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Bird Watching: A St Louis Cardinals Weekly Roundup

Week of August 23rd-August 29th

Greetings! This will mark the beginning of a continuing series where I will follow along with the St Louis Cardinals in a weekly round-up style article. This will strictly be for fun and for you, the reader’s pleasure. For fun, I will be adding an OTD in 2011 for a comparison and celebration of the last time the Cardinals went from 10 and 1/2 games out of the wild card on August 24th, 2011, to eventual World Champions. Can this year’s version of the St Louis Cardinals do the same? Heck, they’re only 3 and 1/2 games out on August 29th of 2021. Baseball is truly an unpredictable sport and once you have seen one October of Cardinals devil magic or a historical September collapse of the Atlanta Braves, the Cardinals are very much alive in this playoff race. How will this year end?

August 23rd: Off day. Wild Card standings: Cincinnati 69-57 St. Louis (-4.5 GB)

August 24th: Final Det 4 @ Stl 3 (WC STL -4.5 GB)

Going into this short two-game series with the Tigers, and a four-game series after with the lowly Pirates, it was important for the St Louis Cardinals to set the tone early with a win. That did not happen. In fact, for the second time this year, the Cardinals young stud Jack Flaharty left his start with the medical staff, and his return is unknown. Jack only lasted 2 innings before the bullpen came in and went 7 scoreless. Unfortunately, the late 8th inning 3 run push by the Cardinals, capped by Nolan Arenados’s 2-run double, was not enough for the Cardinals to come back in this one. Overall, not a good day at all for a team hoping to make a late-season push. Alas, one shiny golden token to take from the day: Yadier Molina will be returning for his 19th season in 2022 as he signed a 1 year $10 Million dollar contract. “Yes, yes, it will be my final season,” Yadi told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, during a conference call Wednesday. “I want to finish here in this great organization.” August 24th , 2011: LAD 9 @ STL 4 (WC STL -11.5 GB)

August 25th: Final Det 2 @ Stl 3 (WC STL -3.5 GB)

It was imperative that the Cardinals find a way to split the series here and pick up a win on a team under .500. That’s exactly what they did. Paul Goldschmidt stays hot and swats a pair of home runs for his 20th, and 21st of the year. Outside of Goldschmidt though, the Cardinals bats stood quietly by and watched Detriot tie the game at 2-2 and force extra innings. T.J. McFarland has been the warm soup on a cold day for the Cardinals ever since arriving in St. Louis and he was comforting all the same as he shut the door in the top of the 10th to send the Cardinals to the bottom of the 10th still tied. Rookie Lars Nootbar collects his first career walk-off as he lines a single through the right side to send the Cardinal fans home happy. August 25th, 2011 : STL 8 vs Pitts 4 ( WC STL -10.5 GB).

Paul Goldschmidt of the St Louis Cardinals celebrates his hot streak

August 26th: Final STL 7 @ PIT 11 (WC STL -4.5 GB)

This was one of those games that if you’re the St Louis Cardinals you want to forget, but you won’t. Three. That’s the number of runs the Pirates would have scored if there was no Honda HomeRun inning (7th inning). The Pirates obviously picked up something on Genisis Cabrera and collected 6 hits in a span of 13 pitches. Again with familiar angst, the Cardinals bats had no answers and fall in the opener in an ugly fashion. August 26th, 2011: Pitts 4 @ STL 5 (WC STL -9.5 GB).

August 27th: Final STL 4 @ Pit 3 (WC STL -4.5 GB)

J.A. Happ’s ERA with Minnesota 6.77. Happ’s ERA since joining St. Louis on July 30th, 2.22. His Whip is 1.02 since joining the Cardinals and he is doing exactly what they brought him here to do, throw strikes. Luis Garcia, another new Cardinal in 2021 extends his scoreless inning streak to 15 2/3 innings over a span of the last 17 games. Oh! and a familiar read in August for St. Louis, Paul Goldschmidt 3-4. He’s now batting .288. August 27th, 2011: Pitts 7 @ Stl 0 (WC STL – 10 GB).

August 28th: Final STL 13 @ Pit 0 (WC STL -3.5)

Changes are being made to get more offense. Mike Shildt knows he has to do something as the season winds down and so he does. Tommy Edman gets inserted back at the top of the lineup and goes 4-6 with 2 rbis. While Edmundo Sosa goes bananas going 4-6 with 2 triples and 5 RBI’s. Sosa continues to swing a hot bat and earn more playing time with his combination of speed and defense. With Paul Dejong continuing to struggle and the other tools Sosa brings to the table ( not to mention Sosa is just fun to watch), I would not be surprised to see Sosa get more playing time moving forward. Lastly, the ace of the staff Adam Wainwright improves to 13-7 on the year and lowers his ERA to 2.97. He is doing his best to carry this team. August 28th, 2011: Pitts 4 @ Stl 7 (WC STL – 9.5).

August 29th:  Final STL 3 @ Pit 4 (WC STL -3.5)

Alex Reyes celebrated his 27th birthday on August 29th. Unfortunately for Reyes, that was all he celebrated on Sunday. Tommy “Two-bags” Edman picks up his National league-leading 35th double to lead the St. Louis Cardinals Offense after KK and the Garcia, Gallegos, McFarland train keeps rolling along as they combined to hold the pirates to only 1 run on 3 hits through 8 innings. Alas, the dreaded walk that has been the bugaboo for the Cardinals in 2021 came back to bit them as Alex Reyes walked the first two batters he faced before giving up a three-run walk-off home run to Pirates OF Yoshi Tsutsugo. August 29th, 2011: Off day (WC STL -9.5 GB).

 

That’s it for the debut edition of Bird Watching a weekly roundup on the St. Louis Cardinals. Be sure to drop a line in the comments and let me know what you think! 

Written by Matthew Blaker

Former minor-league broadcaster and still a contageous baseball nerd. Have watched every Cardinals game for the last 22+ years, and I will never stop. Love to travel and try great food too! I also play Bass in my spare time.

2 Comments

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  1. A great read! I look forward to seeing more of your opinions in the future, it really warmed this old ball fan’s heart!

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