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Cardinals at Padres Recap: Big trade precedes must needed win

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Oh right... there was a game today.

It is time.
It is time.
Denis Poroy

pregame

As I write this, I am still quite stunned about the trade the Cardinals just made with the Red Sox. It is a good trade, and I think the team got quite a bit better, but it is still fresh. All I can picture in my head is the media going up to Craig asking for him to comment, and him telling them "No", barely above a whisper, discouragingly shaking his head while in the background Joe Kelly tries not to cry as he packs his skateboard into his backpack. It breaks my heart.

On top of all that, Shelby Miller has to pitch today, just hours after one of his best friends and groomsman in his wedding was traded. That has to be tough. I am pretty wrecked over it - my productivity at my job has been shot, and I don't even really know them. Yes, they are professionals and have a job to do, but they are also human. This cannot be easy for them.

With Allen gone, Matheny's hands are now tied. Here are the lineups for today:


ST. LOUIS CARDINALS SAN DIEGO PADRES
Matt Carpenter - 3B Everth Cabrera - SS
Kolten Wong - 2B Alexi Amarista - CF
Matt Holliday - LF Seth Smith - LF
Matt Adams - 1B Yasmani Grandal - C
Jhonny Peralta - SS Yangervis Solarte - 3B
A.J. Pierzynski - C Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Oscar Taveras - RF Yonder Alonso - 1B
Peter Bourjos - CF Will Venable - RF
Shelby Miller - RHP Odrisamer Despaigne - RHP

game

I have come to realize in my short life that I am a terribly empathetic person. Sometimes this gets me into trouble or, shall we say, possibly dangerous situations. Empathy is not all it is cracked up to be. In fact, on days like today, I wish I could shut it off, become an unfeeling automaton who views people as a means to an end. But I cannot, not even for people I do not know.  And therefor I simply  cannot distance myself from the human element of this child's game.

And for those reasons, this game was really difficult for me today. I should have been happy. The Birdos seemed to be responding positively to the roster shake-ups, in a manner of speaking. Oscar Taveras hit a beautiful two-run home run in the second to give the Cardinals a temporary lead, then after Shelby Miller surrended two runs on solo shots in the bottom of the frame, the top of the Cardinals order pieced together a few singles to give the team a 4-2 lead. Peter Bourjos tacked on another run with a RBI base hit and Matt Carpenter earned a RBI walk in the top of the sixth to round out the scoring. Runs, that is really what we all wanted. Shelby Miller even pitched well. His breaking ball looked good, he was hitting his spots with his fastball, the only mistakes he really made being the second inning home runs to Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable. But the mood was still somber, like the game was being broadcast in sepia.

But I do not mean to bum you out. The Cardinals traded two players today,yes, and because of that they probably made themselves a stronger team. So let think some happy thoughts. First of all, Oscar Taveras hit a home run. Matt Carpenter is a stud and we should bask in his studliness at every possible opportunity. Shelby Miller pitched like a man on a mission, allowing only three hits (although two were homers). Kevin Siegrist, Pat Neshek and Trevor Rosenthal used thirty-three pitches, not allowing a single baserunner, to tear through Padres order like a Ragnar Lothbrok did to Jarl Borg. Matt Holliday suddenly realized it was the second half of the season. Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha will hopefully be back in September. And now the rotation has been bolstered with the additions of Justin Masterson and John Lackey. There are a lot of good things to look forward to.

post game

LIL SCOOTER'S PLAYER OF THE GAME:

Oscar Taveras is the most honorable recipient of this award, going 1-4 with a home run and two RBI. He led all players in WPA with .119 (with Matt Holliday right on his heals at .109).


Source: FanGraphs

TWEET/GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE GAME:

Screen_shot_2014-07-31_at_5.52.04_pm

The Cardinals end the road trip 5-5 and head home to take on the Brewers. Adam Wainwright toes the rubber against Wily Peralta. The game beings at 7:15pm CST. Despite recent struggles, a sweep of the Brewers could leave the Birdos alone in first place!

And so here's to Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. No longer on our team, but still in our hearts. Eventually all good things must come to an end. The best of luck to you fine gentlemen in Boston. I wish things could have played out differently. Thanks for the memories.