Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. The Cards are again approaching the .500 mark heading into the weekend.
The Springfield Cardinals are once
again perched just below that peak that would take them over the .500 mark. They
have come so close several times this year--but as yet--no cigar. Like Wednesday
night when they met the Tulsa
Drillers at Hammons Field. The
Cardinals were 9-4 against the Drillers (3-2 at home) and had a season record of
26 wins and 27 losses. It seemed a perfect time for the Cards to push over
the pinnacle or at least draw even. It was not to be as the Cards lost 8-6
sending their record back to 26-28.
But even with the heartbreaking
loss, Springfield managed to make it a nail-biter
right down to the last out of the game. Trailing 8-4 in the ninth, Mark Shorey
got the inning started with a one-out opposite-field home run down the
left-field line, his first in Double-A, making it 8-5. With two outs and Juan Lucena at first base, Sean Danielson extended the game with his third hit of the
night, a single to right field to bring the tying run to the plate.
Tulsa's Juan Morillo was then removed
in favor of closer Steven Register, who was summoned to face Colby Rasmus. With
four strikeouts in four at-bats on the night, Rasmus faced Register, pulling an
RBI single into right field to make it 8-6. With the tying runs aboard though,
Register fanned Joe Mather on an 0-2 breaking ball, earning his Texas
League-leading 21st save in 22 chances.
Then there was Thursday, and
what a difference a day can make. The Springfield Cardinals used a
season-high seven-run inning, pounding the Tulsa
Drillers by a final score of 10-3
at Hammons Field on Thursday night. With the Cards up 3-2 going into the
fifth inning, the bats exploded by scoring a season-best seven runs. The
first eight hitters reached safely to open the inning. Juan Richardson's RBI
double scored Joe Mather from first, making it 4-2. After a walk to Bryan Anderson, Jarrett Hoffpauir's single scored Richardson, making it 5-2. Mike Ferris
followed with his second hit of the night, an RBI double to right-center
field, giving the Cards a 6-2 lead. Tyler Greene followed with a three-run
homer, his sixth of the year, giving the Cards a 9-2 lead. A sac fly from Joe
Mather capped the inning, giving Springfield a 10-2 advantage. That would be
plenty of run support for Jaime Garcia (3-5), who won his second straight start.
Garcia allowed two runs in the second and one more in the seventh, giving up a
total of three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. Springfield's bullpen was outstanding, as
Michael Cooper and Jason Motte combined to work 2.2 innings of one-hit relief.
The Redbirds improved to 27-28 on the year, once again just teetering on
edge of 500, just 1 ½ games back of Tulsa in the North Division.
Springfield will try to make it three out of
four on Friday night in the homestand finale. Eric Haberer (2-2) will throw for
the Cards, while Tulsa will counter with Matt Daley
And, as we all know, baseball
is not always just about baseball. There are always other
diversions surrounding America's greatest pastime. In the case
of Springfield and Hammons Field, it is, of all
things, the comedy-cartoon "The Simpsons". Sixteen different "Springfield's"
have been selected by Fox to submit short films, describing why each city should
have the honor of hosting the 20th Century Fox Film, which opens on July
Local Simpsons fans in
Springfield, Missouri are invited to attend the
Cardinals' game Friday night (June 8) against the
Drillers. Film crews will be on
hand to shoot footage of fans showing their
support of the film and
characters like Homer and Bart Simpson, who live in a fictional
"Springfield" city that remains mysteriously
located somewhere in the United
States. Fans will see Simpson's clips
and images displayed on the Cardinals' video board as well as hear Simpson's
sound clips and music, helping to generate some excitement about the premiere
potentially coming to Springfield, Missouri.
In early July, fans will
be encouraged to visit the USA Today website at www.usatoday.com to vote for
Springfield, Missouri. Updates can also be found by
visiting www.springfieldmo.org, or
to subscribe for e-blasts, please e-mail Simpsons@springfieldmo.org. I am
told by loyal Simpsons fans that any voting help from outlying cities will be
stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or