July 29: Cardinals (56-48) @ Padres (46-59)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-img_20140729_155543432.jpgThe Cardinals and Padres meet tonight for the first of seven games between the two clubs over the final two months of the season. Before the game, San Diego activated shortstop Everth Cabrera from the disabled list; Cabrera missed 20 games with a hamstring injury.

The Trade Deadline (now less than 48 hours away) will loom over the Cardinals’ time here in San Diego. The team continues to search for starting pitching help but has yet to pull the trigger on a trade. In fact, none of the four contending teams in the National League Central has improved their club by making a deadline deal. Certainly there are a few coming…

The Padres, on the other hand, may be some of their contributing players before the series is over. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is here in San Diego with several of his baseball operations folks and have bunkered up in a nearby hotel to continue their work leading up to Thursday’s 3 pm CT deadline.

Here at Petco Park, A.J. Pierzynski is making his third straight start since joining the team. Allen Craig is back in the lineup for the first time since Friday, which means Oscar Taveras is back on the bench. Lance Lynn make his fifth start of the month and looks to cap a terrific July. Through four outings, Lynn in 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA and .219 batting average against. He has finished at least six innings each time out.

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The future of the team is centered around: Carpenter, Molina, Wong, Taveras, Adams and perhaps Jay. Wong and Taveras need to play regularly. The truth is that Craig has not been the same since his injury. He had two spectacular years, but perhaps that injury is more serious than realized. We need the speed of Wong on the bases and the punch Taveras seems able to bring. I only hope that too much sitting does not affect either of these very high level prospects from becoming contributors to an offense that continues to struggle. I have been a loyal fan since 1945 (age of 6) and plan to continue to root for the Birds.

Is it just my imagination, or is Lynn doing MUCH better? At the beginning of the season, I’d grit my teeth every time he’d start. But, I can tell you that today I’m feeling really good about his performance. He has come a long way in a short time – or that is how it seems to me. Could just be anecdotal evidence… Oh, and Go Cards!

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