St Louis Cardinals Weekly Roundup: 9/6 – 9/12

Bird Watching

Well, I predicted 4-3 and we got 4-3. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a joy to watch. This week was full of future Hall of Famers getting a chance to shine in Max Scherzer, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina all having signature moments at Busch. Adam Wainwright continues to turn back time notching his 15th victory and lowering his ERA to 2.91, and Nolan Arenado leads the Cardinals to a huge series victory over the Reds by swatting his 30th and 31st home runs on the year. But that’s just to hit a few points. Let’s dive deeper and see what all took place

September 6th: Final LAD 5 @ STL 1 (WC STL -3.5)

Following a game where the Cardinals let a victory slip away in Milwaukee on Sunday, they knew there was a tall task ahead of them Monday facing the Dodgers and future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer ready to take the bump. Scherzer entered the opener sitting at 2,981 career strikeouts, needing only 19 more to become the 19th member of the 3,000 strikeout club. He finished the day needing only 6 more. The St. Louis native dominated the Cardinals in front of a new season attendance high, 43,575, on a beautiful Labor Day afternoon in St. Louis. To his support was a very aggressive Dodgers lineup, who jumped a still-rusty Miles Mikolas for 4 runs in the 1st, highlighted by Chris Taylor’s 20th on the season. Mikolas and the rest of the Cardinals bullpen on the afternoon ( A. Miller, Whitely, Ponce de Leon respectively) combined to allow only one more hit for the following 8 innings. On the Birds side of the plate, Goldschmidt and Edman contributed 5 of the 6 hits the Cardinals had for the afternoon. Unfortunately for the 43,000 paid attendees, the Cardinals could only scrap across one run. September 6th, 2011: STL 4 @ MIL 2 (WC STL -7.5)

Check out this fan’s video of the crowd chanting “We want Albert” late in the ballgame.

September 7th: Final LAD 7 @ STL 2 (WC STL -3.5)

On paper, this looked like a decent chance for the Cardinals to score some runs, against what the Dodgers openly advertised as a bullpen game. Again, it turned out to be another celebration for a St. Louis legend, on the Dodgers. Albert Pujols. Making only his 2nd trip back to Busch Stadium since his departure in 2011, Pujols stepped up to the plate in the first inning, batting 3rd in Dodger blue, and swatted a solo home-run off of lefty J.A. Happ. Truly poetic. Pujols, 41 now, primarily plays only against lefties, and deservingly so batting .302/.635/.976 (Batting average, slugging, and OPS respectfully.), helped get things started for the Dodgers, and his teammates took it from there. Dodgers catcher Will Smith went 4-4 on the evening, while 3B Justin Turner hit two home runs and drove in three. The Cardinals tried to stay in it for the first 3 innings, leading until the 4th 2-1, but then the wheels came off. The Dodger scored 2 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, 1 in the 6th, and 2 in the 9th innings, while the Cardinal’s offense could not get anything going against the Dodgers bullpen game. The birds need to win soon. September 7th, 2011: STL 2 @ MIL 0 (WC STL -6.5)

September 8th: Final LAD 4 @ STL 5 (WC STL -3.5)

Call him the stopper. Making career start 301 together, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina took it upon themselves to make sure the Cardinals got back on their winning ways, again. Corey Seager got the Dodgers on the board in the top of the first with an RBI double, while Arenado tied the game with an RBI ground out, and Yadi roped a 1-1 hanging slider into the left-field bleachers to make it 3-1 early on. from there on Waino cruised through 8.1 innings, almost going the distance before allowing the go-ahead run to reach and passing the ball to Gallegos to close the deal. Adam Wainwright has been absolutely money coming down the stretch for the redbirds. Over his last 10 starts, he has lowered his ERA from the 3.5’s to now a 2.91 era and hasn’t gone less than 6 innings since July 6th, where he went 5 and was still credited with the win. He has catapulted himself into CY Young conversation and when he takes the field, something about the team behind him just clicks. September 8th, 2011: OFF DAY (WC STL 8 GB)

September 9th: Final LAD 1 @ STL 2 (WC STL -3 GB)

A much-needed, hard-fought win to split a series with the powerhouse Dodgers in September? Yes, please. A wonderfully pitched game on both fronts really, but the edge goes to the Cardinals here. Jake Woodford got the start and has looked much better since getting recalled from AAA on September 3rd. He’s attacking hitters with his fastball and getting ahead in counts, something he struggled with early on in the season. Woodford gave way to Alex Reyes, TJ McFarland, Luis Garcia, and Giovanny Gallegos respectively who all came in and dominated. Tylor O’Neill crushed his 25th home run on the season and Andrew Knizner, getting a rare start to spell Molina, went 2-3 with an RBI 2B. Big series split and the birds will look to carry momentum heading into their last series against the Reds on the year. September 9th, 2011: ATL 3 @ STL 4 (WC STL -6.5 GB)

September 10th: Final: CIN 4 @ STL 2 (WC STL-3 GB)

The Cardinals had their chances but threw them away in the 9th. Early on Eugenio Suárez and Joey Votto, the birthday boy, popped solo shots to put the Reds ahead 2-0. But just in September fashion, Yadi found a pitch to his liking with one runner on and tied the game with one swing of the bat. Jon Lester settled in after that going 7 innings in total, only allowing the 2 runs. With the game tied at 2, McFarland came in for the Cardinals, and with an 18.2 scoreless inning streak intact that dates back to July 31st, you feel good about your chances. Unfortunately for McFarland and the Cards, that streak snapped with two hard-hit balls from Reds Jose Barrero and Delino DeShields respectfully. The Cardinals tried to throw both runners out at the plate, but both times the throw was wide to the 1B side. They had no answer in the bottom of the 9th and thus they dropped a big series opener. September 10th, 2011: ATL 3 @ STL 4 (WC STL -5.5 GB)

September 11th: Final: CIN 4 @ STL 6 (WC STL-2 GB)

What an amazing game for the St. Louis Faithful. 7 of the 8 Cardinals starters got a hit, and Nolan Arenado who was ever critical of himself on Friday night after the game found himself the hero of the night just one day later. Miles Mikolas continues to build on previous performances and was able to go 5 innings allowing 4 runs this time out. Albeit for the 4th inning where he allowed separate 2-run home runs to Johnathon India and Nick “Cardinal masher” Castellanos, Mikolas pitched very efficiently. And for the Reds bats? That was it. The Cardinals were able to tag Luis Castillo for 4 runs through 7 and find themselves with a chance to win it in the bottom of the 8th. Nolan Arenado got his moment too. In a seemingly must-win game, Arenado took a 1-0 hanging slider and deposited it over the left-field wall for his 30th on the season and put the birds on top late 6-4. With the help of Cabrera, Reyes, and Gallegos out of the Cardinals bullpen, the Cardinals were able to close it out and gain a game against the Reds in the Wild Card. Mike Shildt after the game “That was just the will to win… We fought, scratched, clawed, and found a way to win a baseball game. It was a team win with a lot of contributions from everybody.” September 11th, 2011: ATL 3 @ STL 6 (WC STL -4.5 GB)

September 12th: Final: CIN 0 @ STL 2(WC STL- 1 GB)

A pitchers duel on a Sunday afternoon for the rubber game against two Wild Card Contenders, sign me up. J.A. Happ vs Sonny Gray. Happ looking to do better than the last time he went out, where he gave up 4 to the Dodgers in 4.1 innings, did exactly that allowing 0 runs through 5.1 innings. Sonny Gray gave up three hits on the afternoon, 2 in the first, and one that left the park. Nolan Arenado, not satisfied with spoiling the Red’s hopes Saturday night, strikes again in the 1st inning on Sunday. The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead and that was it. The bullpen has been lights out recently and continued to silence the Reds bats and put themselves just 1 game back going into the coming week.September 12th, 2011: ATL 3 @ STL 4 (WC STL -4.5 GB)

The Birds go on a short, but important trip to New York to take on the Mets for three games before returning home for three against the Padres in the upcoming weekend. They start the week just one game back of the 2nd Wild Card spot. The lineup is heating up and the bullpen has been outstanding recently. With Adam Wainwright setting the tone every time he takes the mound, can the Cardinals do this thing and sneak in? I predict that the Cardinals will actually go 5-2 this week and grab the 2nd wild card lead by next week. Keep following along here and I will talk to you all next week. Cheers!

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.

One Comment

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  1. Another magnificent read! I didn’t get chance to watch any ball this week, life gets a little hectic so it was good to be able to see the results with great analysis and color! Look forward to reading the next one Mr. Blaker.

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