First things first, though.
Shortly before the game, the 2012 All-Stars were named and four Cardinals will be joining Tony La Russa in Kansas City. And if you haven’t yet caught this video of Mike Matheny announcing the news to the team, check it out immediately.
Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal were voted in by the fans as starters … which means that Yadier Molina was not (and Buster Posey was instead). Yadi was selected to the team by his peers, however. And Lance Lynn was voted in by his peers as well.
And if, like me, you were a little bit surprised at Lynn’s selection, the voting by players took place before Lynn’s latest two starts according to Derrick Goold on Twitter. That said, our Wolf Pup looked so happy in that video — congrats to him, and to Carlos, Raffy and Yadi as well.
There’s also the chance for the Cards to have a fifth All-Star in Kansas City. David Freese is one of the players up for the National League’s Final Vote. You can vote online here or you can text N2 to 89269 and vote for Freeser that way.
Also, the Reds are a little up in arms over the fact that Tony La Russa did not pick Johnny Cueto or Brandon Phillips for the All-Star team. TLR did pick Jay Bruce, but they’re ignoring that fact — instead claiming this is all because of “the brawl” back in 2010. For the ridiculous from the Cincy side, read more here. (Perhaps the most surprising part of the article: Phillips declined to talk to reporters.)
Not surprisingly, TLR is not happy, as Rick Hummel reports in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
An angry La Russa said the non-selection of Cueto was due to the fact that Cueto, who is 9-4, is slated to pitch next Sunday for the Reds and would be unavailable to pitch in an All-Star game two days later.
La Russa said, “If Dusty had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday.
“The comments Dusty made clearly disappoint me and are attacking my integrity. The All-Star experience is too important to let anything stand in the way of a decision like that .
“No way am I going to penalize anybody for any kind of past history. The fact is that Cueto is going to be pitching on Sunday. Some other day, he’s probably on the team.”
Johnny Cueto, I’d like you to meet karma …
Anyway, back to today’s game. All-Star Yadi gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead by homering in the second, and Allen Craig hit a two-run blast in the third — proving that no matter how slow he pitched, Erik Bedard couldn’t quite lull the Cardinals to sleep as perhaps was his intent.
Jake Westbrook’s sinker was not quite as effective as it’s been lately, which got him into trouble in the fourth. Two singles and a double scored one run, while a homer by Michael McKenry put the Pirates up 4-3.
The Cards regained the lead in the fifth. Matt Holliday doubled in Matt Carpenter to tie the score. Holliday advanced to third on a Craig fly-out, then scored on a single by Shane Robinson.
Sugar Shane made things a little bit interesting in the field during the seventh inning. Marc Rzepczynski looked like he was on his way to getting out of a successful inning when Shane dropped a fly ball hit to him in centerfield. A pitching change brought in Mitchell Boggs, which led to another flyball to Shane — that was successfully caught to end the threat.
Boggs gave up two consecutive singles to start the eighth. After a sacrifice to advance the runners and a foul out, it seemed like he could get out of the jam. Instead, in came Jason Motte for a four-out save — which he converted successfully.
A needed win on quite an eventful day, and the Cards are back to a .500 record at home. A good Sunday all the way around.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.