News and views

The World Series started this week, but as you know, the Cardinals are not playing in it.  The juggernaut known as the Washington Nationals swept the Cardinals in 4 games.  The Cards’ bats tried to get hot in game 4, but it was too little, too late.  The Cards’ bats appeared to still be in Atlanta after game 5, in which they scored 13 runs.  Like many of the series in the regular season, the Cards overscored in one game and didn’t score many, if any runs, the next few games.  The Cardinals’ stellar defense and great pitching got them to the NLCS, but the lack of hitting caused them not to get to the World Series.  I was so hoping for a St. Louis Stanley Cup and a World Series title in the same year.  Maybe next year?

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend two games during the playoffs.  As mentioned in my last blog post, I was given two tickets to NLDS Game 4.  I also was able to attend Game 1 of the NLCS in St. Louis, which is the first NLCS game I have ever attended.  I won tickets from T-Mobile, my cell phone provider.  That was a mighty cold evening, and although the box seats were great, the Cardinals lost.

I don’t feel so bad that the Nationals swept the Cards, after seeing how they are beating up on the Astros.  Speaking of the Astros, I’m sure you’ve heard about the controversy concerning now-former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman.  For those who missed it, after the Astros won the ALCS, Taubman was in a room with three women reporters, one of which was Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein. He shouted, “Thank God we got Osuna. I’m so f___ glad we got Osuna!” Osuna, of course, is Roberto Osuna, who served a 75 game suspension for assaulting his girlfriend. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic violence bracelet.  To make matters worse, the Astros’ front office waffled and tried to sweep the incident under the rug.  Apparently, the Astros have finally come to their senses and have fired Taubman. More details about this incident can be found in the article here.  I’m sure glad Jeff Luhnow left the Cardinals.  Now if only he had been smart enough to change his password when he got to Houston, the Cards wouldn’t have had to go through Hackergate.  This is the 21st century. Women reporters and bloggers are in locker rooms and clubhouses now and men really need to act like gentlemen and watch how they talk.  Teams need to own up to what their employees are doing and saying and take prompt action when things go bad rather than deny them and try to blame the victims.

Now for some good news!  The Gold Glove finalists were announced today and the Cardinals have the most finalists of all the National League teams.  The Cardinals’ Gold Glove finalists are Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader, and surprisingly, Jack Flaherty.  This is a reflection of the Cards’ shining defense.  I think Yadi and Kolten are shoo-ins for the Gold Glove.  The Platinum Glove finalists should be announced in the next few days.

Well, I think I’ve said enough for now.  Since this is the off-season, I won’t be blogging as much as during the season.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

 

 

Onward and forward to the NLCS!

Since it took 162 games for the Cardinals to win the National League Central (with some help from the Colorado Rockies – thanks, guys!), I shouldn’t have been surprised that it took all 5 games for the Cards to beat the Braves and win the NLDS.  The scores of all the games were close with the exception of Game 5.  Sunday’s game was especially heartbreaking, with Adam Wainwright pitching a masterpiece but Carlos Martinez giving up a home run to lose the game.  I really thought the Cards were done.

Then came Game 4 on Monday.  The marketing director at work stopped me on the way back to my desk on Monday around 1:55 PM to tell me that she had 2 tickets to the game and asked if I wanted to go.  Free tickets to an NLDS game?  You don’t have to ask me twice!  I went back to my desk, clocked out, changed into my sneakers and grabbed my purse. Since the building our law firm is in is only two blocks from Busch Stadium, I got there just in time to see Paul Goldschmidt’s and Marcell Ozuna’s home runs in the bottom of the first.  Yadi the G.O.A.T. became Yadi the hero in the bottom of the 10th inning with a sacrifice fly to bring Kolten Wong home to win the game.  Kolten ran like his hamstring had never been hurt. What a game! Hope was renewed.

Then came Game 5. I was so hoping that the Cards would not have to go back to Atlanta to face the tomahawk chop and those annoying Braves fans.  Well, at least the Braves fans didn’t throw beer bottles at the Cardinals on the field like they did during the wild card game in 2012.  And the Braves did not give fans the foam tomahawks, thanks to Ryan Helsley’s remarks (Helsey is half Cherokee). The Cards scored 10 runs in the first inning.  Jack Flaherty pitched a great game and even nicked Ronald Acuna, Jr., who mouthed off all the way to first base even with Yadi escorting him. And in the first inning, Matt Carpenter told Mike Shildt that one of the best defensive players in the National League was sitting on the bench.  Carp told Mike to take him out and put Bader in.  What a selfless guy and a great teammate!

And now for the first time since 2014, the Cardinals will be playing in the NLCS!  They will be playing the Nationals, and it’s the first time the Nats have made it to the NLCS. Matt Adams will be in the NLCS again. Sadly, however, since the Nats beat the Dodgers, my MLB playoff bracket is busted.  I was so hoping the Dodgers would win since the Cards seem to have the Dodgers’ number in the playoffs and especially Clayton Kershaw’s number, who imploded last night.

Since the Cards won the division and the Nats were the wild card. the Cards will have home field advantage in the NLCS.  Games 1, 2, and 6 and 7 (if necessary) will be played in St. Louis. Miles Mikolas will start tomorrow night and Adam Wainwright will pitch Saturday afternoon, with Jack Flaherty pitching on Monday and Dakota Hudson on Tuesday in Washington.  Will you be attending either (or both) Games 1 and 2?  If so, here are all the details:

2019 NLCS GAMES ONE AND TWO DETAILS — CARDINALS VS. NATIONALS

St. Louis and Washington Meet in Playoffs For Second Time, First Time Since Cardinals 2012 NLDS Win

For the first time since 2014, the St. Louis Cardinals have advanced to the National League Championship Series.  The Redbirds begin a best-of-seven series tomorrow against the Wild Card winning Washington Nationals, who defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in their Division Series matchup three games to two.  A very limited amount of NLCS tickets are available at cardinals.com/postseason.  Fans wishing to obtain tickets are strongly encouraged to purchase verified tickets on the team’s website or from the club’s official online marketplace, StubHub.  Fans are also encouraged to arrive early to the ballpark to allow everyone to be in their seats by the start of the games.  Below are details for the NLCS series against the Nationals.

NLCS Game 1 — Friday, October 11, 2019 — Busch Stadium (7:08 PM CT)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Gates open at 4:35 PM

Official Cardinals Pregame Pep Rally:

  • 4:00–6:00 PM on the Missouri Lottery Outdoor Stage/Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village

         Music, entertainment and appearances by DJ Todd Thomas, Cardinals Organist Dwayne Hilton, Fredbird, Team               Fredbird, and Cardinals Alumni with prize and ticket giveaways!

Red & Navy Rally Towel Giveaway: 40,000 fans entering with a ticket.  Presented by SSM Health.

Pregame Field Ceremonies:

  • Introduction of the St. Louis Cardinals & Washington Nationals
  • Outfield Flag by Fort Leonard Wood
  • National Anthem performed by Charles Glenn
  • Ceremonial First Pitches by Cardinals Hall of Famers Jason Isringhausen and Scott Rolen

NLCS Game 2 — Saturday, October 12, 2019 — Busch Stadium (3:08 PM CT)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Gates open at 12:35 PM

Official Cardinals Pregame Pep Rally:

  • 12:00-2:00 PM on the Missouri Lottery Outdoor Stage/Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village

         Music, entertainment and appearances by DJ Todd Thomas, Cardinals Organist Dwayne Hilton, Fredbird, Team               Fredbird, and Cardinals Alumni with prize and ticket giveaways!

Red & Navy Rally Towel Giveaway: 40,000 fans entering with a ticket.  Presented by Ameren Missouri & Ameren Illinois.

Pregame Field Ceremonies:

  • Colors presented by Navy Talent Acquisition Group – Mid-America Color Guard
  • National Anthem performance by Retired Naval Petty Officer, 1st Class, Generald Wilson
  • Ceremonial First Pitches by Cardinals Alumni Danny Cox and John Tudor

Below is the TV and radio station information for Games 3 through 7:

NLCS Game 3 — Monday, October 14, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)

TV: TBS;  Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 4 — Tuesday, October 15, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 5 — Wednesday, October 16, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS ; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 6 — Friday, October 18, 2019 — Busch Stadium (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS;  Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 7 — Saturday, October 19, 2019 — Busch Stadium (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Division winner celebration and playoffs preview!

It took all 162 games, but the Cardinals are the 2019 National League Central Division Champions! Sunday’s game against the Cubs (which was also Joe Maddon’s last game as the Cubs manager and that was expected) was a rout.  Many thanks to the Colorado Rockies for beating the Milwaukee Brewers so that they couldn’t win the division. If the Brewers had won the division, the Cards would have had to play against the Nationals in the wild card game, with St. Louisan Max Scherzer on the mound. 

The celebration in the locker room was epic.  My favorite part was manager Mike Shildt’s speech.  “We don’t have team meetings, but we have three meetings left – when we pop the champagne when we win the NLDS, when we pop the champagne when we win the NLCS, and when we pop the champagne when we win the World Series.” Or something very close to that, because I don’t remember the exact words. Anyway, from your lips to God’s ears, Mike. We would all love to see the Cardinals win their twelfth World Series in 2019. As I mentioned back in May, it would be awesome if the Blues won the Stanley Cup and the Cardinals win the World Series in the same year.  They haven’t done that in Chicago – ever. What I and lots of old-time fans would really like to see is a Cardinals-Yankees World Series. The last time that happened was 1964 and the Cards won that World Series. An excellent book about the 1964 World Series is “October 1964” by the late David Halberstam.  

It has been a long regular season, with many ups and downs.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog (thank you), you know I’ve written about most of them.  May was a particularly bad month for the Cardinals. But what matters the most is where a team finishes at the end of the season.  One of my only complaints is that if the Cardinals had won a few more games during the season, it wouldn’t have to come down to the wire for them to win the division and the Cards could have breathed a little easier. But we’ve also seen what happens when there’s too much of a lull between a division win and the playoffs.  Perhaps winning the division on the last day was for the best after all. 

Jack Flaherty, he of the minuscule ERA and WHIP, won NL Pitcher of the Month yesterday for the second month in a row.  Since he had to pitch on Sunday, Jack will start Friday’s game in Atlanta. Miles Mikolas will start Thursday’s game and Dallas Keuchel will be the starter for the Braves.  The Friday game will start at 3:30 PM CST, but the time of Thursday’s game won’t be determined until the winner of the wild card game is decided. Sunday and Monday’s games will be at Busch Stadium.  I do hope the fans in Atlanta are better behaved this year than during the Cards-Braves wild card game there in 2012 when they threw beer bottles at the Cards players.  

Tickets for the National League Championship Series go on sale tomorrow at 12:00 noon CST.  If you’re so inclined and have the money, you can purchase tickets at this link: cardinals.com/postseason.  You must have an MLB account since the tickets will be delivered to the Ballpark app on your smartphone.  

I follow the Grammarly app on Twitter, and they posted a poll on Twitter today asking what our favorite thing was in October (there were four choices).  I replied as follows:

I hope you are excited about this postseason as I am!  Thursday afternoon (or night) is so far away! Thanks for reading!

Diane