GAME 97: Cursing Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw has dominated the Cardinals forever, and it looked like he was cruising to yet another shutout until the offense came to life and redeemed Adam Wainwright. With a little bit of timely hitting, the Cardinals (51-46) gained a bit of ground with an 8-2 win over the Dodgers. MYSTERY SOLVED: Kershaw came into this game in the midst of a 19 inning scoreless streak against the Cardinals. He’s one of those soft-tossing lefties that typically gives our aggressive hitters some trouble. Kershaw continued his mastery of the offense for five brilliant innings, surrendering just two hits to Daniel Descalso, the eighth-place hitter. But thanks to a “holy cow I hit the ball” swing from Wainwright that produced an RBI double, the Cards finally broke through against Kershaw. And it felt SO DAMNED GOOD!
DOING EVERYTHING: Gotta give Wainwright credit … he pushed himself to compete in blast furnace temperatures, and held the Dodgers in check while patiently waiting for his teammates to give him some runs. And when that didn’t happen, Wainwright took matters into his own hands by accidentally stroking a double to score the first run. Don’t look now, but Waino is creeping ever closer to the .500 mark.
HOBBLED: Lance Berkman must have a cursed Tiki doll stuffed in his locker somewhere. His 2012 season has been a series of despairing disasters made worse by his tantalizing near-availability. Berkman always seem to be thisclose to finally being healthy, and then something derails him again. Tonight, an 81 mph change-up from Kershaw slammed into Berkman’s newly-repaired right knee. The hit put Berkman on his back in agony, and left him limping his way out of the game. We seriously need Berkman healthy if we find ourselves in the playoffs this year. So get rid of that Tiki doll, Berk!
PILE ON: This team is maddening. One moment, they look like they couldn’t hit a beach ball, and in the next moment every hit falls into place. That’s exactly what happened in the sixth, as the Cardinals added six runs with a couple of hits (like Carlos Beltran‘s double) that seemed to drop in perfectly. They also received a lucky break on a throw home that hit the pitching rubber, allowing Daniel Descalso to score. Still, there were several ringing hits bouncing all over the place. When this team starts hitting, look out!!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Waino all the way.
CONCLUSION: Man, it felt great to demolish Kershaw tonight. Still, I’d love to see this offense support our terrific starting pitching in better fashion.