For the first time since late April the St. Louis Cardinals lost a three game series and they did it against the team with the worst record in baseball. The Cardinals pitching staff did not have a good weekend in Miami to say the least. The series began with the return of Jake Westbrook on Friday night and he had a pretty typical Westbrook outing. The team did not play well as a whole and lost that game which in my opinion was very winnable. Saturday’s game was a slugfest as the Cardinals won 13 to 7. Even though he picked up the victory Lance Lynn pitched his worst game of the season but was able to help himself out at the plat with a very timely RBI hit. Carlos Beltran also homered twice. Yesterday’s game saw rookie pitcher Tyler Lyons have his third rough outing in a row as the Cardinals lost 7 to 2. Michael Wacha was sent back to Triple A Memphis on Friday when the Cardinals activated Jake Westbrook and in my opinion the wrong pitcher was sent down. I understand that Wacha is a highly touted prospect but in my opinion Lyons three rough outings in a row have played havoc with the young man’s confidence and he needs to go back down to the minors and find his groove. Keep in mind that Lyons was brought up from Double A Springfield and skipped right over Triple A. That’s a pretty huge jump for someone who is pitching every time out with a tremendous amount of pressure on him. As the Cardinals continue to have the best record in baseball more and more attention has been given to them and rightfully so but that attention comes with a price and the people who feel the weight of that attention the most are the starting pitchers.
Elsewhere in Florida the Kansas City Royals were taking 3 out of 4 from the Tampa Bay Rays as the Royals wrapped up a very good week for them. They are now only one game under .500 with an excellent chance to move up in the standings this week as they play the team directly in front of them. The Royals have a three game series against the Cleveland Indians and in fact have several games the next two weeks with AL Central teams and this is may be the best opportunity the Royals will have for a while to make a move in the division. The Royals are obviously starting to see the influence of George Brett as most of the hitters are starting to show a lot more confidence at the plate. The pitching continues to be outstanding.
Justin Rose, (whoever he is) won the U.S. Open yesterday in Ardmore, PA. Phil Mickleson came close but not close enough. The course was a very difficult course and that had an affect on the scores throughout the tournament but the weather also had an affect as well as there was torrential rains through the week leading up to the tournament and rain during the tournament as well. I believe the entire course even flooded at one point a few days before the tournament started. Tiger Woods had a horrible weekend but still “endorses” the course and thinks they should play there again. There you go, what more could you ask for?
Gregg Biffle won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race yesterday in Michigan. Carl Edwards started from the pole position but lost the lead early. The race was kind of a bittersweet affair as many drivers were still dealing with the death of Jason Leffler a longtime driver who died in an accident at a dirt track event last week.
The San Antonio Spurs are one win away from the NBA title as the trend continued last night with the Spurs winning Game 5 after having lost Game 4. This puts the Miami Heat in the position of having to win both of the next two games while the Spurs only have to win one. I am still amazed at how evenly fought this series has been as I really didn’t expect this. It has been a very pleasant surprise.
After raising the ire of their fan base by scrapping half the season because of a lockout, the NHL is getting a major shot in the arm right now. The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are in the midst of an epic Stanley Cup series which I for one hope continues all the way through Game 7. After suffering a crushing defeat to the Blackhawks in triple overtime in Game 1 the Bruins came back to win Game 2 in another overtime thriller. I have watched more ice hockey the last two months than I have my entire life and cannot believe the intensity of the playoff games I have seen. The Blackhawks and Bruins have set the bar very high but I have a feeling they will be more than up to the task of living up to it if not exceeding it.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with another blog as we continue our look at the Royals and Cardinals and whatever else comes our way. This is an exciting time of year and has been loads of fun to write about. Please take the time to check out all the blogs on this site and thanks so much for taking the time to read this one.
Have a terrific Monday!