Well whatdaya know, Skip Schumaker has a big bat to go with his debilitating curveball! Just hours after pitching a inning in relief, he proceeded to go 4-for-4 in the series finale against the visiting Dodgers.
Add Gerald Laird’s first National League homer and Arthur Rhodes’ perfect inning to that, and you have some unlikely heroes.
What’s that, you say? Oh, I should look at the score? No thanks. I’d rather not. I’m perfectly content to live in the happy little bubble of positives. Like the six scoreless innings from the pitching staff yesterday.
See, it’s not as fun to mention that the other three innings were disastrous, giving up 9 runs on 13 hits. Or that Jaime Garcia is now 1-4 with a 5+ ERA since that sparkling four-year deal he signed over the All-Star break. It’s worrying to talk about why he failed to actually field his position more than once today. Or the rumors that he’s disregarding the advice from the coaching staff. (Colby Rasmus … Jaime, remember Colby Rasmus!)
I don’t like worrying.
It’s no fun to see only 4 runs on 11 Cardinal hits. Or six runners left on base. Or the 957th GIDP on the year (140, 900 something … close enough, at this point!)
Or watching Albert get caught between first and second.
See my point? It’s much more fun to talk about Mitchell Boggs getting out of the eighth without surrendering a run.
It’s more fulfilling to know that the Brewers lost to the Pirates.
And it warms the heart to see Skip Schumaker’s average back over .300 (.301 to be exact).
Last week, the Cardinals won their Wednesday game. They’re 1-5 since then, playing the Cubs and the Dodgers, both at home. First place slides further and further into the distance as the Cardinals play with less and less passion. (Watching the Little League World Series, I’m convinced these kids have more passion and determination in one little finger than the Cardinals lineup is playing with right now. Seriously …)
When they seem to have given up on 2011, it’s hard for fans not to do the same.
So the blame game starts. The fair-weather fans jump ship (those who haven’t already, at least!) And the rest of us? We celebrate Octavio Dotel’s ninth inning strike outs in a 9-4 game.
After a week of struggling to explain away the disasters, can you blame a girl for wanting something to cheer about? I’m not happy with the situation. I could argue for hours about what would have/should have/could have happened. But, as I said, that’s no fun.
I like when baseball is fun.
So, I leave you with this.
For those eternal optimists out there, our good friend and standing history buff Bob Netherton pointed out this week that the ’64 Cardinals made a late season run. And — for the superstitious among us — on August 24th, 47 years ago, that team was 11 games out of first, starting a series with … Pittsburgh.
Take that for what you will. I, for one, think it’s kind of fun.
Now, I’m going to go watch Laird’s two-run homer one more time. Oh, and if you have a chance, listen to Skippy himself talk with Dan McLaughlin about the appearance on the mound, his offensive push and what’s going on in the clubhouse. You’ll likely end up loving him more than you already do.
The Cards welcome the Pirates to Busch tonight at 7:15.
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Feel free to share your feel-good Cardinal moments with her on twitter @tarawellman.