Two stats are the centerpiece for today’s story, but I’m not quite there yet. After the emotional weekend that was, I fully expected a let down for this series. Arizona didn’t exactly have a lot going for them and being swept in San Diego never helps leading into a home stand. To make matters worse for the D-Backs, they had to face Brad Penny who is quickly becoming the third ace or CY3 as I like to call ’em.
So how did the Cardinals open the road trip? More missed opportunities and an early hole — yup, that sounds about par for the course.
This brings us to the first stat that still doesn’t seem right to me, but St. Louis is built differently in 2010 than most prior seasons. TLR likes pop in the two-hole, and he has a bunch of choices this year for power there or just about anywhere else in the lineup. Once Matt Holliday drilled the tying home run in the 5th, the percentage of runs off the long ball stayed over 60%!
Closing what was started
Starting pitchers control their own destiny, and St. Louis has a damn fine rotation. Penny did his part last night, but it was still left up to the bullpen to nail it down. While following the post-game Twitter feeds, the second stat was even more mind-boggling than the first. Jason Motte, Trever Miller, and Ryan Franklin each did an impressive job but that is par for the course it seems.
Much has been said about the bullpen in April, but the Cardinals are the only NL team to not have a blown save. Let that sink in for a minute, especially after the start to the 2009 campaign. Have to say it is just one more reason why I love this game.
Anderson in the mix
Matthew Leach was a busy man yesterday with notes galore including the tidbit about Bryan Anderson slotted for today’s game behind the plate. If anybody on the roster is due a day off, Yadier has to be the guy after the very long weekend and last night’s contest. Leave it to Molina to break the tie as well, knocking in the go-ahead run (on an questionable error) to give Penny the win. I am excited to see what Anderson can do especially since it appears Jason LaRue will be back soon.
Less than two months to go
After you stop over at VEB, make your way over to a new favorite of mine that shares the same home. MLB Bonus Baby charts the draft and that’s it! This comes in handy as June is right around the corner. Grab a few details and head over to FR to see if any of the names match
Seeing old friends in the desert
Blaine Boyer was the hard luck loser last night, and Dan Haren surely won’t be taking it easy tonight on his former club. Both are just two of many on the Arizona pitching staff that St. Louis is very familiar with seeing. Whether or not that helps remains to be seen as the Cardinals go for another series win with Kyle Lohse hopefully only seeing action on the mound!
Next game: Cardinals (Lohse) at Diamondbacks (Haren), 04/20/2010 8:40pm