GAME TIME 2:55 CDTone month ago, the cardinals were dead last in the nl central, 7.5 games back of the brewers. they've played .500 ball since then (13-13) . . . and that's been enough to propel them to 2d place, 6.5 games back.
it's shaping up as a stirring race.
wainwright generally looked good again, although i wasn't happy to see the 4 walks. he has allowed 2 runs or fewer in 5 of his last 6 starts and has a 4.24 era over that span. his 14-pitch battle royale with carlos lee in the 6th inning was the single most exciting plate appearance of the season, in my opinion. by the end of the at-bat, lee was flinging wags around like a rag doll --- he hammered one just foul down the left line, then another down the right-field line, before finally crushing a 410-foot double to center. but i give adam loads of credit: he hung in there and never backed down, kept throwing strikes, made lee earn it. when the fight was over and el caballo came out the victor, wainwright toweled off all the blood and got two outs on three pitches to preserve the tie. i'll remember that plate appearance for a long time --- it was pure baseball.
with rolen (hamstring) and eckstein (elbow) both unavailable after sustaining ouchies last night, the cardinals are down to two infielders --- on account of which, matt leach says, brendan ryan will be called up today. to make room for him, the cardinals will put chris duncan on the dl, retroactive to monday. ryan becomes the eighth player from memphis' opening-day roster to join the cardinals this year --- keisler, dove, ludwick, esposito, jimenez, cate, and falkenborg are the others. wellemeyer, a waiver claim from kansas city, makes a 9th replacement-level addition to the big-league club. the season is 9 weeks old. that's one new AAAA scrub per week. . . . .
all those callups, and still no john rodriguez. he homered last night to lift his OPS to .902.
ryan actually has a fair amount of promise --- already has an above-average major-league glove in my estimation, but needs to come a long way as a hitter. i was impressed with what i saw out of him last month when i watched the redbirds at colorado springs; in fact, just yesterday i finished writing a scouting report about him for future redbirds --- with pictures n everything. so keep your eyes on that site; it should get posted within the next few days.
reyes made a triumphant return to triple A, gave up only 1 run on 3 hits but still lost the game; no run support.Update [2007-6-2 11:35:17 by erik]: Hey everyone, here's the link to Larry's piece on Brendan Ryan. He even used caps. Wow.