GAME 115: Swept Away
The strangely-dormant offense came alive on a rainy afternoon in Florida, leading the Cardinals to an 8-4 victory over Marlins and a series sweep.
REMAINING TROUBLE: I must say that I prefer early-season Jaime Garcia over the model currently pitching in our rotation. While giving up two runs isn’t bad, it isn’t good when your starter gives up six hits and three walks in only five innings of work. If the playoffs started tomorrow (and we were in it … no sure thing), Garcia would be the second or third starter in that series. He needs to be much better than what we’ve seen tonight and recently.
BIZARRE STAT: This is really the first four-game sweep by the Cardinals on the road since 2004???
MV3²: The soggy trip to Florida is exactly what the doctor ordered for the big three bats in the center of our lineup. Today they went 5-11 with 5 RBI’s and 4 runs scored. For the series, they batted .437 with 14 runs scored, 5 home runs, 13 RBI’s, 9 walks, 5 doubles, and a triple (from Berkman of all people). That is some big-time production, the kind of offense that we’ve been patiently anticipating all season. Hopefully that’s the start of the engine that will drive this team to the playoffs.
RIOT GEAR: Ryan Theriot hasn’t been very visible since the Cards traded for Rafael Furcal. He got the start at second today, though, and he made the most of it. First, he made a twisting, last-second grab of a fly ball in shallow right field. Then, Theriot delivered the game-winning hit seventh inning. The guy means well and is a gutsy, from-the-heart ballplayer, and I hate seeing him sitting on the bench. Unfortunately, that’s where he belongs.
SAD GOODBYE: The Cardinals finished their 19 year tenure playing against the Marlins in Sun Life Stadium before the team moves to their brand new stadium next year. The Cards have the best record in baseball at Sun Life, with a 45-27 record (a .625 winning percentage). Can we play there from now on??
PLAYER OF THE GAME: I’m going to give it to Theriot, who gave us the lead for good after the Marlins had just tied the score. Besides, he could use the morale booster.
CONCLUSION: This was a rejuvenating trip for the Redbirds, and this sweep was a terrific tonic to wash out the bad taste from the Milwaukee series. Unfortunately, momentum doesn’t seem to apply to this team, and they’ll probably play like this series never happened by the time the Brewers take the field Tuesday in St. Louis. But we can still hope, right?