On the day the St. Louis Cardinals had the fifth player from their Opening Day roster go onto the disabled list, they did what was expected: won.
It was win No. 40 of the season, and on June 12. The Cardinals are the first team in MLB to reach 40 wins this season. The next NL team to reach that plateau won’t do it until at least Tuesday, if the Dodgers win their next four straight. No AL team will reach 40 wins until at least Wednesday, if the Astros (how awesome is that?) now go on a winning streak after destroying King Felix Hernandez and the Mariners last night.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinals still have the best record in MLB, and also have the biggest division lead — the second-place Pirates are 6 1/2 games back. (If the Pirates were in the NL East, they’d be in first at the moment.)
As for last night’s game, Jaime Garcia was impressive — again. He pitched eight scoreless innings, allowed only four infield singles, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. In fact, he hasn’t walked a batter since his season-debut on May 21 … four starts and 30 innings ago.
And while Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter, Mark Reyonds and Yadi all went hitless, it didn’t matter. Jon Jay hit a first inning triple that drove in Everyone’s Favorite Man (and Woman) Crush Randal Grichuk, who’d singled. Jaime was up next and singled to score Jay.
During this interminable baseball off-season, looking ahead is common. We have to pass the time some way, right?
World Series predictions based on every free agent signing also are common, and happen every year. Remember when the Angels were going to win in 2012 after signing That Guy Who Used to Play First Base and C.J. Wilson? Or when the Nationals would win in 2013? The Dodgers in 2014?
Now it’s 2015, and we’ve already heard plenty about the Cubs (yes, the Chicago Cubs) going to the World Series this year — that’s what “Back to The Future II” said! And now Joe Maddon’s their manager! They signed Jon Lester! And the Vegas odds say so! Woo hoo!!!!
Yeah. We’ll see how that goes once they actually start playing …
Instead, I not surprisingly have a different perspective. The Cardinals will win the 2015 National League pennant this year and return to the World Series. Continue reading
Addressing the need that unfortunately now exists for a right fielder, Cardinals made a trade with the Braves today and acquired Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
More after the official press release from the Cardinals …
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed with the Atlanta Braves on a four-player trade that will bring outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed pitcher Jordan Walden to the Cardinals in exchange for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
Heyward, 25, is a two-time (2012 and 2014) National League Rawlings Gold Glove selection who has posted a .262 career batting mark with 84 home runs and 292 RBI to go along with 63 stolen bases since debuting with the Braves as an All-Star in 2010 (.277 BA, 18 HR, 72 RBI) and finishing 2nd that year to the Giants Buster Posey in the N.L. Rookie of the Year balloting. The left-handed hitting Heyward batted .271 this past season with 11 HRs and 58 RBI while stealing 20 bases and he finished as a finalist to Yadier Molina in the Rawlings Platinum Glove voting for the best defensive player in the National League.
The 6-5, 245-pound Heyward was the Braves 1st round draft selection (14th player overall) in 2007. He led N.L. right fielders in putouts and assists in both 2012 and 2014 and hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2012. The Georgia native has shown his lineup versatility by having started over 100 games each in the lead-off, number two and number three batting order positions during his career.
Walden, who celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday, is a hard-throwing right-hander who in 2011 led the Los Angeles Angels in saves with 32 and was named an American League All-Star that same season when he finished 5th in the junior circuit in saves and complied a 2.98 ERA. The 6-5, 250-pound Texas native struck out 62 batters in 50.0 innings pitched this past season and he had a 2.88 ERA to go along with three saves. Continue reading