Notes on Cards win, Blues trades, Shahid Khan and a NASCAR prayer you don’t want to miss.
ST. LOUIS 6 ARIZONA 1
One night after Ian Kennedy brought back disturbing memories from the Cardinals final three games against San Francisco last season, the bats finally woke up with a little help from Heath Bell.
Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma, and Jon Jay all homered in Tuesday’s 6-1 win at Arizona. Holliday’s blast gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead in the 6th inning but Jaime Garcia walked three straight D-Backs with two-outs in the bottom half to make things interesting. Mike Matheny went to ‘ole reliable Edward Mujica who blew a 94-mph two-seam fastball by Jason Kubel ending the threat.
Kozma and Jay pounded poor Heath Bell in his first outing with Arizona who’s still haunted by a disastrous season a year ago with Miami.
The Birds won for the first time in 2013 — but there are still critiques.
Kozma got picked off 1st base making him the third lost base runner in two games.
The offense left 14 runners on base (seven in scoring position) and went 1-8 with RISP.
Garcia lasted 5.2 innings before his three-walk meltdown in the 6th.
Miguel Montero is a Cardinal killer. Against STL, he’s a career .305 hitter with 6 homers, 15 runs scored, and 16 RBI.
Rubber Game Probables:
Lance Lynn gets his first start in 2013 after finishing 18-7 last season. In three games (one start) against Arizona, Lynn has not allowed a run while striking out 10 D-backs in eight innings.
Brandon McCarthy will make his first D-backs start. It will be his first regular-season appearance since being struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar on Sept. 5, when McCarthy was pitching for Oakland.
BLUES BEEF UP DEFENSE
The Note made two moves to solidify the defense acquiring Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary and Jordan Leopold from Buffalo. Leopold stepped in and played over 16 minutes in Monday’s 4-1 win at Minnesota.
Bouwmeester, 29, is an iron man. He’s played in 621 straight games, but has no playoff experience in 10 years as a professional. He logs 25 minutes a night and won’t be asked of the same offensive production he provided in Calgary. He’s a nice addition, but as a blogger at the Edmonton Journal breaks down — Bouwmeester needs to play better for the trade to really work out.
The Blues now have legitimate depth on defense, which hopefully aids the goaltending woes we’ve seen all season. Essentially, these guys are here to help Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. If their presence fails to address the goaltending problem, the trade is a lost cause.
The Flames receive the Blues’ 2013 first-round pick if St. Louis qualifies for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Blues miss the playoffs, the Flames instead will receive a 2013 fourth-round pick from the Blues and their 2014 first-round selection.
GM Doug Armstrong is putting his chips with the offensive pieces in place — and if the plan fails, the picks lost in these two deals could haunt the team down the road.
Guys like Patrik Berglund, David Perron, and T.J. Oshie need to play like they were touted. No more excuses.
One More Trade Wish: Ales Hemsky from Edmonton
FROM PAKISTAN TO FOOTBALL
I recently watched a 60 Minutes episode documenting current Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan. Khan tried to buy the Rams in 2010 before Stan Kroenke triggered his right of first refusal if the majority ownership family sells.
Khan is living the true American Dream. He came from Pakistan to attend college at the University of Illinois with $500. He’s now among the richest in the country thanks to a truck bumper company he owns.
I highly recommend watching the piece, and though un-sports related, he had a realistic take on the current state of religion (especially in Pakistan) and how its good intent is getting abused.
“It’s not religion itself. Its the baggage that comes with it, frankly. In the name of religion, people are doing horrible things.”