The St. Louis Cardinals completed a three game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies last night as Lance Lynn got back to pitching the way he is capable of pitching. In fact the pitching was solid throughout the whole three game series. The Cardinals find themselves 2 and a half games in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates as they begin what is probably their most important road trip of the year. The Cardinals are in Atlanta to begin a three games series with the Braves tonight before moving on to Pittsburgh for a pivotal four or five game series with the Pirates. The Cardinals and Pirates have a game to make up because of a rain out earlier in the year and I think they make that game up during this upcoming series. The Cardinals then move on to Cincinnati for a three game series against the third place Reds who have been playing very well as of late and appear to be on the brink of making a move on the Pirates and perhaps sliding into first place. The Cardinals will then come home for a big four game series against the Dodgers so this is definitely the toughest stretch of games the Cardinals will have all year with no off days in between the series. These are the teams that the Cardinals will need to beat to get themselves into he World Series whether they beat them now or in the playoffs.
Over on the other side of the state the Kansas City Royals are pretty much where they have been the last several weeks although they did have a good series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals are winning but not winning enough or getting the help they need from other teams to move up in the standings. The Royals are still three games below .500 as they head to Chicago for a three game series with The White Sox. This will be an interesting series for both teams who have players who other teams are said to be interested in as we approach the non waiver trade deadline next week. The White Sox have several key players drawing interest from some of the contending teams including the Cardinals and the Royals have a couple of pitchers who have drawn interest from contenders. The White Sox are definitely in the selling mode as they are too far out of contention to be a factor this year but the Royals are still in a holding pattern as they attempt to gauge whether they have a legitimate chance of making a run for the AL Central title or whether it’s time to start planning for the future. My feeling is that it’s probably time to start looking ahead but none of the teams in their division are particularly good so who know.
The Royals have been showing more consistent hitting as of late and whether that is a result of the influence of George Brett or not I have no idea but regardless of that Brett stepped down as interim hitting coach yesterday to return to his front office duties. It will be interesting to see how the Royals offense reacts to that because that will likely determine whether the Royals are buyers or sellers.
It has been an interesting week in the world of baseball as Ryan Braun’s season came to an abrupt end after being suspended without pay for 65 games for taking performance enhancing drugs. This story has been beaten to death so I’m not going to add to it other than to say that Mr. Braun is welcome to book a flight to Cooperstown anytime he wants, the baseball hall of fame is a fascinating place I’m sure and I’m sure he will enjoy touring it but that’s as close as he will ever get because any chance he had of being enshrined there is now gone.
Alex Rodrigues and the New York Yankees are not getting along right now at all. The Yankees are refusing to activate him from the disabled list partially because he sought a second opinion on an injury without informing them but I also have to wonder if they aren’t trying to distance themselves from him as there is rampant speculation he will be the next player suspended as MLB continues its drug investigation. I would not want to be A-Rod right now.
NASCAR is in Indianapolis this weekend for the Brikyard 400 Spring Cup race on Sunday and a Nationwide series tomorrow. ESPN begins its last year of having NASCAR races this weekend as it was announced earlier this week that NBC will be replacing both ESPN and TNT next year joining Fox as the only two networks broadcasting NASCAR Spring Cup events.
The Kirksville High School Tigers football team will be holding a BBQ and scrimmage tonight at Spainhower Field. The BBQ is set for 6:00 with the scrimmage to follow. It’s hard to believe we are only a few weeks away from the start of regular football practice for both KHS and Truman. NFL training camps are either already underway or in the case of the Kansas City Chiefs start today.
We will be back on Monday with another blog looking back at all of this weekend’s sports action and looking ahead to what’s on tap for next week. I want to apologize for there not being a blog on Wednesday. I have had other commitments this week and simply ran out of time. Things will be back to normal next week. Thanks as always for supporting this blog and please take the time to check out all the other blogs on this site.
Have a terrific weekend!