It meant a lot more in ’82, but the Championship glory continued in 2012 as the Cardinals swept the Milwaukee Brewers for the first time in Busch Stadium III.
It was one hell of a weekend, with almost the entire ’82 squad present for the 30th anniversary reunion. The Cardinals rebounded from a poor 3-3 road trip against the lowly Rockies and Cubs, and outscored the Brewers 18-4 over the three game set. Cardinal hitters were 11-31 (.355) with runners in scoring position.
I think it’s natural for any competitor to get pumped up when you know watchful eyes are preying. The likes of Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Keith Hernandez coming to watch YOU play. I saw a team that was focused to get the job done. Guys on the bench were on the dugout fence in tune to the actual baseball game, unlike Chicago where guys were motionless.
The Birds have opened the second half 9-1 at Busch Stadium, and it all starts with pitching and defense.
Kyle Lohse was not his best, walking three, but he pitched himself out of trouble. He stranded 7 Brewers en route to his 6th consecutive win.
With the addition of Edward “Chief” Mujica, the 7-8-9 innings are now in the hands of very reliable relievers. Mitchell Boggs has pitched 23 consecutive scoreless innings, and closer Jason Motte (24 saves) has allowed one run since the All-Star Break.
I cannot end this article without mentioning Yadier Molina. Yadi has a season high 9 game hit streak, hitting .385 over that span. Molina is on an absolute tear at the plate. His presence is invaluable, and the best news all season came on Friday afternoon when X-rays revealed his hand was only sprained.
The Birds enter a four game set with the San Francisco Giants. San Fran will throw Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, and Madison Bumgarner against a surging offense. Not a bad test.
Jaime Garcia continued his strong rehab assignment, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings. He threw 44/64 pitches for strikes allowing just 2 hits. He is scheduled for a third rehab start Thursday and if all goes well could be back with the big league team next week.