Seth Blair

Allen Craig bats vs Royals on 5/22/2011 (Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)

May 22, 2011 – Cardinals Win Wild Game, Rosenthal Wins For Bandits

On this date in 2011, the Cardinals beat the Royals in a wild game in Kansas City. The Cardinals actually led this game 7-1 after the top of the fifth inning. The Cards built that lead on a two-run home run by Allen Craig, and a two-run triple by Yadier Molina. It was a “Little League” home run for Molina, who scored from third base on an error. The Royals got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, then three more back in the sixth when Jaime Garcia allowed a solo homer to Jeff Franceour and a two-run homer to Wilson Betemit. Alex Gordon hit a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh before Betemit struck again for an RBI single to tie the game.

The game would stay tied 7-7 until the top of the 10th, when the Cardinals scored two runs without a hit. This was the sequence: walk, error, hit by pitch, flyout, walk, walk, groundout, strikeout. In the bottom of the 10th Billy Butler led off with a double. He was driven in on a double by Brayan Pena. Fernando Salas finally settled down and got a popout and a strikeout to end the game and secure a 9-8 Cardinals win. The Cardinals’ record improved to 28-20.

CBS Sports – Cardinals walk their way to wild extra-inning win

Somebody’s going to see Colby Rasmus had only one at-bat in St. Louis’ 9-8 victory over Kansas City and wonder how long he was in the game.

“I’ll tell them about 4 hours and 30 minutes worth,” deadpanned the weary center fielder.

St. Louis drew 13 walks in the 4 hour, 9 minute affair and Rasmus had five, each one off a different pitcher. In the 10th inning of the wacky afternoon affair with the bases loaded in a 7-7 tie, Tim Collins threw him four straight bad ones. That forced in the go-ahead run as the Cardinals took the always-lively interleague series between state rivals two games to one.

“A couple of [at-bats] they didn’t give me nothing, really,” Rasmus said. “And a couple of times I battled off some tough pitches. The threw me some good pitches and I battled them to a walk.”

Here are some video highlights:

Molina drives in two with triple

Craig jacks 2-run homer

Descalso’s RBI double puts Cardinals ahead

Rosenthal Strong In Start For River Bandits

While that was happening at the MLB level, I got to see Trevor Rosenthal make a start for the River Bandits against the Kernels. The Bandits won this game 4-1. Rosenthal pitched great, throwing 5 shutout innings. He allowed only one hit, struck out seven and walked none. He picked up the win to improve his record to 2-4. Ronny Gil went three for four with a run, and Colin Walsh drove in two runs.

I was also at the game the day before which the Bandits won 8-3 over the Kernels. In that game, Greg Garcia had two hits in three at bats with two runs and walk. Michael Swinson was two for three with a double and two walks. Victor Sanchez had two doubles and four RBI. Seth Blair pitched six innings, allowed three runs and struck out six. He improved his record to 2-3, and the River Bandits improved to 24-19.

Quad City Times – Rosenthal roasts Kernels

Trevor Rosenthal felt like he was making up for lost time Sunday when he took the mound at Modern Woodmen Park.

The Quad-Cities right-hander showed no lingering issues with the back soreness that forced him to miss his last start, allowing only one single over five innings in the River Bandits’ 4-1 Midwest League win over Cedar Rapids.

“Everything felt comfortable right from the start,” Rosenthal said. “I was locked in and focused on each pitch. The key thing for me today was to stay focused, and I was able to do that.”

Here are some pictures from the game on May 22. We got to sit in a luxury suite for this game.

Trevor Rosenthal warming up for the River Bandits

Trevor Rosenthal warming up for the River Bandits

Trevor Rosenthal pitching for the River Bandits

Trevor Rosenthal

Trevor Rosenthal

Trevor Rosenthal

Modern Woodmen Park

The view from our seats

Cody Stanley getting a hit

Cody Stanley getting a hit

River Bandit signing autographs

A River Bandit signing autographs

My son running the bases after the game at Modern Woodmen Park

My son running the bases after the game

Modern Woodmen Park Panorama

Modern Woodmen Park Panorama

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Photo Source: Harry How/Getty Images

April 17, 2011: A Dreary April Continues

The Cardinals had another tough loss on this date in 2011 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Chris Carpenter threw seven shutout innings, with six strikeouts, no walks and five hits. He was outdone however by Chad Billingsly, who threw eight shutout innings, with 11 strikeouts, three hits and two walks. The game would go to the ninth inning tied 0-0. In the top of the ninth, David Freese singled off of Jonathan Broxton, scoring Matt Holliday. Holliday was the bright spot on offense, going three for three with a walk and two doubles. In the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Franklin blew the save, again. He gave up a two-run walk-off home run to Matt Kemp. This was already Franklin’s fourth blown save of 2011. The loss dropped the Cardinals’ record to 8-8.

Cardinals @ Dodgers Highlights 4/17/2011

CBS article:

Kemp’s two-run blast gives Dodgers win over Cardinals

Chad Billingsley cooled off one of baseball’s hottest offenses through eight innings before Matt Kemp got to Ryan Franklin again. This time, his homer salvaged a victory for the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kemp hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday that ended the Dodgers’ five-game skid.

“It’s one way to turn the page,” new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We talked about getting that rock rolling a different direction. It’s got to start somewhere and that’s a pretty good start there.”

Kemp homered to center field on the first pitch he saw from Franklin (0-2), who has four blown saves in five chances. He did the same thing against Franklin in the series opener, but the Dodgers lost 9-5.

Bandits Shut Out In Both Games Of Doubleheader

The River Bandits played another early-season doubleheader due to a rainout on April 15. It wasn’t pretty. They got shutout in both games of the doubleheader and only managed three hits all day. Again, doubleheaders are only seven inning games in the Midwest League, but still. This was part of a longer stretch of futility – they had a 28 inning scoreless streak.

Seth Blair started game one and only went two-thirds of an inning, but weirdly he only allowed two runs (one earned). Blair was not hurt or anything. Manager Johnny Rodriguez just had a real quick hook. Victor Sanchez and Michael Swinson had the two hits for the River Bandits. In game two, Anthony Ferrera started and went four innings, allowing four earned runs. Jonathan Rodriguez had the only River Bandits’ hit, in the last inning of the game off of Daniel Tenholder. Nearly a no-hitter, but it would have been a combined, seven inning no-hitter, so I don’t know if that really counts. The pair of losses dropped the River Bandits’ record to 5-5.

Bees @ River Bandits Game 1 Box Score

Bees @ River Bandits Game 2 Box Score

Quad City Times article:

Bandits swept as scoreless streak reaches 28 innings

Jonathan Rodriguez was determined not to give Burlington any more to celebrate than a doubleheader sweep Sunday at Modern Woodmen Park.

The Quad-Cities infielder led off the bottom of the seventh inning of the nightcap by lashing a full-count pitch into center, a single that separated three Bees from a combined no-hitter in a 4-0 shutout of the River Bandits.

“Someone had to do it. We weren’t going to make it easy for them. I tried to get a good cut,” Rodriguez said. “They had already shut us down in the first game and we weren’t going to let a no-hitter happen. Everybody was trying to get us going.”

Here are more pictures from this dreary doubleheader (the season gets better, I promise):

Seth Blair

Seth Blair

 Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez

Yunier Castillo

Yunier Castillo

Packy Elkins

Packy Elkins slides back on a pickoff attempt

Cody Stanley

Cody Stanley

Can you spot the ball?

Can you spot the ball?