The St. Louis Cardinals have yet to win an extra innings game this year.  Luckily they haven’t played many of them.  Last night’s 14 inning affair featured Michael Wacha making his second start and getting knocked around pretty good, several relief pitchers with solid extended outings, and one relief pitcher who did not have a solid outing nor an extended one.  Victor Marte was the final pitcher to take the mound for the Cardinals and he was also the pitcher charged with the loss in a game that saw the Cardinals and Diamondbacks score 12 runs combined in 7 innings and then neither team score again until the 14th inning when the Diamondbacks scored the go ahead run. 

Last night’s 14 inning marathon could not have come at a worst time for the Cardinals as it forced them to use every available reliever other than lefthanded Randy Choate and all of them worked extended outings with the exception of Marte who was too busy giving up the winning run to work an extended outing.  Because of Last Friday’s rain out and the need to play a double header on Saturday the Cardinals were forced to use their primary long reliever Joe Kelly as a starter in tonight’s game to avoid the necessity for one of their starting pitchers to work on short rest.  This will be the first game Kelly has started this year and puts him and the Cardinals in what could potentially be an awkward situation.  Kelly needs to go deep into tonight’s game in my opinion in order to preserve an overworked bullpen.  With just about all of his relief pitchers having pitched two innings last night it leaves little wiggle room for manager Mike Matheny if Kelly falters.  Kelly needs to bring his A game to the mound tonight and be able to pitch effectively deep into the game in order for the Cardinals to win tonight.  I think the more he struggles early in the game the more the Cardinals struggle to come up with a win. 

Jake Westbrook made his first rehab start for Double A Springfield last night and pitched a solid three innings only giving up one run and six hits I think.  It could have been better but it also could have been much worse.  He will make another rehab start on Sunday. 

The other starting pitcher on the mend is Chris Carpenter who will pitch for a second time against live hitters, (as opposed to dead ones I guess) on Thursday.  If that goes well then he will head off on a rehab assignment that I’m sure would see him make at least two rehab starts if not three or four. 

The Kansas City Royals continue to struggle at home as they lost to the Minnesota Twins last night.  Despite the presence of George Brett the offense continues to be almost non existent and if I were the Royals front office I would be nearing the panic stage.  There is something seriously wrong with the internal makeup of this team.  It isn’t a bad team but it plays like it is a bad team.  I don’t know if a change of managers would help or not but something has to be done and soon!

The NBA Finals will begin on Thursday with the Miami Heat taking on the well rested San Antonio Spurs.  The Heat were just too much for the Indiana Pacers on Mondaynight as the Heat totally dominated the game from start to finish. 

The NHL’s conference finals series are still going on as the Los Angeles kings trail the Chicago Blackhawks 2 games to 1 in the Western Conference finals after picking up a victory at home last night.  Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference finals the Boston Bruins have a 2 games to none lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins after two convincing wins.  Game 3 of that series is tonight.

We’ll be back on Friday with a look ahead to this weekend’s sports action and get caught up on the Cardinals and Royals and probably talk about the NBA finals as well.  Thanks as always for supporting this and all the blogs on this site.  Please remember that your comments are always welcome.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!