Cheap Seats

Cardinals vs. Giants, June 30

I'm glad to turn the page on June.

Usually the Cardianals heat up when St. Louis summers start to get hot. But, I hope things turn around because it seems this year they are starting to wilt.

Unlike Monday when they were never a serious threat, the Cardinals has several opportunities to get back in the game Tuesday -- despite the worst start of the season by ace Chris Carpenter.

They trailed 6-1 after five innings, but cut it to 6-3 in the sixth and had a runner at third base with one out but couldn't push him across. Later Albert Pujols reached base and seemed like he was going to score when Yadi Molina ripped a ball into the right field corner with two outs. But it barely cleared the wall on a bounce and forced Pujols to return to third on the ground rule double. It could have been 6-5 with just a little luck. And then the task was a lot simpler in the eighth and ninth innings.

After the game, I heard the skipper take reporters to task for asking about hitters going after first pitches and making quick outs. While I appreciate Tony LaRussa's take that sometimes the first pitch is going to be the best one a hitter sees, the only way we know that will be true is if the batsman makes sure that it is the only pitch he sees. And, during his post game interview the night before, Giants starter Tim Lincecum noted on the air that the Cardinals seem to swing at a lot of first pitches. so he made sure his first one wasn't a good one. Hmmmmmm...

Anyway, when you have a 45-year-old pitcher on the hill for the other team, wouldn't it be a good idea to try to wear him down a little bit. Those great Cardinals teams in 2004 and 2005 worked over pitchers by extending them with laborious at bats. They might not do too well the first time through the order. But they punished opposing starters the second and third time... I miss watching those well rounded veterans play...

Cardinals Star of the Game: Albert Pujols hit his 30th homer of the season, which puts him on a pace to hit 62 dingers. Why is Albert suddenly on a tear? Mostly because they have been getting blown out quite a bit lately and there is no reason for other teams to pitch around him.

Lowlight: Mark DeRosa, the breath of fresh air that was supposed to solidify the Cardinals defense while adding a spark to the offense looks like he may be headed to the disabled list with an injured wrist. Hopefully this thing doesn't linger. It would be a shame if he missed the rest of the season and concluded his St. Louis career with an oh-fer.