July 23: Royals @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (60-34, +6.0 in NL Central), Royals (57-36, +7.5 in AL Central)

First pitch: 6:15 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Kolten Wong (2B), Matt Carpenter (3B), Matt Holliday (LF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Jason Heyward (RF), Yadier Molina (C), Randal Grichuk (CF), Dan Johnson (1B), John Lackey (RHP)

Royals lineup: Alcides Escobar (SS), Mike Moustakas (3B), Lorenzo Cain (CF), Eric Hosmer (1B), Salvador Perez (C), Alex Rios (RF), Omar Infante (2B), Jarrod Dyson (LF), Chris Young (RHP)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Yadier Molina picked the perfect time to connect for his first triple since 2011 (link)
  • Lance Lynn continues to pitch with a thin margin for error (link)
  • Matt Belisle continues to rest, with no timetable for his return to the mound (link)
  • Cards shut out in Competitive Balance Lottery; Alex Reyes gets promoted; Ty Kelly gets claimed (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday (link)
  • Preview for Thursday’s makeup game against the Royals (link)

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D Johnson in at 1B. Probably just as well since Reynolds got that “ding” on his ankle-bone yesterday. Otherwise, the “usual suspects”. Go Lackey!

Good to see Carpenter get a home run. He was starting to look a bit like Craig. Lackey settled himself well after the first. Hope Seigrist and Rosenthal can close this one out against a tough opponent.

No kidding. Carp really needed that HR. Whoa…don’t even say Craig’s name. Bad karma. Hahaha.
And yeah, I’ve developed a real respect for Lackey. He’s a work horse with consistently good stuff and an attitude.
Fingers crossed for the win….

They need Walden back to spell Rosenthal obviously. This one is slipping away, like those games in Pittsburgh. Wonder why they didn’t use Seigrist and why he is using that arm sleeve?

Well that was needlessly stressful. At least they held on, barely, for another win.

You said it. They won by the skin of their teeth.
Post-game…MM said Rosie practically insisted he get to close the game. Only 10 pitches last nite…so what’s the harm. MM said he had other plans, but gave in.
Plus, I’m not so sure it’s all that detrimental to close a few games in a row, quite frankly. Ask Gibson about pitch counts and what they mean. He’ll tell ya’ nothing. Lol!

Don’t get to hear the post game on MLB TV but why should the manager let the closer decide when he should go in. Hope Seigrist is available tomorrow night.

Our local baseball channel, Fox Sports Midwest uses a few ex-Cardinals as their TV color guys…like Al Hrabosky, Ricky Horton, Tim McCarver and Jimmy Edmonds….which is kinda’ nice. They’re all typically upbeat & positive about the Cards….even when they lose.
As for MM letting Rosenthal close tonite? Not all that unusual. MM has previously stated that he’ll occasionally take input from his players…and go with it. Gives the team a sense of being part of the process and shows some respect for their opinions…hopefully making them feel more invested. Guess it’s just another facet of the Cardinal Way…as MM sees it?
Besides, tonite’s win gave Rosie a better chance to remain as one of the league’s top closers. ; )

MLB TV carries the FSMW broadcasts so I hear all those guys, but not the post-game coverage. (A lot better than in my youth when I had to listen on scratchy AM radio when it came in way out here.)

The announcers are cheerleaders for the team but also fair to the other teams players and appreciative of talent which provides good insight. Lots of quality on the KC roster right now. I am sure the networks won’t look forward to another I-70 series!

Yeah, FSMW has a spot called “Mike’d Up” to get MM’s take after each game. Plus there’s usually a few minutes with the couple of players who were most integral in that game’s win (or loss). Jaime Garcia’s the only one who won’t always give a post-game interview.
And I agree, the announcers are pretty fair and balanced when it comes to comments made about both teams.
Funny, but last nite Hrabosky kept going on about how Yadi sets up so darned far out, when he gives the sign for low & away. Hrabosky feels it’s too telling….and that Yadi should signal as usual….but wait until the very last second to move over & take the pitch. Not move over before the Cards’ pitcher even winds up.

Great win considering the first 11 pifches out of Lackey’s hand.Had a discussion with a couple of golf buddies Wed. They can’t beleive the Cards with their ‘pathetic offense
and lack of power” have won some many games! 1.) They’re Sox fans so there’s alot of frustration, 2.) They think they follow the game,but aren’t really as up to date as they think.Not that I am,but more so than these birds.They couldn’t beleive that the Ccards were plus 100 in runs/diff. and lead baseball in that stat.
Pirates aquired Ramirez from the Brewers and he is suppose to retire at the end of the season……..we’ll see.I think he’ll help them alot and they didn’t give up alot to get him either.Not like the Astros which gave up two guys I’d love to have in our system
for a two month rental in Kazmir.

You’re right, Dave. Lackey had to find his groove before settling in.
Also, plenty of MLB fans have commented about the Cards’ lack of power. But hey, if a few singles, doubles or triples win the game? Who needs the long-ball. Ha! I’ve even heard MM say that once or twice.
Ramirez will add some pop to the Pirates’ line up. His July BA has been impressive. He said tho’, he’s retiring at the end of the year. But if he helps the Bucco’s get into this season’s play-offs? It’ll be worth the $3M to Pittsburgh.
Besides, Ramirez’ said it’d mean a lot to him, since it’d be his first time in the play-offs since 2008.

Reflection: Since the AS break we’ve gained 3 and a 1/2 games on the Pirates.It would seem the break helped us but hurt the Buc’s since then.They were on a roll but didn’t come out of the break as hot as us. We now have 10 straight home games counting last night vs. K.C.Guys are now starting to come off the DL and that can act like making a trade without giving up anyone.That said,we need some kind of help at 1B, whether its Lind or LaRoche or somebody else teams that are out of it seem to be dealing.I think there will be alot of movement this year.

Not sure WHAT will be done regarding 1B. Keep in mind that Piscotty’s been called up….and they’ve had him working out at 1B just lately.
So that’d make a 3-player platoon for 1st base. Mark Reynolds, D Johnson and now maybe Piscotty.
Piscotty however, is on day-to-day for the time being, with a neck strain. Current status says “side-lined”, not officially on the DL.
Great that Holliday’s back. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy. Mitch Harris & Jaime Garcia started rehab this week. Jordan Walden was scheduled to start rehab this week, too. And then, Marco Gonzales just finished his 4th rehab start with good results, so he may become available in the near future, as well.
Unfortunately, reports are saying Belisle has suffered a set-back.

I think what’s so intriguing about the Cards? Is that one never knows who’ll step & and make a game winning play. Even Kozma’s come up with something before. The “next man up” thing…yer’ fave. Lol!

How they manage to win with this thin offense remains amazing. If those pitchers do get back and Holiday stays healthy, they may not need much more help from outside. A real team effort with different folks stepping up every night in close exciting games (too much for my old ticker sometimes).

That’s exactly why the Cards win.They’re one of a few teams that play a “team” game.

Laroche showed nothing in the White Sox series so hope they don’t go in that direction. Lind had promise in Toronto but not sure what this season has been like for him.

How ’bout it. The Cards have acquired 29 y/o, 6′ 6″ righty reliever Steve Cishek from Miami. He supposedly throws side-arm like former Cardinal Pat Neshek. Their names kinda’ sound alike, too. Lol!
The Cards will pay the remaining portion of his 1-year $6.65M contract, however much THAT turns out to be.

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