Finally, Cardinals Baseball Again Starting Tonight

dodgers_logoThe All-Star break seems like it’s been going on forever but, at last, the Cardinals are back in action tonight at Busch Stadium to begin a five-game homestand.

First up: three games against the Dodgers, who haven’t played in St. Louis since last October and the National League Championship Series. While these games don’t have exactly the same magnitude, the Dodgers currently are leading the National League West by just one game over the Giants and the Cardinals are only one game behind the Brewers in the National League Central.

To help prepare you for the series, here’s a preview courtesy of the latest issue of The Bird’s Eye View from the United Cardinal Bloggers, which I wrote. If you don’t yet receive these previews before each series, subscribe now here to stay up-to-date throughout the second half of the season.

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Los Angeles Dodgers (54-43) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (52-44)
July 18-20, 2014
Busch Stadium

Let the second half begin! Or, more accurately, let the final 40 percent of the season begin! (That really doesn’t have the same effect, does it?) Regardless of the schedule-related math, the All-Star break is finally over. Time to get back to real baseball that matters, where we don’t have to hear about That Guy Who Plays Shortstop In New York And Is Retiring for a while (although, hey, it’s his final start to the second half of the season tonight!) nor hear the words “pipe shot” anymore. (Hopefully. Thankfully.)

Tonight it’s back to National League baseball at Busch Stadium, where the pitcher bats and these games really do count for something: the Dodgers battle for the top spot in the NL West and the Cardinals fight for the same in the NL Central. Yes, the Dodgers return to St. Louis for the first time since last October’s National League Championship Series for these next three games. Let’s take a look at what’s ahead … Continue reading

Cards Home Again, To Face The First-Place Nationals

washington_nationals_logoThe Cardinals returns home to Busch Stadium for a 10-game series against the National League East, beginning with three against the first-place Nationals.

First-place Nationals? Yes, I was surprised too — I hadn’t looked at the standings in a week or so. Yet they are, and they’ve been on roll as of late — they won three straight over the Giants in San Francisco before losing yesterday afternoon after taking two of three last weekend in San Diego.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming three games, from the latest issue of the United Cardinal Bloggers email preview series The Bird’s Eye View.

If you don’t yet receive it, subscribe now here to stay up-to-date throughout the season.

Birds Eye View HeaderWashington Nationals (35-30) at St. Louis Cardinals (34-32)
June 13-15, 2014
Busch Stadium

How We Got Here
Does this sound familiar? The Cardinals, coming off a disappointing loss of an interleague game in which they had a lead, enter the weekend facing the East’s first place team, one that’s been hot and won eight of its previous 10 games, with Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Jaime Garcia set to start?

Yes, it’s deja vu all over again – only with the Cardinals back at home to face the National League East-leading Washington Nationals this weekend. St. Louis is the final stop on the Nationals three-city road trip where they’ve taken two of three from the Padres, three of four from the Giants and the NL East lead from the Braves. The Cardinals return home after their own three-city journey through Kansas City, Toronto and Tampa Bay that began with a victory over the Royals and included three straight shutout wins — two over the Blue Jays, one over the Rays. The other three games were losses — and the Cards scored first in all three. Ah, these 2014 Cardinals …

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A First Coming Up In Pittsburgh This Weekend

Ah, Pittsburgh … and here the Cardinals are, back there again.

PNC Park - Sept. 1, 2013

PNC Park – Sept. 1, 2013

We all know PNC Park is beautiful. If you’ve ever been there, you know it’s true and even if you’ve just seen it on television, you can tell also. Plus the FOX Sports Midwest announcers remind us of that fact every single game that’s there.

We’ll be hearing a lot about how beautiful the ballpark is on Sunday, I’m betting, plus a lot about the 2013 Pirates’ success since it’s a monumental game that night: the first-ever broadcast from PNC on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

There’s more on that in the preview below, which is the latest issue of The Bird’s Eye View e-newsletter, produced before each series by a member of the United Cardinal Bloggers — and I wrote this one.

If you don’t yet receive our e-newsletter, subscribe now here to stay up-to-date throughout the season.

Birds Eye View HeaderSt. Louis Cardinals (18-17) at Pittsburgh Pirates (14-20)
May 9-11, 2014
PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Okay, who predicted that the Cardinals would be four games behind the Brewers in second place in the National League Central and the Pirates would be 7 1/2 games back in fourth place when the two teams met for the third time of the year and second time at PNC Park? Or even that the Brewers would be in first place on May 9 and tied for the best record in baseball?

Needless to say, the season isn’t off to the kind of start any of us were expecting. (Probably. Someone will no doubt say he or she knew it all along.) The good news: it’s May 9. The Cardinals have played only 35 games. There’s plenty of season left. Continue reading

The Cardinals Bird’s Eye View: Pirates Series Preview

pirateslogoAh, the Pirates … ahoy there again, mateys! The Cardinals haven’t seen you in about six months now, not since they ended your storybook season in Game Five of the NLDS.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s games at PNC Park from the latest issue of The Bird’s Eye View, produced before each series by a member of the United Cardinal Bloggers — and I just happened to write this one.

If you don’t yet receive it, subscribe now here to stay up-to-date throughout the season.

Birds Eye View HeaderSt. Louis Cardinals (2-1) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1)
April 4-6
PNC Park

After taking the first series of the season in Cincinnati, the St. Louis Cardinals continue their National League Central tour against the team they played the most in 2013: the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two battled 24 times last season and split those games, with the Pirates winning the regular season series 10 games to 9 but the Cards taking the more important postseason series 3 games to 2. These three games are the first of 19 regular season contests between the two in 2014. And, before we’ve quick to say that they won’t meet in October again this year, think back to the beginning of April 2013. Would you have imagined then the Cardinals and Pirates would play in the NLDS?

The Pirates have a little bit different look from last season after A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Garrett Jones and Justin Morneau departed. Newcomers include Edinson Volquez, who will face the Cards on Sunday, and Travis Ishikawa. They also, of course, have the reigning National League MVP in Andrew McCutchen and Manager of the Year in Clint Hurdle.

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Stay Informed This Season With The Cardinals Bird’s Eye View

Of course you want to be as knowledgeable as you can about your favorite team. One way that you can guarantee that is by signing up for The Bird’s Eye View e-newsletter.

St_Louis_Cardinals_1998-present_logoProduced by the United Cardinal Bloggers, The Bird’s Eye View will arrive in your in-box before each series throughout the 2014 season — for as long as the 2014 season lasts. (More playoff previews? Another World Series preview? No problem!) With each issue you’ll get a look at the games ahead written by a different blogger, meaning you’ll get a different perspective in that person’s style.

I am one of the contributors again this year, and my first edition of The Bird’s Eye View will be coming soon — for the season’s second series, against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Sign up now so you don’t miss any of the scoops (oops, does Dan McLaughlin have that word trademarked?) on the 2014 Cardinals. If you’ve subscribed in the past, no need to do anything — you’re still a subscriber.

Just the other day, a season preview of The Bird’s Eye View was sent — including the preview below I wrote on the bullpen. (Researching the spring numbers on the bullpen before writing was what led to this, and we can probably answer “no” to that question now. Right?)

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The Cardinals Bird’s Eye View: NLDS Preview

Hey, these guys look familiar, don’t they?

Yes, it’s the National League Division Series, with the St. Louis Cardinals taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates once again … although the stakes are higher than they have been all season. No more battle for the division lead anymore — now it’s the race for three wins to move on and face either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

Here’s a preview of the NLDS in the latest issue The Bird’s Eye View from the United Cardinal Bloggers, which I wrote. You can subscribe to The Bird’s Eye View here — it will continue this season as long as the Cardinals do.

Birds Eye View HeaderIn less than seven hours, the first-ever postseason meeting between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will begin. Of course, the Pirates are not an unknown foe to the Cardinals since the two teams have played 19 times this season already. And, as you probably know, the Pirates won 10 of the 19 but the Cardinals won the final four match-ups.

The Cardinals finished the season 97-65, which was the best record in the National League and tied with the Boston Red Sox for best in MLB. The 97 wins are the most for the Cardinals since 2005, when they were 100-62.

As is very well known, this is the Pirates first winning season and first postseason appearance since 1992. Their regular season record this year was 94-68, their most wins (obviously) since 1992’s 96-66 finish.

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The Bird’s Eye View: Hey, Remember the Brewers?

You do remember the Brewers, right? The team in Wisconsin, the one that was good in 2011, where this guy played until he got suspended for the season … (That gif will never get old.)

Since it’s been three months since the Cardinals played the Brewers, you might have forgotten about them. Did you know they’re not in last place in the National League Central right now? Learn more about that and catch up with the Brewers in the latest issue of The Bird’s Eye View from the United Cardinal Bloggers — I happened to write this one. If you don’t yet subscribe, click here. You’ll get a preview e-newsletter before each Cardinals series.

Birds Eye View HeaderSt. Louis Cardinals (71-52) at Milwaukee Brewers (54-70)
Aug. 19-21, 2013
Miller Park, Milwaukee

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The Cardinals Bird’s Eye View: First Time In Anaheim

Hello, Anaheim! Disneyland, the Mighty Ducks, the Rally Monkey … oh, and That Guy Who Used to Play First Base.

Yes, the time is finally here — the Cardinals are facing Albert. A series preview is below, straight from the latest edition of The Bird’s Eye View e-newsletter published by the United Cardinal Bloggers (with this one written by me). If you don’t yet subscribe to The Bird’s Eye View, click here — it’s quick and simple and you can stay well informed!

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St. Louis Cardinals (49-32) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (39-43)
July 2-4
Angel Stadium of Anaheim

So, the Cardinals are visiting the Angels for the first time ever – though obviously that’s not the real story of this series. No, of course, it’s the Cardinals facing That Guy Who Used to Play First Base, Albert Pujols, for the first time. Much already has been written, much already has been said, much more will be written over these next couple days, much more will be said both during the game broadcasts and elsewhere – you don’t need anything more right here. You already have your own thoughts.

How We Got Here
The Cardinals look for a better month ahead in July than June, when they went 14-14. They’ve lost six of their last eight games and have gone 2-3 on the current three-city road trip. Tonight officially begins the second half of the season for the Cardinals as they play game number 82. They’re 49-32 thus far and in second place in the National League Central, two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. They have the second-best record in the majors.

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