The Time I Talked My Way Into Camden Yards

With the Cardinals headed to Baltimore to play in Orioles Park at Camden Yards this weekend for only the second time ever, it reminds me of the first of my own two visits to the ballpark.

It was on Opening Day 2005, it was brief — and it was free.

Camden Yards

                 My own photo, from July 2008

I was actually in Baltimore for work, attending a fundraising conference at the Baltimore Convention Center that began on Saturday. The convention center is across the street from the warehouse side of Camden Yards so, during breaks between seminars, I’d see all the action and preparations at the ballpark as it was being readied for Monday’s Opening Day. It was killing me to see it all so close and know I couldn’t go.

The A’s were the Orioles opponent for that first series of 2005 and, at the time, they were my favorite American League team. Nine years later, I have no idea where I found the time to keep up with them in addition to the Cardinals. But I loved that Moneyball/Big Three era of A’s teams, particularly because they were such a contrast to the Cardinals of the time. Opening Day 2005 found only one member of their Big Three remaining — as of course you remember, Mark Mulder was a Cardinal (which, having watched his slide in the second half of 2004 for the A’s, did not thrill me) and Tim Hudson was a Brave — meaning the lone remaining A, Barry Zito, was starting on Opening Day.

The game began at 3 p.m., which was the same time as my final seminar. As I stood on the convention center balcony during the break before the seminar and saw all the activity right there across the street with game time nearly there, I knew I had to go over there once the session ended. Continue reading

Division Series Times Through Saturday Announced

Major League Baseball today announced the start times for all Division Series games through Saturday. TBS will exclusively televise up to 18 of the 20 potential Division Series games, while MLB Network will carry two Division Series games – one on Friday, October 4, and the other on Monday, October 7.

3471__nlds-primary-2013The National League Central Champion St. Louis Cardinals will host the winner of the National League Wild Card Game (either the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Cincinnati Reds) in Game 1 of the N.L. Division Series at Busch Stadium on Thursday, October 3, at 5:07 p.m. (ET)/4:07 p.m. (CT).

In the evening, the N.L. East Champion Atlanta Braves will host the N.L. West-winning Los Angeles Dodgers with an 8:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch in Game 1 of the NLDS at Turner Field. Both of Thursday’s games will be exclusively televised by TBS.

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Adam, Adams Lead Cardinals To Victory

Winning cures all, right — at least for the day?

And Adam Wainwright and Matt Adams made sure the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Oakland A’s on Saturday. Wainwright’s complete game and Adams’ two homers and four RBI led the Cards to the 7-1 victory — which was very nice to see following the previous two games.

adamm-adamsWaino did what Waino does: shut down the opposition, which is especially beneficial when a win is needed like it was yesterday.

He allowed only five hits and obviously just the one run, striking out eight and walking two. Thankfully, it was done without any drama too — although Dan and Al on Fox Sorts Midwest made sure we knew all about last Sunday night’s comments from Waino and Matheny and subsequent apologies and conversations between player and manager as they went on and on and on and on about it one early inning (and perhaps even further on than that — had to mute my TV, which was just the first of several times yesterday. Those two were extra, and extra annoyingly, chatty.)

Anyway, Waino kept the A’s hitless until the third, had the awesome curveball working very well and gave up the only run in the eighth on back-to-back hits. As was said many times on Twitter, his performance was what aces do.

The win was no. 11 for Waino, which ties him for the National League lead with Jordan Zimmermann. He lowered his ERA to 2.22, which ties him with Patrick Corbin for fourth in the NL. He now has 115 strikeouts, fifth best in the NL. The complete game was his fourth of the season, which leads the majors.

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Three Things For Cardinals Fans To Know About The A’s

If it seems like the St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played the Oakland A’s in a while, that’s because they haven’t.

The last time was in June 2010, as a matter of fact — a three-game series at Busch Stadium where the Cardinals won two of three. Oh, and Jeff Suppan started the game they lost (although Blake Hawksworth was the losing pitcher) and such Cardinals as Felipe Lopez, Randy Winn and Nick Stavinoha all played.

(On a more positive note, the wins in that series came from Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.)

OaklandTo help get us all up to speed on the 2013 team, here are three things to know about the Oakland Athletics from Tamara Davis of The Oaktown Breakdown, the Aerys A’s site.

1. Coming into Friday, the A’s have a 46-34 record and are currently second in the AL West, just half a game behind the Texas Rangers. They have a 14-10 record for the month of June and are 5-5 over their last 10 games. After sweeping the two-game series against the Cincinnati Reds this week, they are now 7-2 in interleague games this season, also taking three out of four from the San Francisco Giants and two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Thankfully, June Is Almost Over

And so the rough games continue for the Cardinals …

One bad inning from Lance Lynn, an offense that couldn’t take advantage of opportunities and a second straight night with double-digit strikeouts led to the Cardinals losing 4-3 to the Astros — despite taking a 2-0 lead after Erik Bedard threw two pitches.

Which now means this.

standingsYep, for the first time since April 29 the Cardinals are not in sole possession of first place in the NL Central. Considering it’s June 27, that’s fine — plenty of games, obviously, still left to be played. Plenty against the Pirates as well: 14 to be exact, including five in four days at PNC Park from July 29-Aug. 1 as the teams make up that rained-out game from mid-April during what was already a four-game series.

What’s more perplexing, though, is the Cardinals record in June. After going 15-11 in April and a terrific 20-7 in May, they are now 13-12 this month — and losing to teams that it certainly seems they should beat, like the Marlins and the Astros.

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