Game Notes: Cardinals 5, Brew Crew 0, 7th July

-- I think that may have been the Cards' best win of the year so far. Facing the staff ace of their chief rival for the division, playing the first game of a truly pivotal three-game series, and they come up big, even sans Albert heroics. Too often, this team only performs when Albert Pujols puts them on his shoulders; outstanding to see the guys batting on either side of him in the lineup make their contributions count. 

-- I'm going to try not to flip out over Adam Wainwright being left in the game for yet another 120 pitch outing, seeing as how the All-Star break is coming up, but I still question whether it was the right decision. Even without the thirteen man pitching staff Tony La Russa is so obsessed with, the Cards had plenty of pitchers available in this game; with a five run lead, I think it might have been a good time to get Wainwright out of the game with an easy night under his belt. Maybe Blake Hawksworth or one of the lefties to start the eighth, with Jason Motte backing them up and Franklin to close. Probably not a huge deal, but personally, I would have liked to see Adam out a little early. Lot of season left, and the Cardinals are going to need him as healthy and rested as possible to make a run down the stretch. 

-- Colby Rasmus only hits bombs. Seriously, I can't think of a single home run he's hit this year that just barely got out. Every one has seemed to be gone right off the bat. He has just incredible hands and wrists; his bat speed is probably better than anyone on the team not named Albert. 

-- If even a single one of the starters shaves their mustache, I will personally go to the offending player's house and kick him in the balls. Hear that, guys? Right in the balls. 

-- Good to see Yadier Molina heating back up with the bat. Over the past couple of years, Yadi has gone from being an absolute black hole offensively to a pretty serious plus both with his glove and with a bat in his hands. This year, though, he's seemed to struggle at times, maybe trying to do a bit more than he's really capable of to help out the team. If Yadi can hit even close to what he did last year, this offense takes another pretty big step forward. 

-- Seriously. Right in the balls. 

-- I don't know what exactly has happened to Dick Ankiel, but this has got to stop. The guy is just flat killing the team. I don't know that I've ever seen a player look so utterly hopeless at the plate, and I saw the end of Ron Gant's career. 

If it's health-related, then Dick needs to be on the DL, getting healthy. If it's mechanical, he needs to be on the DL, working some things out. If it's the same issues with pressure that signaled such an inglorious end to his pitching, then I think he needs to be on the DL, hanging out with Khalil Greene and getting his head straight. 

Regardless of what's actually wrong with Rick, the guy needs to be away from this team for awhile. You can't send him down to the minors, seeing as how he used up all his options back when he was still pitching, so I think it's time for an injury of some sort. Yeah, it'll probably be a fake injury, but I'm alright with that. Fake is just fine. 

Unless, of course, the AMA decides to classify suckitis as a legitimate disease in the next, oh, 24 hours or so. 
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