Catching Up With The Cardinals: Joe Kelly Birthday Edition

Seems like every St. Louis Cardinals fan around (well, the know-it-alls on Twitter anyway) knew going into last night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds they would lose.

They did, 4-2.

Plus Thom Brennaman was just as annoying and Reds-slanted as every Cards fan — Twitter know-it-all or not — predicted. (And I even missed the first three innings.)

Always nice when there are such unbiased broadcasters on network Cardinals games (as I think back to Brewers broadcaster Brian Anderson being the play-by-play guy for the 2011 NLCS on TBS …) Yes, I almost miss Dan McLaughlin. Almost.

SONY DSCAnyway, with that, time to catch up on some other Cardinals-related news.

Such as today is Joe Kelly’s birthday. Happy 25th, Little Giraffe — we miss seeing those awesome base-running skills, but at least we still get to see that personality of yours shine through regularly.

It was a year ago tomorrow that Joe made his major league debut, back when kid pitchers being promoted to the Cardinals starting rotation was highly unusual and not the weekly occurrence that it has become this year.

One of those pitchers, Michael Wacha, was featured in the Iowa City Press-Citizen earlier in the week — he was born in Iowa City before his family moved to Texas. The article includes a look at his major league debut from his family’s perspective.

Here’s another hometown look at one of the Cards rookie pitchers, Seth Maness, from The Pilot in Southern Pines, N.C.

One of the rookies will likely be headed back to Memphis soon, as Jake Westbrook will make his second minor league rehab start today — this time for the Peoria Chiefs. Ironically, the game is against the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Cardinals Midwest League affiliate until last season. (Yes, I do miss that they no longer are!) That should make for an exciting atmosphere at the game tonight.

Speaking of the Chiefs, Bob Gibson was at their game last night and is the subject of this feature in the Peoria Journal Star. And you have to love the fact he still says things like this: “If I pitched seven innings, I pitched a bad game.”

The Cardinals overall have not pitched many bad games this season, as we know — their team ERA right now is 3.18 and just behind the MLB-leading Braves at 3.17. The starters still have the majors best ERA by a wide margin at 2.68 (in second place are the Reds at 3.25) and the relievers ERA is 4.44.

Of those relievers, did you realize that Trevor Rosenthal has not allowed an earned run since April 24? Corey Rudd of Stl Sports Minute has more on that here.

Some other excellent numbers are the hitting streaks on the Cardinals. David Freese is now at 18, Matt Carpenter is now at 17, Allen Craig is now at 12 games and Carlos Beltran is at 9 games.

And then there’s 40, as in the number of wins the Cardinals have — achieved Friday night and, not surprisingly, the first team in the majors to reach that total. (Last year, they didn’t win their 40th game until June 26.) The A’s, Braves and Red Sox all have 38. More importantly, perhaps, the Pirates and Reds each have 37 to give the Cards a 3-game lead in the NL Central.

The outcome of tonight’s game, obviously, will determine just where the Reds stand after this series — as well as if the Cards can continue their streak of winning series. Lance Lynn and Bronson Arroyo are the starters for the ESPN Game of the Week, starting at 7 p.m. Central Time.



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

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