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Cardinals Outlast Marlins On The 4th Of July, 2014

Lance Lynn, Sam Freeman, Pat Neshek Shut Down Marlins (Trevor Rosenthal Almost Unshuts Them)

Dilip Vishwanat

Going to keep this brief tonight, and say I hope everyone had a great, fantastic 4th of July this year. Last year, mine was so amazing that it would be difficult to top, seeing a ton of fireworks shot off at a Chicago intersection with a Brazilian percussion ensemble playing along with the fireworks (right by Small Bar in logan sq/avondale). This year was interesting in a different way and in a different place, but anyway, I'll get to that later.

I began watching tonight's game at Bellasofia Pizza in Silvis, IL, right near my old stomping ground, with my younger brother, a Cubs fan, who actually has some interest in the Cardinals, and a healthy respect for the team (not all Cubs fans are bad). Much of the beginning portion of the game featured Lynn and Eovaldi keeping both offenses pretty much under control. After finishing up some surprisingly great pizza, I headed back to my mother's house.

It was a tightknit match until Matt Carpenter doubled, Matt Holliday singled, and then M.C. scored on a wild pitch by Eovaldi. Then, after Peralta flied out to center, Yadier Molina knocked in Matt Holliday with his 14th double of 2014.

To return the favor, Oscar Taveras hit a ground rule double, which drove in Yadi for the Cards second run of the game. The Cardinals 3 run sixth inning proved to be enough to win the game, but only just.

The last thing I saw before I left for Bettendorf, IA to watch fireworks was Sam Freeman having a good outing. Fast forward to the 9th: the Marlins decided to make it rather interesting vs Trevor Rosenthal (eerily Isringhausen-esque this year, in that aspect). Miami scored 2 runs, which I'm assuming scared the shit out of the gamethread tonight.

A key aspect to this game was the ability of the Cardinals pitching to keep Giancarlo Stanton under control (and for the Cardinals hitting to annoy the crap out of him, to top it all off). He did somehow pick up an RBI and a BB even though he went 0 for 4...

Lance Lynn kicked ass with a .342 WPA tonight. Freeman's high leverage situation earned him the 2nd highest WPA for Cardinals pitchers tonight, and "The Goat" Neshek did his thing and retired 3 batters, giving up 2 hits but striking out 2 as well. It was not Trevor Rosenthal's best night, with a 3-2-1 of nerve-wracking ninth inning "goodness": 3 hits, 2 earned runs, and a walk. I'm really glad I missed the 9th inning!

Source: FanGraphs

As for the Cardinals offense, Yadier Molina wasn't even half as important as Lance Lynn's performance by WPA, but still, you need runs to win. Yadi's 2 hits, walk, and RBI were a nice return to form, hitting-wise. Matt Carpenter was nearly as effective with a high leverage hit tonight, which was almost a home run. And Matt Holliday also had a good night, albeit less clutch. All 3 of them scored a run each.

So that was that, not the most exciting game (especially since I missed the 9th inning). Anyway, I gotta say, Bettendorf's finale of fireworks was really damn good. It was a nice steady build of pyrotechnical displays, featuring good variety and a standout finale. Not the biggest display, but pretty great for a town on the river (the actually fireworks were just off the river though, which is probably a good thing since there is flooding in the area).

Check out my 4th of July photos (no filter from an S4 smartphone):

Ok, that wasn't brief at all, thanks for reading!

Wouldn't be complete without some music though, check out this country-jazz-whatever it is wonderful band that is on tour right now, please go see them if they are in your town (they'll be in Chicago this week at City Winery).

Listen to Dan Hicks Hot Licks unique blend of musical stylings:

Country Western

Gypsy Jazz?

It's Not My Time To Go

Oh yeah... so, uh, I went to an old friend's house after the fireworks display and traded some artwork and stayed up a bit too late. When it came time to go home, I had a little drive ahead of me. All was well until I hit the countryside, and I silently reminded myself (as I do from time to time, driving in rural areas at night) that hey bud, you better watch out for deer.

And lo and behold, about 80 seconds later (maybe less!), a buck deer jumped out in front of my car! I quickly discovered that my brakes work just fine (a used 2002 Grand Caravan that I adjusted the brakes on a month ago). This is just a reminder to remind yourself that deer jump out at cars at night, for some reason unknown to man... and to drink your waters, and to just take care of your shit so that you can survive, and that a little prescience can save your ass. Hope you had a fun Independence Day.