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

Cardinals-Reds match-up means Fourth of July fireworks ahead

I know there is still one game remaining for the St. Louis Cardinals in Tampa but as I looked at the pitching match-ups for the upcoming Cincinnati Reds series, I could not get past Monday’s Independence Day opener.

Mon., July 4 vs. REDS: Chris Carpenter (3-7, 4.00) vs. Johnny Cueto (5-2, 1.84) 5:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

As fans all over baseball know, there is history from 2010.

The Cardinals had slipped to two games behind the Reds heading into a crucial three-game series in the Queen City that began on August 9. St. Louis swept Cincinnati, reaching the 15 games over .500 mark while re-taking the division lead for what would be the last time.

The huge series win was not without tragedy. On August 10, a melee erupted that had its origin in words from Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips the night before. The physical incident was touched off when Phillips tapped the shin guards and spoke to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to begin the bottom of the first inning.

In the scuffle that followed, Cardinals reserve catcher Jason LaRue suffered what became a career-ending concussion when kicked in the head by the Cincinnati pitcher Cueto. Carpenter also suffered cuts and scratches while Cueto ended up receiving the most minor rap on the knuckles, a seven-game suspension.

“I turned around and I’ve got Cueto kicking me in the back with his spikes,” Carpenter said at the time. “He ends up kicking my backup catcher in the face. Totally unprofessional. Unbelievable. I don’t know where that guy learned to fight.”

Is there any doubt that Carpenter, coming off three long games in terms of pitches thrown, will be at his competitive best come Monday? Does Cueto dare dig in when he steps up to the plate?

This will be Cueto’s first mound appearance in St. Louis since the fight. He defeated the Cardinals and Kyle McClellan in Cincinnati on May 14.

Here are the other two series games, also expected to be interesting.

Tue., July 5 vs. REDS: Jaime Garcia (7-3, 3.33) vs. Edinson Volquez (5-3, 5.65) 6:09 p.m. CDT (ESPN, FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

Wed., July 6 vs. REDS: Jake Westbrook (7-4, 4.92) vs. Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.49) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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114 Responses to “Cardinals-Reds match-up means Fourth of July fireworks ahead”

  1. Brian Walton says:

    Sunday lineup:

    1. Ryan Theriot (R) SS
    2. Jon Jay (L) RF
    3. Matt Holliday (R) LF
    4. Lance Berkman (S) DH
    5. David Freese (R) 3B
    6. Colby Rasmus (L) CF
    7. Yadier Molina (R) C
    8. Mark Hamilton (L) 1B
    9. Skip Schumaker (L) 2B

  2. crdswmn says:

    I don’t expect Carp to do anything unless something new happens. I think too much time has passed.

    There will be a lot of trash talking between fans. Personally I think Cards fans need to get over Brandon Phillips. Continuing to give him so much attention just feeds into his ego. He has developed this Twitter personality that is getting a lot of attention and praise; it’s nauseating but it is winning him the PR war. I would rather Cards fans just let it go rather than feed into his persona by letting him play the martyr.

    Cueto is a different story. I am still waiting for the Baseball Gods to mete out the punishment he deserves. :)

  3. blingboy says:

    It would be worth the price of admission to heap abuse on Cueto. And Phillips. I would even be willing to boo Baker. Hopefully, the Reds will be more distracted than the Cards.

  4. blingboy says:

    Tony is being persitant trying to get Hamilton going.

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Easily……..and obviously…….his best team has Punto at 2nd and Skip in the outfield today………. this is about keeping LB away from 1st base…………. which is now Tony politics……….. it is an expensive position to hold……………….. if Hamilton wasn’t a complete wash..maybe you could argue……Punto came back red hot…..tony sat him for 2 games and then 1 at SS……….. that can’t be seen as good managing……….it can be seen as someone who has an agenda……………

    For those that struggle with this………………..Tony has a sweeping vision of his job…….good/bad ????
    He plans his BP use for a whole series….and will burn it down trying to stay with said plan……… he coaches a month ahead of time…… good/bad?
    Berkman not playing first……….is a very obvious manipulation of reason…….with a very obvious consideration……….and that is aimed at the front office…….. it isn’t about baseball at this time……….if anything…….he has decided that being in a position to force Mo to make a move now, is more important than trying to front run………..he wants changes here……. for September…..not first place at the break.

  6. blingboy says:

    National League

    Starters
    1B: Prince Fielder, Brewers
    2B: Rickie Weeks, Brewers
    3B: Jose Reyes, Mets
    SS: Placido Polanco, Phillies
    OF: Lance Berkman, Cardinals
    OF: Ryan Braun, Brewers
    OF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
    C: Brian McCann, Braves

    Reserves
    1B: Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
    1B: Joey Votto, Reds
    2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
    3B: Chipper Jones, Braves
    SS: Starlin Castro, Cubs
    SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
    OF: Jay Bruce, Reds
    OF: Matt Holliday, Cardinals
    OF: Hunter Pence, Astros
    OF: Justin Upton, D-backs
    C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

    Pitchers
    RHP: Matt Cain, Giants
    RHP: Roy Halladay, Phillies
    LHP: Cole Hamels, Phillies
    RHP: Jair Jurrjens, Braves
    LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
    LHP: Cliff Lee, Phillies
    RHP: Tim Lincecum, Giants
    RHP: Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
    RHP: Heath Bell, Padres
    RHP: Tyler Clippard, Nationals
    RHP: Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
    LHP: Jonny Venters, Braves
    RHP: Brian Wilson, Giants

  7. blingboy says:

    AL Pitchers. . RHP: Chris Perez, Indians . . . .

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The news is……….MLB made a decision on AP……………. doubt they called his agent…….. you will hear a bit about this upcoming I’d venture a guess………….. why activate him now and loose the insurance money? Interesting news in the Dodger case…….. Selig goes under oath……….. that ought to be interesting.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      “”"With Albert Pujols on the DL because of a wrist injury, Prince Fielder of the Brewers — now a three-time All-Star — used a phenomenal first half to beat out Joey Votto of the Reds and start at first base for the NL. ”

      Notice that the DL status didn’t effect Jeter……………………

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      and then again maybe the insurance angle is a Westie fantasy as it is almost certain that no insurance kicks in until at least 30 days (and most likely 60 days).

  9. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    nice swing by Jay…………… theriot full by the changeup……his big swing “with surprising power” rendered harmless……..Holiday leans from the waist……same old……..

  10. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Lohse is working from the extreme left side of the rubber……….. again…..nullify the slider…. he appears to be the calm, quite journeyman pro…….. we better score some runs ……..and soon………

  11. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Notice both money pitches the Theriot were up………..appealing to his sense of grandeur……… big swing……..surprising power…………. thwarted again………these guys scout too……… they are right on it……………this kid will break if we pressure him……….

  12. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The very good part of that…………. Helikson gets no rest……….. he is stressing……. we need to take smart AB’s……….be selective……… MH…..please get in this a little….. matt must have a fever….hand trimmed undershirt…wrong color……….

  13. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    This is the first tight place………..team has 0 energy……….Molina is trying to slow Lohse down on instructions from the bench………………….. he likely gives up a few here………….

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      even though he close called it………that was a much better inning by Lohse….working faster..using all his pitches……. Cardinals suck………..Hamilton first pitches a struggling kid………thats stupid.

  14. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    No one is even making an attempt to get the ball down on that Carpet…………. its disillusion……….
    theriot lifts one………at least soft this time…..into left………. these guys have no one on their case……………….MM is way too relaxed…….

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    All with 2 outs…………..a 9 hitter who plays like one…..and a professional hitter……. and a pitcher that knows theres no play at the plate………so he doesn’t back it up……….and thats the ball game…….. he will now overthrow and give up a bomb somewhere..

  16. Leebo says:

    this just feels like last year. I have no confidence they can string enough hits together to score two runs. As long as Rays aren’t stupid enough to pitch to Berkman, Cards are in trouble. Holiday singles.

  17. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Colby was looking for his favorite hit………….. all the other color M&M’s are off the table…..

  18. crdswmn says:

    Why didn’t Lohse back up the play at the plate? Not good baseball.

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I pull him right now………..he’s finished

  20. Kansasbirdman says:

    Just caught back up on things. We didn’t do it with as many hits but glad to see a comeback the same inning

  21. Leebo says:

    Loshe is through, get him out now. Do not wait!!

  22. blingboy says:

    Jay took it off the wall and got rid of it quick, so far so good. Skip looked like he had no idea if he was going home or not until he wheeled around while transferring the ball. Why? Nobody was giving him any guidance. Why? Lack of attention to fundamentals. The result was an inaccurate throw and a run given away. Then Lohse’s lack of attention to fundamentals gave away another. So poor fundamental play has had an effect on this game equal to Lance’s two run homer.

    Surely it is cheaper to enforce attention to fundamentals than to hire home run hitters. The manager has to do it though.

  23. Leebo says:

    Is Boggs hurt?? Didn’t Boggs come in and strike out two batters with runners on twice last week. And he hasn’t pitched since.

  24. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    He can pout in the Dugout now………… he turned into meat………… notice how good hitting teams just take the pitch where it wants to go………Damon was dreaming about that low change…..those doubles, both OPO were just elevated pitches…….too little motion………. I’m glad he’s p-ssed……… maybe he reexamines his game planning………….

  25. Leebo says:

    Its over now folks. They won’t make the mistake of giving Berkman another pitch to hit. Who else can step up? Freese? Rasmus? I just don’t have faith in any of the rest right now. I am ashamed of myself, but this all is too familiar.

  26. Leebo says:

    What was that? A six pitch inning?

  27. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Ah……………Yadi and Hamilton and Skip all missed there HR turn…………………. we make it real tough on their catcher…………… this kid was rattled in the 2nd………. now he is just cruising…….. they got the 5 runs………unless wild card Berkman has a miracle…….this ones over………

  28. blingboy says:

    Damon has been around. As he rounded first he saw no cut-off man in position so he assumed right. Colby sailed it to the plate for no purpose and Damon jogged into second. It pays to know your opposition.

    Tony wouldn’t have enough room on the bench if he decided to require major league calibre play. A lot of the fans understand they are seeing a shoddy product. But if they boo, its them that deserve critisism?

  29. Leebo says:

    Valdes, does a nice job. Lets see if we could muster enough energy to have a couple of decent at bats.

  30. Kansasbirdman says:

    If you. Are watching the fx spts mdwst feed the camera showed a lady getting food and the camera kept trying to focus on her making the purchase and almost showed her card info. Dangerous

  31. Leebo says:

    Theriot, nice at bat. We can’t let this kid off the ropes again.

  32. Leebo says:

    Ok, I am starting to get it now. TLR foreits another game in order to pressure Mo to hurry up with more BP arms. Amirite?

  33. Kansasbirdman says:

    two hits up the 3b line (rbis). Hope Freese is still healthy, his defense was good yesterday

    • blingboy says:

      Freese was the same today as yesterday, Kansas. The difference was the guy to his left.

      With Punto at SS yesterday, Freese could play closer to the line. Today, he had to cheat to his left so as to reduce the visibility of Theriot’s lack of range. The effect of playing a bad SS doesn’t only show up on balls hit to that position.

  34. Nutlaw says:

    Okay, Tallet. Your Cardinals career was terrible while it lasted.

  35. Leebo says:

    A frustrating end to the road trip, but it was still a winning road trip. Just going to try and get this one out of my mind. Looking forward to some possible ‘riff-raff’ out there tomorrow.

  36. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Pittsburgh is for real ………Reds win……….. if Brewers loose.(they are)…….its starting to get tight……….we could still achieve my 4th place prediction………… but lets hope note…….. Berkman has to play first tomorrow……….

    Well, now that Pujols has been blocked……and he has……… and we are sliding…we are…….I look for him to take his time here………after the break looks like his new plan…………..

  37. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Question is……do the Twins put Capp out there to get torched again……..thats 2 for Joe Nathan…..

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Watch this game BB………….. Matt Capp who gave up the ship yesterday in the 9th is coming out again…………………… you have to love it…………..

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        That it for Capp……..Nathan is now the closer…………2on one out……..Fielder at the play….Gardenhire matches up…………… In the Cardinal universe……which is the nightmare? Brewers get Momentum….of the pack falls into chaos……..

  38. CariocaCardinal says:

    Since he wasn’t voted in, the bottom line is that Pujols didn’t deserve an All-Star game nod.

    • blingboy says:

      It might be a bit of a reality check for Albert. His status on Tony’s team isn’t dependant on current performance. The rest of the baseball world expects results.

      His D is way down from historical levels, his O is laging too. He is keeping his HR and RBI numbers up, but a lot of it is feasting on carrion rather than clutch game winning take downs.

      Another aspect is perception. The past few years, Cards highlights have often been Albert highlights. Not so much this year.

      I don’t know if Tony has been asked about it, but I can imagine he thinks its a grave injustice.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Are you saying that you think the recent media blitz on his miraculous availability, wasn’t enough to guilt the selection committee in making him a coaches choice………..after 400,000+ “voters” overcame Pujols miraculous fan base, who were voting them selfs………oh ya, and Votto too……..all in a 48 hr period……..all text votes charged the standard rate……each individual votes having to read and qualify a unique code….on every ballot………BB ???????

        In a country that doesn’t even have fair Presidential elections……………… Oh………. I see…..

        And empty your piggy bank into an envelope and mail it to Billiam De……………he doesn’t get his AP insurance money for a long time in days………how will he get milk…….and bread………???
        When you have more money available than you can burn……that needs to find shelter………while your boys are watching the hen house……….. you stuff a basket in the hands of someone that may pay you back……… write it of as operational expense……… and hope it come out clean someday……. standard practice………….for some……….

  39. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    “I think we had a good game plan,” said second baseman Skip Schumaker. “[Hellickson] has a very good changeup. We decided we didn’t want to be in between, so we wanted to stay on his fastball. So we tried to hit his fastball as early as we could. But it just wasn’t [happening]. Just no love tonight. But you’ve got to give credit to him, too. He did a good job keeping us off-balance, because he kind of figured that out and started throwing early offspeed.”

    Can you see any problems with this……………………..MM decides………. and that advice is good for everyone………….especially the number 9………………. incredible………………

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      And then there is this………………….

      “It wasn’t the sharpest I’ve been,” Lohse said. “This team seemed like they had a pretty good approach, kind of waited out my changeup and jumped on some fastballs that I left up — overall, wasn’t very good.”

      I wonder if we could make there pitcher “not good”……………………………….somehow………..

      In defense of MM………….he has a bunch of idiots that like a good high leg kick…….. maybe if he was coaching hitters………he would have given good advice to give……….too……….

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      Why would it be a problem? His advice has led to the second most runs of any team in the National League.

      Reality bites doesn’t it?

  40. Bw52 says:

    CC-i don`t think WCWB knows what reality is.He`s a lost ball in tall weeds.

  41. crdswmn says:

    I really don’t know who to vote for in the NL final player vote. Anyone want to lobby me for someone?

  42. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The Cardinals remain a small favorite in todays game …………………. I think this is largely based on Johnnie Q’s volatility in a hostile environment ……….. I remain skeptical about how hostile an environment we can actually create at this point …………. Lets face it……….. Rasmus and Freese become big focal points for the Cardinals…………… is Theriot using MM vague power encouragements to justify his pop ups trying to be the hero……along with Skip ……….. how not Colby……….

    Berkman can and will be avoided ……. Holiday will be baited……… the rest play for their future earning ……….. the team really didn’t gel……….and Tony in know way contributed to that……….

    Bottom line……. the Cardinals are an easy tactical target at this point……. especially Carpenter without a change up and 130 pitches last outing………….. the high temperature of 83 favors the Reds…………. I don’t like anything about this match up………… the best team concept should prevail………….. how could that be us????????? If we have a line up that doesn’t have Punto at second and Berkman at first……..we are very likely going to have out a–es handed to us……….. if it starts in the first three inning…….it could get bad…………………… I would love to be wrong……but lets be honest about that…………………

  43. Brian Walton says:

    Monday lineup: Theriot SS, Jay RF, Holliday LF, Berkman 1B, Freese 3B, Rasmus CF, Molina C, Schumaker 2B, Carpenter P.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      It is the predictable line up……………………Skip is having a year at the top of his “competency”……
      He is insulated in a position of little demand….the 8 spot………if he would take the walks….that would be fine…….but he isn’t………….. Unless the sun issues surrounding a twilight start, slow the development of this game, that lineup doesn’t get it…………….and I believe Tony knows this, and that why your seeing it……………… It all falls on greed……… if Theriot doesn’t stay on top of the ball, flying out to right……… and Jay looks foolish striking out………..this game will be over in a hurry…….. you know what swings you’re getting from Colby and Yadi……….and then skip (who has surprising power)………… I guessing that Dusty isn’t going to shoot himself in the foot………..

      Tony wants changes……….if he gets knocked down early, he is liable to have another BP purge…in front of the home town fans……….that could be tough…………… if that includes letting Carpenter take the beating……….I fire him after the game………….

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        The spectacle of St Louis seems to overwhelm the Reds……….. the Molina bunt in the 8th was really well done………he knew what was coming and he executed it…………. wonder why he hit the first ons so hard?………………… Colby got the hit………. ignoring the gambit created by that bad first strike call……
        Carpenter reasserts himself…………..he got some breaks…….Theriot was credible at SS tonight……

        Salas had evil stuff…………………. when do dump the extra pitcher and get a damn bat up here……..I’m happy for Hamilton…………but get real……………

        Still no word from Mo……………… we know what doctor we’re seeing tomorrow……….. whats it gonna be…………whose guessing………… will TLR and AP make a big deal out of a cautionary posture?????? Why would they do that…..for heaven sakes…………….

  44. blingboy says:

    We’ll see what kind of defensive support Carp gets today. Perhaps Colby will be mindful of the resposibilities of his position. Theriot and Skip should be motivated to be all they can be. Matt will have left his rubber glove at home.

    Let us hope the Cards batters are handy at ripping chin high liners back up the middle.

    Memo to Brian. Lineups should be displayed vertically. Just because.

  45. Leebo says:

    I would like to see this line-up. I don’t understand why Theriot at ss is sacred!!
    Theriot 2b
    Jay rf
    Berkman 1b
    Holiday lf
    Freese 3b
    Rasmus cf
    Molina c
    Punto ss
    Pitcher

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      I like it Leebo…………….. I leave Punto at 2nd………hit Colby 2nd with “strict” instructions…….

    • blingboy says:

      This would be a strong D lineup for Carp. The idea is if we don’t give away runs we’ll win with Carp.
      Theriot, 2B
      Jay, CF
      Holiday, LF
      Berkman, RF
      Freese, 1B
      Descalso, 3B
      Punto, SS
      Molina, C

  46. Leebo says:

    Jim Hayes thinks Pujols may be back tomorrow. LOL!! I hope they aren’t serious. After the break would be fine with me.

  47. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    After his fielding workout, Pujols said he felt no pain. “If I felt any pain, I wouldn’t be swinging,” he said although Pujols coyly said that he had four more weeks because that’s what the doctors originally had suggested.

    Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_650ecc12-a675-11e0-a65c-001a4bcf6878.html#ixzz1RAte9s9q

    For those here that have followed this story…………. this article is pretty much an affirmation or declaration of war between “on field” and front office interests……………. it has been bubbling…… Pujols looking to spotlight himself if front of an important game that he is not in……….is ludicrous…….attempting to create public pressure for the front office to reactivate him, on his word…….. is very provocative………….. I would remind everyone………I could care less what he does….it’s actually very interesting…………… I would also remind you……there is a huge failure risk in his current course…………as predicted………. should he re injure that wrist…..requiring surgery…….. that endangers BD’s ….stash/investment………because that would undoubtedly create litigation surrounding any claims………. what a forth……… there aren’t any Mo quotes in that piece ….. there might even be fines…………

    • JumboShrimp says:

      “Most of all, you listen to him because he’s going to know best.” Vintage TLR. He listens to the “experts” (doctors). Then does what Albert and Tony want to do. Play Ball!

      Albert is Playable! Normal mortals need weeks for their bones to heal. Albert walks on water and now He heals Himself!

      We shall no longer have to pray, in vain, for Mark Hamilton and Andrew Brown to save us. The return of the Saviour is Nigh.

  48. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    38 pitches through 2 innings ………….. -1

    right on Jumbo

  49. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    9 pitches helps 47……………. I’m keeping track of this……….carp red-lines in the 90′s

  50. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Cards are attempting to play small ball………they can do it……….. nice stokes by Theriot and Molina………. that send by Oqendo reeks of desperation………. Bruce is a player…… and that wasn’t even worth a slide close…………..

  51. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    He pulled that one back………..great play……….we need to strike right now……Jay takes it to the plate……………. Holiday……..wake up………. this scenario doesn’t favor Cuedo……… he needs a lead.

  52. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Nice work by the Cardinals…………………. Cueto is trying to blow up………..but we keep him in the game………….. 2nd mistake by Berkman .who is obviously pressing…………. he individual initiative is starting to haunt in this game………….

  53. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Colby busting his a– to stop the DP…………..Yadi jogging up the line………….. the game is beginning to turn……….we are holding this team up………riding Carp…….can’t last…….

  54. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Chris has been very good with locations as a general rule……….. he will inter the 90′s next inning…………I hope we give him some help right now…….it would make all the difference in the world…….

  55. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    For those that think I’m BSing about Theriot…………. he is swinging under control this game….he has pressured the defense each time……………….. the privilege of not doing that……….comes from somewhere………….

  56. Leebo says:

    Good thing Jay is in Right Field tonight.

  57. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    They set up perfectly for that count……….got the pitch and the DP……. Freese just struggling for contact………….. they played that like we would………Carp is in danger here…….

  58. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Thats it for Chris………I hope we get him a run here….and go to Salas……….if Tony fools around with a match up on Bruce…and thats possible…..I will s–t…………………..Just go to Boggs right off…..

  59. JumboShrimp says:

    Maybe tonight we will indeed be saved by Mighty Mark Hamilton and his timely infield single.

  60. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Great job by Carp………Salas had some stink working…………. nice hit by Colby….they tried to decoy him away and came up and in trying to catch him leaning………… nice swing there…………. and just think…. a team win…into first place……………..and we have Albert coming back…………wow………..

  61. CariocaCardinal says:

    Wow! 0 K’s for the Cards. don’t see that much with this team.

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