"I won't lose again."
said those words two starts ago, upset with how he had been performing and looking at a four-game losing streak. He was able to win last time out, continuing the vow, but last night, that promise was broken
The two-out problem bit the Cardinals again. In the second, Wainwright had two outs and one on, then walked the seventh place hitter and gave up a bloop single to Darwin Barney (who had three hits last night, his best game ever in the bigs). Then, apparently frustrated, he flung a pitch to his opposite number, who promptly sent it back to the outfield and drove in another.
With Albert Pujols out of the lineup
due to his elbow problems, two runs was asking a lot for this offense to produce. When Wainwright gave up three more, it was just marking time until the game was over.
On the positive side, Colby Rasmus had a home run among his two hits and scored both of the Redbird tallies. And Wainwright provided another word in our continuing search to express exactly how we feel about this season: "confounding". That's possibly the best way to describe how 2010 has gone.
As we start wrapping up this season, it is never too early to look at 2011. Seriously, it's not, because you can actually look at the schedule for next year now
. I got a copy of it a couple of days ago and found a few things to be interesting. First off, it'll be the first time in the history of the Cardinals, I expect, that they will have a Friday during the season off. With the season starting on Thursday next year to try to make sure the playoffs don't go into November, the traditional day off after the opener is on Friday. Is that going to be strange or what? Seems like a terrible way to kick off a year, but I've never liked that day off anyway.
Secondly, the Cards get a lot of their Western Division games done early. They open with San Diego at home, then have their West Coast road trip of San Francisco, Arizona and the Dodgers in the first month. The only divisional rivals they play in April are Pittsburgh, Cincinnati (a weekend series at home after the road trip) and Houston.
Interleague is kinda eh. No Yankees or Red Sox again, even though the Cards play the AL East. They do go to Baltimore, which may be the first time for that, and Tampa Bay, and they get Toronto at home, plus the home and home with Kansas City returns.
If the Cards are in the hunt, September could be interesting. There are two days off, which could help with the rotation, plus they face divisional rivals 16 times (18 if you count the entire Milwaukee series that starts August 30). Not only that, but they have potential playoff teams in Atlanta and Philadelphia to match up with also. Cards end the season on the road in Houston.
Chris Carpenter vs. Carlos Zambrano tonight. You'd hope that the Cardinals could at least salvage one game out of this series against their old rivals. Zambrano, though, has been very effective since his blow up earlier in the season. In the second half, he has a 1.85 ERA and has not given up more than two runs in any start. Carpenter better be on his game, because there's little more depressing than being swept by the Cubs at home.
No blog for the next couple of days, because as mentioned before, this time tomorrow I'll be on my way to St. Louis for a magical evening. Forget everything surrounding it--I haven't been to a major league game since 2004, when I was in the old Busch for Ken Griffey Jr.'s 500th home run. I've been to the new stadium a couple of times, but both times the Cards were out of town, so my experience with it is limited to the very nice store they have. I'm excited to actually be in the ballpark for once!
Add on to that the experience that Mike (Stan Musial's Stance
), Nick (Pitchers Hit Eighth
) and I are going to have with Fox Sports Midwest and it's almost unbelievable. We're going to see the production truck, spend some time with Pat Parris, Jim Hayes and Cal Eldred, then go up into the booth and talk with Dan McLaughlin and Al Hrabosky. Then we'll see the pre-game show from the set before going to watch the game. How cool is that?
All that is more than I can handle, most likely, but then we have the Cardinals' Social Media Night stuffed into the middle of it. I'm still not completely sure what to expect from that outing, but we'll be in the same room with John Mozeliak, Bill DeWitt III, Derrick Goold and Matthew Leach. How can it fail?
But what's even better is that it is going to be like the first ever United Cardinal Bloggers
convention. Look at who will be there (and I may be leaving some out):
Mike, Nick and myself
Last I knew, Tom of CardinalsGM
and Justin of Intangiball
were thinking of attending as well. That's a whole slew of blogging goodness right there. If you are going to be at the game tomorrow night, come by the Social Media Night and say hi to these guys you read, and me as well!