10:28 PM: Maikel Cleto finished out the Rockies despite the 14th home run of Wilin Rosario‘s season to give the Cardinals win number 42 against 38 losses. Cleto had a pair of strikeouts in the ninth, an inning that was finished thanks to a diving stop at first base by, you guessed it, Allen Craig. Craig’s immaculate performance in this game was not rewarded with the extremely important Budweiser Player of the Game tag we’re all so familiar with during FSN Midwest broadcasts. That “honor” went to Kyle Lohse because he happened to be the starting pitcher in a game the Cardinals won. For those of you who watch a lot of games on the network, the starting pitcher always garners this award. If the Dodgers manage to finish off the Reds tonight, the Cardinals will sit just a game-and-a-half back on the NL Central.
10:15 PM: Beastmaster has gone rogue! There’s another home run from the powerful Allen Craig, who now owns 13 for the season in like 18 at-bats. 9-2 Cardinals. Dan mistakenly reported Craig’s first shot to dead center (which is where this one landed as well) at 438-feet. I guess it’s understandable; lots of people accidentally transpose fours and nines.
10:04 PM: Lohse allowed his share of baserunners, but against a well-performing Colorado offense he acquitted himself nicely. He left the game with a six-run lead that he was able to keep thanks to one of those delicious home-to-first double plays induced by the lovable Mitch Boggs. The final line for Lohse is as follows: 7 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 5 K.
9:45 PM: The Rockies are doing a good job of showing why they’re bad. Yadier Molina led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single thanks to his, um, blind speed. David Freese then singled to right prior to Molina actually managing to steal third base. With one out Kyle Lohse grounded to first in what should have been an easy cut-down of Molina at home, but a high throw scored a run. Furcal then grounded out to score another run, though the out at home was there for the taking. It’s 8-2 Cardinals; we’re awesome at creating wins with our live blogs.
9:25 PM: Beltran walked to give Beastmaster a shot at another multi-run homer. Craig politely struck out to avoid extending the team’s run differential to too high a level. Not only can he rake, he’s a darn nice guy!
9:20 PM: We have a Holliday sacrifice fly, so the lead has been extended to 6-2. Any sort of base hit from Beltran could crack this game open in a more convincing fashion.
9:16 PM: The Cardinals have runners on second and third thanks to a ground rule double off the bat of Jon Jay. There’s just one out and Hammerin’ Holliday is about to step in. Cardinal cast-off Adam Ottavino will be the recipient of pitching duties, and we’re sure to hear all sorts of discussion about his history with St. Louis. It’s going to be really, really annoying. One can only hope that Holliday goes deep again so Dan can yell his name really dramatically rather than reminding everyone 32 times that yes, Adam Ottavino was a Cardinal.
8:56 PM: WHAT DID I TELL YOU?! Beastmaster just unloaded on a pitch to dead center, hitting a two-run homer that is being approximated by StanGraphs at all of the feet that there are. It’s 5-2 Cardinals and I am feeling better about things. I just don’t know if I could ever be forced to deal with seeing Craig don another uniform. Ever. Craig’s now hitting .313/.387/.627. Sigh. He’s so dreamy.
8:51 PM: Tyler Colvin, fresh off going deep, decided to try his hand at what many baseball experts call “defense.” It didn’t work, so a Matt Holliday single wound up getting the recently-walked Jon Jay to third. Carlos Beltran then grounded out to score Jay and give the Cardinals the lead back at 3-2. Beltran is the master of driving in runs without really doing anything tonight. Dan and Ricky would so scold me for asserting that Beltran didn’t intentionally fly out and ground out to score runs.
8:46: Whew. Lohse got out of a bases-loaded jam with Michael Cuddyer at the plate to keep the score tied by inducing a tasty pop-up. Dan and Ricky amused me greatly by discussing how Cuddyer was “leading the National League in grand slams” with two. When you have two of something, you aren’t really leading the league in anything. Well, unless it’s something ridiculous. Aaron Hill is definitely leading the league in hitting for the cycle for instance.
8:33: Well, the Cardinals sure should be leading this game by a decent margin, but that’s not happening. Another really awkward baserunning gaffe transformed itself into a stupid strike-‘em-out-throw-‘em-out double play and then Lohse coughed up a two-run homer to right courtesy of stupid Tyler Colvin. Colvin sure does hit everything for a player who had a negative OPS last season and never walks. We’re tied at two going to the fifth.
8:07 PM: Matt Holliday could care less what his former team thinks. He’ll gorilla-smash a homer when he wants to! 2-0 Cardinals. I love Holliday homers; they’re all just these angry line drives that put dents in whatever they happen to hit. Holliday’s season line now looks decidedly more Holliday-like: .310/.394/.514. Such a great player. Also, Carlos Beltran is totally doing the home run derby and totally getting my allegiance when it comes to non-Stanton contestants. Ricky Horton is glad to hear of Beltran’s participation, though he openly hates home run derbies. That’s fine, though, because I hate him.
7:55 PM: Furcal went ahead and lined out to left with two on and two outs, so it’s still 1-0 after a pair of innings. Redact your All-Star votes, fans! Cast them for Jed Lowrie or stick Allen Craig in there as a shortstop write-in! All ill-advised reactions aside, Lohse has looked good (well, when scaled down to how good Lohse can actually look) and Outman is walking everyone. I predict an updated live blog record of 3-1. I dare you to defy me!
7:51 PM: The announcing crew sure has talked non-stop about Outman despite his not being any good. Outman just confirmed his shittiness by walking Kyle Lohse with two outs. A Furcal gapper would be much appreciated. Oh, and in case you aren’t tuned into Fox Sports Midwest, Dan and Ricky would like for you to know what a thrill it must be for Josh Outman to face the team he grew up rooting for. If I had a nickel for every time…
7:41 PM: As seems to be the case with our live blogs, the Cardinals struck first, though they still don’t have a hit. Jon Jay walked and moved to second on an erratic pitch, while Matt Holliday followed with another walk. A strange steal of third base that left me nervous and ready to jump in front of a moving car got Jay over to third so that Carlos Beltran could hit a sac fly to score him. Allen “Beastmaster” Craig decided not to go deep, so a single run was all the team came away with. Don’t worry, though; Craig will hit the moon before all is said and done.
7:27 PM: Dan McLaughlin cares way more about Josh Outman going to high school in St. Louis than I do. That could be because I don’t care at all; I’m not rooting for the guy because he happened to once reside in the city my favorite team plays in. Matt Holliday‘s up with a 3-1 count and Furcal on second with one out. I’m optimistic.
7:15 PM: The Cardinals have sputtered a bit since their five game winning streak, so it’s time to take things into our own hands by doing a bit of live blogging. After all, they are 2-1 in game we have invested a post in. Tonight’s contest features a pitching match-up that should, in theory, very much favor St. Louis. Kyle Lohse will continue his bid to earn a big free agent payday by opposing Josh Outman. While the trademark of Lohse’s season has certainly been top notch control, Outman’s calling card has been getting hit hard. Very hard. Outman has struck out more than a batter per inning in his limited work (28 IP in 2012), but he’s also allowed 48 baserunners. This series also gives us a chance to see what have been the two premier offenses in the National League so far, though one would figure the Cardinals probably have the edge when the Coors Field numbers are normalized.
In news not specific to this game, four Cardinals were able to claim All-Star spots. Rafael Furcal (undeservingly) and Carlos Beltran (very deservingly) were both elected by the fans, while Yadier Molina and Lance Lynn made the NL team as extras. Tony La Russa has ruffled some Red and Brewer feathers with his selections for the midsummer classic, and it’s not hard to see why. While the manager has tough decisions to make due to each team needing a representative, TLR had plenty of outs when it came to finding a spot for the NL leader in pitching WAR (Zack Greinke). Dusty Baker has publicly complained that Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips were omitted from the game due to personal conflicts with the Cardinals in the past. Cueto has a pretty solid case as the fifth most valuable starter per WAR in the National League, while Phillips had little chance of inclusion as the third-most valuable second baseman in the league in WAR terms.