My patience paid off as after seeing no St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, five of the seven in the Arizona Fall League got into Wednesday’s win.
An interesting thing happened which I will get to the bottom of on Thursday. The day before, Harrison Bader was sent out to exchange the lineup card. I did not think it was odd as the outfielder had Tuesday off. However, he did it again on Wednesday despite leading off and playing in right field. Perhaps the manager is a superstitious type.
Speaking of superstitions, before the game, I asked Rowan Wick what the story was behind his choice of the number 99 on his uniform. Turns out, the Cards gave him a few choices and being a proud Canadian, he decided to honor, The Great One, Wayne Gretzky.
Wick is the first of a series of eight interviews I am planning from the AFL, exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation. Look for them coming soon.
I ran into Bryan Eversgerd in the clubhouse. Memphis’ pitching coach is spending four days with coach Dernier Orozco and the four Cardinals hurlers in the AFL. Here he speaks with Ryan Sherriff after the lefty’s outing.
Sherriff’s delivery is somewhat tough to pick up as the ball seems to come out from behind his head. The lefty showed a 91-92 mph fastball and a changeup at 84.
Kelly had a particularly good at-bat in the top of the fourth, roping a single down the right-field line. The hit plated Kelly’s 11th and 12th runs of the fall campaign, tops on the Desert Dogs and tied for second in the entire AFL.
Bader is very fast down the line. Though he went 0-for-5, he got down the live very, very fast leading off the game. Had instant replay been available, I think he might have won the call.
Paul DeJong can be emotional, as he loudly barked out his frustration after fanning in the fifth.
Wick’s fastball was consistently 95-96, but that isn't enough alone. It included a line drive home run deposited onto the left-field berm after he allowed a single to the leadoff man. Before the final-pitch strikeout, his first two outs were on fly balls, with no ground balls during his inning of work.
Wick told me before the game that he is pleased with his curveball. He threw it multiple times in his warm up and six times during his inning pitched, with the velocity in the 76-78 mph range. It was not particularly tight, tending to drift down and away from right-handed batters. Only two of the six I counted went for strikes, but the last one was his best of the six, a called strike three for his final out.
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