Sunshine and Rainbows and Allen Craig

It’s easy to complain about the Cardinals these days. Of course they’ve disappointed us, angered us, caused us to bitch to our friends and family and coworkers and Twitter pals. And I’m almost certain this year is going to end just like last: on the final day of the regular season.

But sometimes it’s just nice to watch a game and enjoy what happens. Especially when, like last night, you see things you didn’t expect. So that’s what I’m focusing on. Call me Pollyanna for focusing on rainbows and puppies and sunshine. Of course there are other things I could mention about last night. However, a win is a win. And winning excuses everything. At least for a game.

Therefore, no bad and ugly. Just good.

Allen Craig
Welcome back, Allen! We’ve missed you. Yes, he’s been back from the disabled list for a week now but had been hitless in nine at-bats. He changed that in the first inning, launching a homer to center field with Rafael Furcal aboard to give the Cards a 2-0 lead. He doubled in the fifth, hit a solo homer to left in the seventh and singled (yet ended up at second on a wild throw) in the eighth. (Conveniently, you can see all four hits here.) The big night raised his average to .331, just about back to the .336 he had on June 7 when he injured his knee in Houston.

AC also made a nice running catch of a Ryan Ludwick liner to right to end the first inning. The Pirates had the bases loaded at the time, so it was a catch that made a difference. Check that out here.

Kyle Lohse
Nice night for K-Lo too. He won his second straight start, giving him a team-high 11 victories, and pitched seven innings — the first time he’s gone that deep into a game since he pitched eight innings on June 22. He struck out a season-high seven and allowed five hits and two runs, both on a Jose Tabata home run.

Plus he drove in a run in his second consecutive game, with Ryan Theriot scoring on Lohse’s sixth inning ground-out. “Hitterish” as Chris Carpenter might think he is compared to K-Lo, I don’t think CC’s done that this season.

Yadier Molina
Yadi had three singles in the game — including one that drove in Matt Holliday to give the Cards a 3-0 first inning lead — but also did something else for the third time that was even more impressive, as Rick Hummel describes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Catcher Yadier Molina swiped second base uncontested in the eighth inning Wednesday. It was third theft of the year.

Molina also had three hits and caught a victory but La Russa joked the stolen base had been his jewel of the evening.

“It’s not even close,” cracked La Russa. “He was bragging that the clock had him at 3.4 (seconds) or 4.1 to first. Check the sundial. But he’s definitely going to talk about that stolen base. He was walking down the steps and that’s all he could talk about.”

Sadly, MLB didn’t find it important enough to include this as a video highlight of the game. Yes, it was nice to watch his RBI single (which you can see here) but that’s not nearly as entertaining as being able to rewatch a Yadi stolen base. Although, if you want, you can see another good moment from the game: Lance Berkman’s pinch-hit RBI single — also notable for the glimpse of LB’s old-school high stirrups.

The Cardinals have a day off today, then play the Cubs in Chicago for the weekend. Given tomorrow is a day game at Wrigley, more sunshine should be in store. We’ll have to see about the rainbows.

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

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