One thing that I've been meaning to do, though, is to cover the Heroes and the Goats from my vacation back at the end of July and the beginning of August. We all know how those games came out, so I'm not going to rehash them much, but I definitely wanted to get them out of the way.
Besides, right now the only Cardinal talk is that Jack Clark won't be back on Fox Sports Midwest and Colby Rasmus might be interesting to teams. We've definitely hit the doldrums. Let me weigh in briefly on those before getting to the old recaps.
First off, I never thought Jack Clark brought a whole lot to the post-game show the times I saw him on there. He seemed disinterested a lot of the time and did not come across all that well. Couple that with him deriding the product and it's not a surprise that he's not returning. It's not that FSMW wants all happy talk about the Cards, but when you become the story, when your comments go so far as to create headlines, that's going to be an issue. They aren't a hard news organization, they are selling Cardinal baseball to a degree. So Clark's remarks, both at the beginning of the year about Mark McGwire and his recent "quitters" controversy, probably were just too much for the network to bear.
Secondly, the Rasmus stuff....honestly, VEB tears it up today, but the most ridiculous part of the whole thing was the fact that Joe Strauss made such a big deal about it, Twittering that "major trade possibilities" would be talked about in his chat. First off, if it's news, it's not going to be in his chat. Secondly, this was it? Other teams have noticed Rasmus and his issues in the past with Tony La Russa? They might like a power-hitting center fielder who basically costs nothing? Wow, thanks for that blinding flash of the obvious!
Of course trading Rasmus might be the only way to really revamp the roster and stay under budget. You have to figure John Mozeliak will listen to any offers. That's a long way from saying Rasmus is on the block or he is actually going to get moved. I'd be shocked if Rasmus didn't start 2011 with the Cardinals.
OK, on to the recaps:
July 29, 4-0 loss at New York
Hero: Jon Jay. 1-3 with a walk in a game where nobody did much of anything.
Goat: Felipe Lopez. 0-4 in the leadoff role.
Notes: Nobody did anything much in this game, seeming like they were already on the plane out of town.
July 30, 1-0 (10) win vs. Pittsburgh
Hero: Brendan Ryan. Two hits, including the walk-off single in extras.
Goat: Felipe Lopez. Not only did he go 0-4 again in the leadoff slot, but in those four at-bats, he only saw seven pitches. Work the pitcher a little bit, will ya?
Notes: Jay got three hits in this one, which probably helped solidify the Ryan Ludwick trade that went down the next day.
July 31, 11-1 win vs. Pittsburgh
Hero: Colby Rasmus. Two hits, three runs, three RBI, one home run. Pretty productive day.
Goat: Mitchell Boggs. Blew the shutout with two hits (including a home run) in less than an inning.
Notes: Albert Pujols kicked off his hot streak with a home run among his three hits. Perhaps due to the pressure of the deal, Jay went 0-4.
August 1, 9-1 win vs. Pittsburgh
Hero: Adam Wainwright. One run in seven innings at close to the peak of his season.
Goat: Felipe Lopez. Man, I know it seems like I'm beating on the guy, but he was the only batter that didn't get a hit.
Notes: Another home run for Pujols. 3-3 day for Ryan as well.
August 2, 9-4 loss vs. Houston
Hero: Albert Pujols. 2-4 with yet another long ball.
Goat: Trever Miller. You could pick any of him, Jason Motte, or Mike MacDougal, but Miller's three runs allowed in a third of an inning takes the cake.
Notes: Terrible way for the Cards to celebrate my birthday. Also, Lopez goes 2-3, redeeming himself somewhat.
August 3, 18-4 loss vs. Houston
Hero: Colby Rasmus. Three for five with a home run in a debacle of a game.
Goat: Jaime Garcia. Four of the runs he allowed were unearned, but when you give eight up in five innings, odds of your team winning are slim.
Notes: Boggs almost takes the Goat with five runs in a single frame. When the only "pitcher" unscathed is Aaron Miles, you know you have problems.
August 4, 8-4 win vs. Houston
Hero: Albert Pujols. Three for five with a big three-run homer in the first to get the Cards back on track.
Goat: Ryan Franklin. Two runs in an inning, even with a big lead, is not what you want to see out of the closer.
Notes: Chris Carpenter pitched a very good game as well, almost getting through the eighth with only four hits allowed. Allen Craig chipped in with two hits, including one that left the yard.
August 6, 7-0 win at Florida
Hero: Adam Wainwright. Complete game shutout will do that.
Goat: Felipe Lopez. Again, no hits in the leadoff slot and again the only person without a hit in the lineup (save Wainwright).
Notes: Another 3-5, HR day for AP, three hits by Jay, even two by Miles.
August 7, 5-4 (10) loss at Florida
Hero: Matt Holliday. Two hits, a run and an RBI.
Goat: Ryan Franklin. After the Cardinals had battled to take the lead in the ninth, he blows the save, then the game in the 10th.
Notes: Such a disheartening loss for the team. Yadier Molina had three hits, Pujols two and Jake Westbrook continued pitching well but not getting any credit for it.
That gets us caught up. I'll update the sidebar and, once I get up the recaps on the last two games of the year, we'll have our official Hero and Goat for 2010!