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  • #178331
    Ratsbuddy
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    Bad news from the middle game of the three game weekend set with Atlanta in St. Louis. Braves win this one 1-0. Soroka and Mikolas were both on top of their games.

    Braves got the only run of the game in the 2nd on a double by Donaldson, ground out by Markakis and a sac fly by Riley. They also had 1st and 3rd and nobody out in the top of the 9th but Andrew Miller showed a flash of brilliance past with a strikeout, groundout to Goldy, and then a flyball to RF to keep it 1-0.

    Luke Jackson had the 9th for the Braves. Molina bounced out, DeJong flied to deep left, and then with two outs Bader walked and stole 2nd to get into scoring position. But Jose Martinez fanned to end the game.

    The Sunday Night ESPN game will see Teheran and Wainwright. Cards sit 30-21 now.

    #178334
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Alright baseball fans, the semi-final match-ups are set for the 1960s Best of Franchise tourney. Series will be best of 5, with the match-ups listed below and probable starters for game 1.

    American League

    #6 Baltimore Orioles vs #1 New York Yankees
    Roberts (9-14) vs Ford (17-16)

    #4 Detroit Tigers vs #2 Minnesota Twins
    McLain (13-18) vs Kaat (18-11)

    And how is this for rivalry series in the National League:

    #7 San Francisco Giants vs #1 Los Angeles Dodgers
    Marichal (12-19) vs Koufax (23-7)

    #3 Chicago Cubs vs #2 St. Louis Cardinals
    Jenkins (12-16) vs Gibson (22-8)

    MVP of the first two rounds: Vada Pinson, Cincinnati Reds; 9 for 15 (.600), 3 doubles and a home run

    #178339
    PugsleyAddams
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    Tremendous action gentlemen! Cards finally get the chance to exact revenge on the north siders from their previous playoff encounter. Love these matchups. Though very evenly matched ball clubs, my crystal ball has a very clear picture on how this round will shake out. Yanks over Orioles, Tigers over Twins, Giants with the surprise series triumph over LA and our Cards upending the cubbies. Bet the ranch and all of the livestock within it’s dusty confines on these picks gang.

    And for Rat’s action; when Luke Jackson was handed the ball and accompanying rosin bag in the 9th, I knew any thoughts our boys entertained of staging a thrilling come-from-behind victory, were all but vanquished. Have my fingers crossed for Waino spinning a dandy in the rubber match ESPN Sunday night affair. I’m calling it 8-3 Birds with Arenado hitting not one…..not two……but three round trippers.

    #178348
    Ratsbuddy
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    Another pitcher’s duel at Busch. Teheran and Wainwright on Sunday Night ESPN baseball.

    No score heading to the last of the 5th. Rebirds have not scored now in 15 innings. Tyler O’Neill goes deep to put the Cards up 1-0. In the last of the 6th the Cards load the bases with two out and on comes Webb for the Braves to face O’Neill. And a wild pitch brings in the 2nd run to make it 2-0.

    Braves get to Wainwright in the 7th and plate a run to make it 2-1. We head to the 9th and Jordan Hicks blows another save but manages to keep the score tied somehow. He induced Acuna to hit into a 643 DP and then got Swansby to flyout. Acuna was 0-12 in the series. Cards had a chance in the last of the 9th against Tomlin. Bases loaded and one out but Wieters pops out and then Molina pinch-hits and grounds out to Swanson. 1-1 to the 10th.

    In the last of the 10th Tommy Edman leads off with a triple off the right centerfield wall, narrowly missing a walk off. Yairo Munoz then singles him home for the winner.

    3-2 St. Louis the final. Carlos Martinez the win in relief. Tomlin the loss. Hicks with another blown save. 31-21 now and it’s time to head to Citizen’s Bank Park for a three game set with Philadelphia.

    #178349
    Ratsbuddy
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    As a side note……..Arenado has hit one homerun in his last 17 games. Just one. Hopefully he will get it in gear in this Philadelphia series as Citizen’s Bank Park is homer friendly.

    And after 52 games, almost 1/3 of the way through, Molina is yet to homer. Zilch, None. He hit 10 in 2019 so maybe he will get it going as well.

    r/Esteemed Rat

    #178353
    Ratsbuddy
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    Cards head to Philadelphia for a three game set starting Tuesday night at Citizen’s Bank Park. And the offensive woes continue for the Redbirds. Hudson and Pivetta in this one.

    Phils slam three homeruns by McCutchen, Kingery, and Realmuto. Redbirds can muster no offense and fall in this one 5-2. Arenado and Goldschmidt a combined 0-7. Both are really struggling. Had a chance in the top of the 8th when Segura booted Arenado’s groundball for an error and Goldschmidt walked. But O’Neill struck out, DeJong fouled to Realmuto, and Molina flied to right.

    31-22 on the year now. Next up will be Ponce de Leon and Aaron Nola. Oh boy.

    #178354
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Whew, that was a close one in Rats game. Sounds like quite a power outage on our club though.

    Thanks for the prediction, Pugs. One thing the Tigers have going for them is the return of Denny McLain. He was out of the first two playoff rounds with some elbow tightness. But he was given a clean bill of health and will be well rested to start game one of the semi-finals versus the Twins.

    The Cubs have really played well, and this series will not be an easy one for our Redbirds. They switched Ernie Banks from shortstop to first base, and put Don Kessinger in at short and that really has helped their DP combo, with the flashy fielding Glenn Beckert at second. But if Bob Gibson pitches like he has, game one should go St. Louis’ way which would put the pressure on the north-siders to win 3 of the remaining four to take the series.

    And those Giants played great, being the lower seeded team in both the one-and-done versus the Braves, then getting 2 of 3 versus the Reds to get to the semi’s. They can bring the lumber with the likes of Bobby Bonds, Mays, McCovey, and Cepeda. Not to mention Jim Ray Hart, Jimmy Davenport and the two catchers, Ed Bailey and Tom Haller. If they can get enough pitching they are as good as any club. I was surprised they did not do better in the regular season.

    Speaking of Jim Ray Hart, I had the fortune one time to spend a lot of time chatting with former big leaguer, and Cardinal, George Altman. Big George is on the Cub team in this tourney. He told me that Jim Hart had as much power as any hitter in that era. But he never really took baseball all that seriously. He did not do the extra things that can turn you from a good player to a great player. Pretty much a forgotten guy today, but Jim Ray had some good years. A bit of a Richie Allen type, before Richie became Dick Allen.

    #178373
    PugsleyAddams
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    Tigers 1st base coach Kimera Bartee…..Dead At The Tender Age of 49.

    #178395
    Ratsbuddy
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    Cardinal offense is stagnant right now. Arenado and Goldschmidt aren’t doing anything. Aaron Nola pitches into the 8th and the Phillies come away with a 3-1 win on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Gallegos continues to struggle out of the pen as he gives up a 7th inning homerun to Maikel Franco. Arenado and Goldschmidt a combined 1-8. Kingery had a two run homer in the 2nd for Philadelphia.

    31-23 now and on Thursday it will be Flaherty and Eickhoff on the hill. After this the Cubs come to Busch for a three game weekend series.

    #178397
    Ratsbuddy
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    As a side note…….Arenado is now 2 for his last 28. Yep, 2/28 the last several games. Goldschmidt hasn’t been much better as he is 6/31 the last several games.

    #178399
    PugsleyAddams
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    Our boys are sure in a hitting funk, Rat. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Trust me here, Rat……..to get the team back on track
    you need to slide Yairo Munoz into the cleanup slot. Try it in tomorrow’s game vs Eickhoff and then for the next 3 games after vs the cubbies. Then insert him back into the #8 hole for the remainder of the camp
    aign.

    Hope that BicycleMike commences with his playoff action soon…..the natives are getting restless.

    #178400
    Ratsbuddy
    Participant

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    FINALLY!!!

    Arenado gets off the schneid and launches a three run homer in the top of the 9th. That put the Cardinals on top 7-3 and was enough for win #32. He had come up with the bases loaded in the 5th against Eickhoff but he went down on strikes. I saw him slam the bat down in frustration. Goldschmidt contributed an rbi single and a walk.

    Flaherty goes 5.2 innings and gets the win to improve to 6-2 on the year. Brebbia, Gant, and Webb finish it out. The Cubs now come to town for a three game weekend series. Darvish and Mikolas in the opener on Friday night.

    #178415
    PugsleyAddams
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    Bravo! Glad Rat took my advice and inserted Yairo Munoz into the cleanup position. The result…….a 7-3 Cards clubbing of Philadelphia’s Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love. Now our attention turns westward, as our Birds embark on a 9 game homestead, with the cubbies being the first of three teams looking to inflict some misery towards the home team and it’s rooters. Rat will have to verify this, but rumor has it that Chicago will sending three formidable foes to the hill in this series……how does “Whirling” Darvish, Kyle Hendricks and Milt Pappas grab you?

    #178424
    Ratsbuddy
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    In the game of the season so far…..Paul Goldschmidt wins it in the bottom of the 12th with a walkoff grand slam off of Steve Cishek!

    Darvish and Mikolas. Both are hurling gems. No score, last of the 5th. Bader homers to put the Cards on top 1-0. We go to the top of the 8th, still 1-0 St. Louis. After a one out single by Schwarber out comes Mikolas and in comes Gallegos. Gallegos has struggled lately and this one was no exception. A double by Bryant and a single by Rizzo and all of a sudden it’s 2-1 Cubs.

    In the last of the 8th the Cards get to Chatwood. A two out two run single by Molina puts the Cards up 4-2 and DeJong follows with an infield hit and just like that it’s 5-2 St. Louis heading to the 9th.

    Hicks is on and the Cubs are down to their last out with a runner on 1st. But Schwarber walks and Bryant walks to load the bases. Rizzo singles into rightfield and now it’s a 5-4 game. Baez then doubles down into the RF corner to tie the game 5-5 and Rizzo is thrown out at the plate on the relay from Edman to keep the score tied 5-5. Another blown save by Hicks, his 4th of the year.

    To the last of the 12th and Edman walks, Carlson singles, and Arenado walks to load the bases. After a visit to the mound from Tommy Hotovy, the Cubs pitching coach, Goldy drills the grand slam for the 9-5 win!

    Carlos Martinez the winner in relief, he is 3-0 on the year now. Cishek the loser. Cards sit 33-23 on the year and the Saturday night affair will see Quintana and Wainwright on the hill.

    #178427
    Ratsbuddy
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    In perhaps Game of the Season #2, the Redbirds rallied from a 5-0 deficit and came away with a 7-5 win in the middle game of the three game set.

    Quintana and Wainwright. And Waino didnt much have it tonight. He only lasted four innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 2 strikeouts and 2 walks. 5-0 Cubs after four innings.

    In the St. Louis 5th Goldschmidt slams a two run dinger to make it 5-2.
    In the St. Louis 6th Arenado’s two run double makes it 5-4.
    In the St. Louis 7th DeJong’s 13th homerun of the year ties the game.
    And in the last of the 8th, a two out two run single by Goldy puts the Cards in front 7-5.

    Hicks retired Happ to start the 9th. Schwarber was then hit by a pitch. But Bryant bounced into a 5-4-3 twin killing to end it.

    34-23 on the year now. Hamels and Hudson in the Sunday afternoon finale.

    #178444
    Ratsbuddy
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    A pitching duel in the Sunday afternoon Cubs/Cards game at Busch. Hamels and Hudson.

    Contreras gets the scoring started with a solo homerun in the 2nd to put the Cubs up 1-0.

    Arenado nails his 12th dinger of the year in the St. Louis 3rd, a two run bomb after Carlson had singled. That puts the Redbirds up 2-1.

    Hudson goes 7 innings, allows 1 run, 6 hits, 5 strikeouts, and 2 walks. Miller gets the first two in the top of the 8th but then gives up a single to Rizzo. Gallegos then retires Baez and sets the Cubs down in order in the 9th.

    2-1 St. Louis the final, the Cards sweep the Cubs. Hudson moves to 6-1 on the year. Gallegos, who has been struggling lately, records his 2nd save. Hamels takes the loss for the Cubs. 35-23 now and the Reds come to town for a quick two game series that featured a rainout on Wednesday. After this Reds series it’s off to Chicago for a three game series with the Cubs at Wrigley.

    #178485
    Ratsbuddy
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    Cincinnati comes to Busch for a couple of games and, well, there goes the winning streak. Castillo and Ponce de Leon in the Tuesday night opener.

    PDL is really wild. He walks 6 batters in 4+ innings. The walks hurt him in the 4th when Nick Senzel nailed a two out, three run homer to put the Reds on top 3-0. PDL was due up 3rd in the St. Louis 5th so I tried to coax another inning out of him but after the leadoff single by Suarez in the 5th that was enough. Gant comes on and gives up a walk and three hits and just like that, boom, it’s 7-0 Reds.

    7-1 Reds the final. Our only tally came in the 7th on DeJong’s 14th dinger of the year. 35-24 on the year and after the Wednesday rainout it will be Desclafani and Flaherty on the hill on Thursday.

    #178502
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Back to some 1960s playoff action as the league semi-final series are underway. We won’t spend too much time on the three non-Cardinal games to focus on the Cubs-Cardinals series. All four series have the first two games in the books.

    In the American League, the Tigers have won two close ones in Bloomington to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best of five. The series will move to Motown with the #4 Tigers a win away from the ALCS. Meanwhile the Orioles and Yankees are tied at a game apiece, with Steve Barber masterful in the series opener before the Yankees came back to win game two. The series moves to Baltimore for games 3 and 4.

    In the National League, the Dodgers look to be the best team of the remaining eight, topping the Giants in the first two. Koufax and Drysdale were too much for the San Francisco offense, and the Dodgers speed, defense and all around ability to put the ball in play make them a tough team to beat. The series will resume in the City by the Bay for game 3, and 4 if necessary.

    And for the big news, the Cubs and Cardinals split the first two in St. Louis. The opener featured the legendary match-up of Ferguson Jenkins and Bob Gibson. Gibby was not quite on his game in this one, as after a scoreless first Banks and Santo hit one-out doubles to get the Cubs on the board. Don Kessinger lined out to Julian Javier for out number two, but catcher Sammy Taylor grounded a single between first and second to play Santo with the second run.

    With Jenkins in command the Cubs made it 3-0 in the sixth on another one-out double, this time off the bat of George Altman, and a Banks single to left to plate Big George. The Cardinals got on the board in the bottom of the eighth when with two out, none on Bobby Tolan drove a 2-0 pitch into the seats in right.

    The Cubs got the run back in the top of the ninth as Ron Santo hit a ball just inside the third base bag. Lou Brock charged over to cut it off but it hit the wall down the left field line and bounced away from Brock. Before Lou could get the ball in Santo slid into third with a lead off triple. Gibson reared back and struck out Adolpho Phillips, but Kessinger sprayed a fly ball to left deep enough to score Santo making it 4-1 Chicago. The Cards made it closer in the last of the ninth when Brock walked, stole second, and scored two outs later on a Ken Boyer single. Jenkins ended the game retiring Bill White on a line out to second that Glenn Beckert secured for the win.

    While the series opener was disappointing, it was all Cardinals in game two. This one matched 19 game winners, both of whom started with the Cardinals and found success elsewhere. For the Cubs it was Larry Jackson, who is under-rated in Cardinal history in my opinion. For the Cardinals, it was Steve “Why Did We Trade Him?” Carlton. Carlton looked every bit as good his career ended up being, going 8 2/3 innings, surrendering one run on three hits while striking out six.

    The Cardinals bats did the rest, pounding Jackson and three relievers for 16 hits and 11 runs. Everything clicked in this one. Bill White had 4 hits, including two doubles and drove in 3. Boyer had three hits, and also drove in three. Stan the Man and Boyer hit back-to-back home runs.

    The game was close through the first five with Boyer’s two out first inning single driving in Brock the only run of the game. The Cards got to Jackson in the sixth when Dick Groat and Stan Musial started the inning with singles. Boyer then followed suit, driving in Groat to make it 2-0. Bill White drove a pitch the opposite way, driving the ball off the left field wall for a double plating Stan and Ken.

    Don Elston replaced Jackson, and the Cardinals kept it going. Curt Flood singled sending White to third. Tim MCcarver walked. Bobby Tolan topped a ball that catcher Randy Hundley pounced on and fired to second for the out, while White scored run number 4 putting St. Louis up 5-0. Javier grounded out to end the inning, the Cards putting up a 4-spot.

    They duplicated that in the 7th. Groat started it with a single, then Musial and Boyer hit the back-to-back jacks. White doubled again, which brought Barney Schultz , a Cardinal hero in ’64 but a Cub as well during the decade, on for Chicago. Flood grounded out sending White to third. A Schultz knuckler got away from Hundley and White scored to make it 9-0 Cardinals.

    The Cards capped their scoring with 2 in the 8th. Bob Anderson was now pitching for the Cubs, and Brock greeted him with a double. Dal Maxvill, now in for Groat at short, singled Lou home. Musial walked, and Mike Shannon (now in the game for Boyer) flied out. White then singled home Maxie with run #11.

    Carlton gave up the only Cub run in the 9th and was lifted after two outs for Don Dennis, who got Altman on a ground out to end the game.

    The 11-1 blowout was fun, but still a tough road for the Cardinals as they move to Wrigley for games 3 and 4. Likely pitching match-ups are Curt Simmons and either Ernie Broglio or Dick Hughes for St. Louis. Chicago will counter with Dick Ellsworth and Billy Hands.

    #178556
    Ratsbuddy
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    Been a few days since I played a game. Busy with high school basketball holiday tourneys, the Amish restaurant, and some other stuff.

    Cards at Wrigley to face the Cubs on Friday afternoon. Mikolas and Hamels.

    Cubs defense let’s them down in the 2nd as both Baez and Caratini commit throwing errors. A two run homer by Goldschmidt is the big blow in the 6-run 2nd inning. Cards plate two more in the 3rd to go up 8-0. Bryant’s three run homer in the 3rd makes it 8-3. Mikolas pitches into the 7th and gives up a leadoff single to Rizzo and out he comes. Brebbia, Gallegos, and Webb finish it off.

    8-4 St. Louis the final. Mikolas his 5th win on the year. Goldschmidt his 12th dinger on the year. Cards improve to 37-24 on the year. Hudson and Lester in the Saturday afternoon game coming up next.

    #178558
    Ratsbuddy
    Participant

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    The Fox Sports Saturday Night game. Hudson and Lester.

    It’s a pitchers duel. Both teams plate a run in the 4th and it’s still 1-1 heading to the last of the 8th. Andrew Miller is on and he will face the top of the Cubs lineup. Schwarber singles, Bryant flies to RF, and then – Boom! – Rizzo a two run homer and the Cubs lead 3-1. Pedro Strop comes on and gives up a one out single to Carlson but retires Arenado on a flyball to Almora in CF and then Goldschmidt strikes out to end it.

    3-1 Cubs. Cishek the winner, Strop the save. Miller the loss. 37-25 now and the Sunday Night ESPN game will see Wainwright and Hendricks on the hill.

    p.s. I mis-quoted above. That was only Goldschmidt’s 11th homerun in the Friday game, not his 12th.

    #178590
    Ratsbuddy
    Participant

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    Sunday Night ESPN. Cardinals at Cubs. Wainwright and Hendricks. And I might have made a managerial blunder in this one.

    Bryant homers in the 2nd to put the Cubs up 1-0. They plate single runs in the 4th and 5th and have a 3-0 lead after five. Goldschmidt’s 12th dinger of the year in the top of the 6th, a two run drive, makes it a 3-2 game.

    In the Cub 7th with the score still 3-2 the Cubs load the bases. Wainwright only lasted 4.1 innings and we had to use five relievers in the Saturday game so I was somewhat getting short. I bring on Tyler Webb and he fans Bote and then Schwarber grounds one out in front of the plate and Webb tosses to Molina for the force at home. Bases still loaded, two outs now, Bryant due up. I elected to leave Webb in the game since he was obviously on top of his game. And considering he had not given up an earned run or a homerun so far this year I felt confident he could get Bryant. But Bryant’s 2nd homerun, this one a grand slam, puts the game out of reach.

    7-3 Cubs the final. Wainwright is saddled with the loss. Neither Gant or Webb was very good out of the bullpen in this one. Off to Miami for a three game set with the Marlins. Wacha and Alcantara in the Monday night opener.

    #178596
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Well not so good news people. The Cardinals bowed in four games to the rival Cubs in the National League semi-finals. After the big 11 run outburst in game 2, the Cardinals could manage only 2 runs over the next 18 innings as the Cubs won both Wrigley tilts 4-0 and 3-2.

    Dick Ellsworth spun a nifty 2-hitter to shutout the Cards in game 3, with Billy Hands going 8 innings and holding the Cards to 4 hits and two runs in the series clincher. The Cardinals actually outhit the Cubs 4 to 3 in the finale, with Dick Hughes in command. But the Cubs made their hits count while the Cardinals hit into 3 double plays and stranded 7. To add insult to injury, game four featured ex-Cardinals doing most of the damage for the North Siders.

    George Altman, though a Cub before and after his only season in St. Louis, homered with two-out, none on in the fourth to tally the first run for either side. In the sixth, with Don Kessinger on first, Don Landrum, playing his first game in this series, tripled, then scored on a Richie Ashburn sac-fly to make it 3-0 Chicago. Stan the Man singled with the sacks full in the 7th to make it 3-2. Hands tired in the ninth and yet another former Redbird, Lindy McDaniel came in with 2 on, none out, and got Boyer on a double play ball and Bill White to ground out to end it.

    The Cubs will move on to the NLCS where they play the winner of the Dodgers-Giants series. That one looked to be an easy road for Los Angeles, winning the first two at home. But the Giants have come off the deck and put up big numbers in Candlestick to even the series at 2 apiece. The series deciding game will be in Dodger Stadium, with a likely match up of Sandy Koufax vs either Juan Marichal or Gaylord Perry. The Giants are also considering sending out veteran lefty Billy Pierce to the hill. Thus officially it is Koufax vs TBD.

    In the AL the Tigers punched their ticket to the league finals, taking 3 of 4 from Minnesota. The Yankees and Orioles are tied at 2 and will play the clincher in the Stadium to see who faces the Motor City club. Pitching match-ups are TBD for each club, although the Orioles are leaning towards lefty Dave McNally. The Yankees have Whitey Ford and Mel Stottlemyre both as potential starters.

    #178665
    Ratsbuddy
    Participant

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    Had one of those games that was seemingly in control and then everything fell apart.

    Cards in Miami. Redbirds leading 4-2 in the last of the 6th, Flaherty still on the mound. He was due up 2nd in the 7th so I wanted to get him through six. Marlins had two outs and the bases empty. And then before the final out could be recorded Miami plates six (6) runs to take an 8-4 lead. Brebbia relieved and gave up a two run homer to Granderson.

    Still 8-4 heading to the 9th and the Cards mounted a rally. Brice started the 9th and gave up two quick runs. Romo then enters the game with one out and and Martinez on 1st. Romo immediately gave up a single and a walk and to Edman and Carlson and now the bases were loaded for Arenado. And Arenado promptly lines into a 6-4 double play to end it.

    Cards lose a tough one 8-6. Flaherty takes the loss to fall to 6-3 on the year. Record is now 38-27 with one left in Miami. Then a four game set in New York at Citi Field against the Mets before returning home.

    #178679
    PugsleyAddams
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Just back from a whirlwind ice fishing trip in Canada. Since my daughter and granddaughter were out of State over the holidays, it was the perfect time to spend Christmas touching moose out in the middle of nowhere, instead of sitting in the warm comfy home waiting for Santa’s much awaited arrival. A

    And boy did I miss some Strat-O-Action. The question begs to be asked to both Rat and BicycleMike……..how in blazes couldn’t you have prevented our Birds from being belted by our arch rival cubbies?? Certainly, something could have been done. Especially in BicycleMike’s case where our Cards exit the post season at the hands of these bums. I’ll look forward to a better fate for our boys when Rat’s post season play commences. Play ball!

    #178739
    Ratsbuddy
    Participant

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    We just won three of four from the Mets at Citi Field. Arenado homered in each of the first three games. Goldschmidt and DeJong both homered in the Sunday afternoon game. We all know that DeJong likes to hit against the Mets. Record is 41-29 now and home to Busch for a four game set with the Marlines. Then the Angels and Albert Pujols come to town.

    On a side note, after 70 games Molina has not yet hit a homerun. None. Zilch. Seems odd.

    r/Esteemed Rat

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