Cards Offense Catches Fire In The Desert

It’s almost too bad the Cardinals are done with their series against the Diamondbacks. Although they came into Monday’s game on a bit of a roll from the finale in San Francisco, each game in Arizona brought about a new high for hits in a game, as mentioned by Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.

In addition:

The Cardinals arrived in Arizona as the lowest-scoring offense in the National League. The leave with the fourth-most runs in the league and a team average that soared from .227 to .269 thanks to 47 hits in three days. The Cardinals tied a franchise record with eight doubles Wednesday. They scored as many runs in the first five innings of Wednesday’s game as they did during the entire six-game home stand that opened this season. On consecutive nights at Chase Field, the Cardinals set, tied and then reset the season-high for runs scored.

Forty-seven hits in three games??

All of that offense came about because of some welcome individual performances, especially last night. Also from Goold:

  • Berkman’s sixth career grand slam was his fourth home run in three days against the Diamondbacks, all of which came left-handed. He raised his average from .214 to .293 in the series and strafed Arizona with 10 RBIs.
  • Albert Pujols had two hits and scored three runs, elevating his average from .143 to .229 in three days.
  • Colby Rasmus doubled twice and scored thrice.
  • Skip Schumaker hit a three-run homer, his first home run of the season.
  • Backup catcher Gerald Laird had three hits in his first three at-bats.

Also, thanks to his grand slam, the LB Fan Club had a surge in memberships last night. Welcome aboard to all!

The huge outburst on offense hid the fact that the starting pitching on Tuesday and Wednesday was not the best. On the plus side, at least Jake Westbrook did get a win, even in giving up 5 runs in the 5 1/3 innings he pitched.

Westbrook exited the game for Miguel Batista, a fact that will be completely overlooked by everyone discussing the game today. Except me.

Poem for The Poet
The Poet came into the game,
And he kept the score just the same,
His pace wasn’t as fast
As it was in the past,
Yet no one will mention his name.

And why will no one even remember The Poet today? Because, of course, he was followed on the mound by Eduardo Sanchez, making his (very impressive) major league debut.

With both Bryan Augenstein and Brian Tallet going on the disabled list Wednesday, Fernando Salas and Sanchez were called up from Memphis. As Jeff Luhnow, the Cards vice president of player development and scouting, noted on Twitter yesterday, Sanchez’s debut marked a milestone for the Cardinals development program in Latin America. He’s the first player from their academy in the Dominican Republic to appear in the big leagues.

Sanchez struck out five and allowed only a double to Justin Upton in two innings pitched, plus had his first at-bat. His debut was an exciting cap to a highlight-filled game.

But now the Cards games in the desert are done and it’s on to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers. And that means a game against our site’s namesake, Aaron Miles himself — the very same Aaron Miles who had three hits last night, including an RBI-double that briefly gave the Dodgers a lead over the Giants. Miles has been playing regularly since Rafael Furcal went on the DL with a broken thumb. Sadly, no pitching appearances yet.

Game time tonight is 9:10 p.m. Central time (great, even later!) Jaime Garcia looks to continue his 9-strikeouts-a-game streak against Hiroki Kuroda.

Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or e-mail Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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