Starlin Rodriguez

National Anthem

June 21, 2011 – River Bandits Host All-Star Game, Cardinals Have Rough Day

MWL All Star Game Logo

MWL All Star Game Logo

The Quad Cities River Bandits hosted the Midwest League All-Star Game in 2011. The day before they also hosted the home run derby. For the the derby, they randomly picked fans to come down on the field, and paired them with one of the players hitting in the derby. If the player they were paired with won, then the fan they were “hitting for” would win some kind of prize. My wife was picked and paired with Cody Stanley, and she also brought our son Owen down on the field. Cody did not win but it was still a memorable contest. Travis Witherspoon of the Cedar Rapids Kernels won the derby. It was more than a home run contest. They had all kinds of things on the field they could hit and win different prizes for the fans they were playing for. Here is a Quad City Times article about the Home Run Derby. It explains the format pretty well.

Cody Stanley, Starlin Rodriguez, and Trevor Rosenthal were the three River Bandits that made the West All-Star Team. Stanley went one for two in the game. Rodriguez went one for two with two RBI. Rosenthal started the game, and threw one inning, with one strikout and no hits or walks. The East won the game 8-3. A few other future MLB players appeared in this game as well: Matt Szczur, Jake Marisnick, Ender Inciarte, and Rymer Liriano. Here is an article from the Quad City Times about the All-Star Game, and here is the box score.

Here are my pictures from the Home Run Derby:

Here are my pictures from the All-Star Game:

Phillies Crush Cardinals 10-2, Bad News About Pujols’ Injury

Albert Pujols writhes after breaking his arm

Albert Pujols grabs his left wrist after a collision with Kansas City’s Wilson Betemit on Sunday. Pujols suffered a broken bone in his left arm and will be out four to six weeks. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

This was the day that we learned Albert Pujols had broken his arm. They initially thought he would be out 4-6 weeks. The injury actually occurred in the game on June 19 against the Royals. He collided with Wilson Betemit on a play at first base in the sixth inning, and left the game.

To add insult to injury, the Cardinals got crushed by the Phillies 10-2 on this same day. The Cardinals led the game 2-1 before the Phillies exploded for nine runs in the eighth inning. This is a day the Cardinals would probably want to forget. They dropped to 40-34 and one-half a game back of the Brewers.

Video Highlights:

Cardinals turn double play

Carlos Martinez

May 26, 2011 – River Bandits Play At Busch Stadium, Carlos Martinez Starts

The Cardinals were off this day for a travel day. Their record stood at 30-21. They had just won two out of three from the Padres and were on their way to Colorado to play the Rockies. This left Busch Stadium wide open for another special event: the River Bandits played a regular season game against the Kane County Cougars there on this date in 2011.

It has become somewhat of an annual tradition in the Midwest League teams to square off in a major league park. A number of games like this have happened at Miller Park in Milwaukee and Wrigley Field between Midwest League teams. However, this is the only time the River Bandits have played a regular season game in an MLB venue before or since. I made the trip down for the game. It was freakishly cold for that time of year, which was unfortunate. It kept the crowd size small, since they were relying almost 100% on walk-ups to attend the game.

Carlos Martinez pitching for the River Bandits in Busch Stadium

Carlos Martinez pitching for the River Bandits in Busch Stadium

Carlos Martinez started this game for the Bandits. He pitched well, but he did get the loss. He allowed seven hits and one run over five innings. He had five strikeouts against one walk.

It was a hard fought game. The Cougars led 3-0 through six innings. Geulin Beltre and Alex Llanos each had three hits for the Cougars, and Beltre had two RBI. Leonel Santiago kept the Bandits’ bats in check. He allowed only three hits and one walk over six shutout innings. The Bandits’ finally got on the board in the eighth inning when Robert Stock and Starlin Rodriguez each singled. Stock was advanced and scored on fielder’s choices. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bandits got a couple walks, a single and an error to score another run. But they left the potential tying and winning runs at second and third when Michael Swinson grounded out to end the game.

It was a surreal experience seeing the River Bandits’ and Cougars’ logos on the big screens and ribbon boards at Busch Stadium. Almost as strange was seeing Busch Stadium so empty while a game was going on. Seeing all the concessions stands closed save for one or two was also really strange.

Quad City Times – Bandits rally falls short in St. Louis

The Quad-Cities River Bandits just couldn’t get the big hit they needed in their first game in a big-league stadium.

Michael Swinson grounded out with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning as Kane County held on for a 3-2 Midwest League victory at Busch Stadium.

Quad-Cities, playing in a major-league stadium for the first time in franchise history, was limited to six hits at the home of their parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Here are more pictures from the game (click for larger):