After a disastrous stretch of games on the West Coast which saw the St. Louis Cardinals relinquish their hold on first place in the NL Central and lose two out of three games to both the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland A’s the Cardinals returned home last Friday to begin a three game series against the Miami Marlins.  The Cardinals were able to get back on the winning track by sweeping the Marlins despite not scoring many runs.  The Cardinals excellent pitching continued throughout the weekend.  Joe Kelly got off to a shaky start on Saturday before settling down to pitch a solid game.  Jake Westbrook pitched a very good game on Friday night and yesterday Lance Lynn pitched solidly as the Cardinals moved back into a first place tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cardinals have their last interleague series of the year starting tomorrow night as they have a quick two game series against the Houston Astros before heading to Chicago for a four game series with the Cubs leading up to the All Star Game break. 

Speaking of the All Star Game, the Cardinals will be sending a league high five players to this year’s game in New York.  Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran will both be starters while Alan Craig and Matt Carpenter will be making their first trip to the mid summer classic as reserve infielders for the NL squad.  Adam Wainright was selected as a pitcher but isn’t likely to pitch as he is scheduled to start for the Cardinals on Sunday night in Chicago and MLB rules prevent a starting pitcher who pitched on Sunday from pitching again two days later in the All Star Game.  Wainright will likely be replaced on the roster and it could be by Lance Lynn who would be making his second straight trip to the All Star Game. 

The Kansas City Royals lost a little ground last week and find themselves now six games out of first place heading into tonight’s game in New York against the Yankees who are currently in fourth place in the AL East but aren’t very far from the division leading Boston Red Sox.  The Royals didn’t get very good pitching over the weekend against the Oakland a’s but the Royals didn’t get much offense either so that had to be a contributing factor.  The Royals certainly have a shot at catching the Detroit Tigers but they are going to have to start playing more consistent baseball and that may be easier said than done at this point. 

Andy Murray became the first British player to win Wimbledon in a very long time as he was able to capture the men’s singles title at the All England Club yesterday.  After all the upsets that took place throughout the course of the tournament it came down to the two top seeded men playing in the finals.  The women’s side told a different story as Marion Bartoli defeated a player I have never heard of on Saturday.  Neither player was seeded very high and were not expected to make the final. 

Jimmie Johnson completed a sweep of both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona by capturing Saturday night’s race.  As most races at Daytona do, the end of the race was very dramatic as Johnson had to hold off stiff competition to hang on for the victory. 

As part of his redemption campaign Lance Armstrong has committed to riding in RAGBRAI this year which for those who don’t know is an annual bicycle trek across the state of Iowa.  There is no word yet as to whether Oprah will be accompanying Armstrong on his trek in case he wants to confess to something while riding through Fort Madison or something like that but I’m sure that if Mr. Armstrong can complete RAGBRAI all will be forgiven.  It’s not every man who can win seven Tour De France titles and one RAGBRAI title in a lifetime. 

We’ll be back on Wednesday with another blog, I’m not sure what will be in it yet but we’ll come up with something.  Thanks as always for checking out this and all the other blogs on the Web site. 

Have a terrific Monday!