s triples stacking up

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan picked up his seventh three-base hit of the season on Tuesday night

Cardinals end long Triple-A, Double-A playoff drought

It has been 24 years since the Cardinals’ top two farm clubs have been in the post-season at the same time

Carpenter approaching Gibson superiority

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter’s win, low hits allowed and strikeout rates are now in Bob Gibson territory. That is a pretty rare place, indeed.

Pineiro misses 15th win but top starting trio close to history

Joel Pineiro is striving to join two St. Louis Cardinals teammates with 15 or more wins. It would be just the 21st time for the franchise since 1901.

Improved ticket sales mean improved regional economy

There is a greater benefit from increased ticket sales than just adding better players. It also means a stronger economy and more jobs.

For Ludwick, five and five is a serious number

On Friday, Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick had five hits and five RBI, a rare combination

Can the Cardinals sweep 2009 NL individual awards?

The 2009 St. Louis Cardinals have serious contenders for each of the major National League individual awards. To pull it off, they would have to go where no team has gone before.

Thursday afternoon live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Thursday afternoon’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Trever Miller time is strikeout time

The St. Louis Cardinals left-hander is sitting down opposing hitters at a historic rate.

Pujols, Wainwright on way to triple milestones

Average, home runs and RBI for hitters. Wins, strikeouts, ERA for pitchers. The quick measures of a balanced and successful season.

1800’s AA player stats ok, but team stats are not

The Cardinals don’t recognize 10,000 wins, but the records set by their players during their early, unrecognized years are in the books

Wainwright extends Cards starters stingy streak to 11

Through Sunday’s game, pitchers starting the last 11 St. Louis Cardinals games have each allowed three or fewer runs

Will Duncan end up like Rolen?

This isn’t the first time that off-field issues may be driving away an important member of the St. Louis Cardinals

Smoltz’ fast Cardinals start approaches… Andy Rincon?

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Smoltz has gotten out of the blocks quickly with his new team – almost as fast as did Andy Rincon back in 1980.

Why would La Russa be a candidate for Mets GM?

This idea looks to be a match made in… well, not heaven. That’s for sure!

Best minor league markets: Quad Cities at 31, Batavia ranked 48th!

A new study ranking minor league sports markets provides mixed results

Thursday afternoon live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Thursday afternoon’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Where to get in-depth Cardinals prospect news fast

Looking back at how various sites reported on the Cardinals’ Arizona Fall League selections

Cardinals early Arizona Fall League leftovers

Answering follow-on questions about Cardinals prospects and the 2009 Arizona Fall League

Jones leads eight Cards to Arizona Fall League

Eight top St. Louis Cardinals prospects will participate in the 2009 Arizona Fall League as members of the Surprise Rafters, led by the organization’s 2008 Player of the Year, Daryl Jones.

TCN blog’s Carp K:BB article featured on KSDK Channel 5

The Cardinal Nation blog has again been highlighted on KSDK Channel 5, the Sunday home of the St. Louis Cardinals. This time, the focus was on Chris Carpenter’s strikeout to walk ratio.

Cardinals fall ball changes may not be for the better

The 2009 fall instructional league camp has been canceled by the St. Louis Cardinals. The reason is unclear.

Not recognizing 10,000 wins ignores American Association

The Cardinals aren’t the only club to not recognize play during the 1880s while in the American Association, but not doing so muddies the historical water

Cardinals assert team history began in 1892

Controversy over 10,000th win drives explanation by Cardinals organization

Rasmus youngest to share Cardinals walk-off record

22-year-old Colby Rasmus already has two walk-off home runs this season, tying the franchise record

Roger Dean Stadium name to remain

The Cardinals Florida facility’s name will remain through 2017

Pujols’ four-on-base, no-hit oddity

Albert Pujols leads the Cardinals in every other statistical category, so why not in obscure ones, too?

Cardinals happily serve as Red Sox dumping ground

John Smoltz may be next in a recent line of unwanted Boston players that became St. Louis successes

Looking into John Smoltz, circa 2009

Ian Walton delves in to the newest Cardinals pitcher’s recent performance and is enthused

Batavia franchise may be nearing its end

A 2008 New York-Penn League championship did not stem the flow of red ink from the Batavia Muckdogs’ operation

Cardinals crush classy closers

The St. Louis Cardinals have fared very well against elite closers recently

Carpenter’s walk stinginess

Chris Carpenter hasn’t walked three or more batters in a game in 35 starts, covering the last three years

Molina approaching Cards catching single-season steals leaders

The Cardinals post-1932 franchise season record for stolen bases by a catcher is held by three men. Believe it or not, Yadier Molina is approaching – fast.

Will Holliday pull a Lohse or a Weaver this off-season?

While Matt Holliday’s hitting surge as a Cardinal is good for the present, will it damage his chances of remaining with the club in 2010 and beyond?

Can Wainwright continue his streaks?

In addition to pitching consistent winning baseball, Adam Wainwright is looking to extend current game streaks in innings pitched, earned runs allowed and strikeouts.

Carpenter’s historic strikeout-to-walk ratio

In 2009, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is delivering the best season in franchise history in terms of strikeout-to-walk ratio

Weekly live blog on FOX Sports Midwest: Wednesday, August 12

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday evening’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Cardinals hit by pitch overreaction… or is it?

Another data point regarding Pittsburgh closer Matt Capps’ history changes one man’s opinion of Albert Pujols’ plunking on Sunday

Will Cincy’s deadline trades pay off with a wild card?

Cincinnati seems the only National League team out of playoff contention that made a big trade acquisition.

Cardinals spring training demographics

Who attends St. Louis Cardinals spring training games and how often do they do it?

Pujols: 100 is a serious number

On Saturday, Albert Pujols drove in his 100th run of the season, again.

DeRosa: Long balls at a record pace

New Cardinals third baseman Mark DeRosa has eight home runs in his first 22 games with the team

Pujols: Extra bases in bunches

Albert Pujols has two games with multiple extra-base hits this week, something he has done with great frequency

Cardinals quiz of the day: August 6, 2009

Who is the only St. Louis Cardinal to drive in seven runs in a game without the benefit of a home run?

St. Louis and Memphis: Like father, like son

Calling out stat sheet similarities between the St. Louis Cardinals and their Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds

Wednesday afternoon live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday afternoon’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Minor league affiliates are miles away

Looking at the distances of Cardinals minor league affiliates compared to their NL Central peers

Maloney guides Memphis back from the dead

Chris Maloney’s Memphis Redbirds have clawed back from 8 ½ games out to take their division lead.

Cardinals quality starts come from quality starters

The St. Louis Cardinals’ top three starters have 43 quality starts among them so far this season

Cardinals employ two top athletic trainers

The St. Louis Cardinals employ two 2009 Minor League Athletic Trainers of the Year, Chris Conroy and Tim Steinhaus

Why Holliday should bat second

A case is made for the St. Louis Cardinals to bat new cleanup hitter Matt Holliday second

Holliday hitting and getting on base at a record pace

Matt Holliday’s scalding offensive start as a St. Louis Cardinal is rewriting the record books

When Houston was on the Cardinals’ side

Calling out a pair of excellent articles by Houstonian Bill McCurdy that look back at some notable players from the Cardinals’ affiliate in Houston. Yes, THAT Houston.

Pujols moves up on list of Cards last at-bat winning hits

Albert Pujols’ last at-bat game-winning hit on Wednesday was the 28th of his career

Holliday and more: Recapping the last week

Offering a personal angle on the major stories last week across the Cardinal Nation and digging up some old ones, too

Wednesday live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday evening’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

Carpenter’s consistency continues

Cardinals starting pitchers Chris Carpenter and Joel Pineiro are not beating themselves with the walk, putting together a pair of impressive streaks

Scout.com Cardinals site gets new name

The Birdhouse has become The Cardinal Nation, while The Cardinal Nation blog… remains The Cardinal Nation blog!

Holliday, Lugo fast starters for Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals’ trade acquisitions Matt Holliday and Julio Lugo had big first weekends with the club

TCN blog’s Pineiro facts featured on KSDK Channel 5

The Cardinal Nation blog again highlighted on KSDK Channel 5, the Sunday home of the St. Louis Cardinals

MLB needs to respect Hall of Fame inductions

Why does Major League Baseball play a full slate of games during their annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony?

Mediocre starters dominating Cardinals

The title pretty much says it all.

IMPORTANT: Blog URL change

This blog is now thecardinalnationblog.com. Please change your bookmarks accordingly.

Will the Holliday trade be good, bad or neutral?

An attempt to quantify the value of the Matt Holliday trade

ESPN: bringing local sports news to a city near you

A successful Chicago pilot delivering local sports online is being expanded to three more cities

Wallace for Holliday: Who to believe?

Lots of signals, many of them mixed, regarding a rumored deal between the Cardinals and A’s.

Walton on MLB.com’s Fantasy 411 Show Friday

I will be calling in from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to talk baseball with co-hosts Corey Gottlieb and Cory Schwartz.

James says Cooperstown should expect steroid players

The “father of sabermetrics” Bill James explains why he thinks players from baseball’s steroids era will eventually reach the Hall of Fame.

Wednesday live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during Wednesday evening’s Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!

DeRosa: Small bright spot on an otherwise dismal day

Mark DeRosa’s two home runs were a rare positive in the Cardinals system on Tuesday.

Why I hate Minute Maid

Win, lose or draw, Houston’s baseball park is a joke. When it has an impact on the game, old complaints are exhumed.

Wainwright’s increasingly effective curve

Analyzing why Adam Wainwright’s pitching has been so good in 2009.

Pineiro carries the load

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Joel Pineiro carried his club to a win with his arm and his bat on Sunday.

Arizona fantasy vs. St. Louis reality

On Saturday night, an important fantasy baseball team intersected with the real thing

Carp’s scoreless games can’t touch Gibby

Chris Carpenter’s 12th scoreless eight-inning outing Friday night puts him “just” 55 behind the great Bob Gibson

Pujols’ 2009 multi-homer games approach Big Mac land

With two more multiple home run games, Albert Pujols would tie Mark McGwire for the most in a Cardinals season

Is publishing players’ home addresses going too far?

Riverfront Times did just that with some current and former Cardinals. Their wrists were slapped as a result. Was it warranted?