UCB Progressive Game Blog: The First Inning

Today marks the fourth season for a very unique project known as The Progressive Game Blog. Here is a description for the founder of the group, Daniel Shoptaw:

The Progressive Game Blog is (as far as we know) a UCB exclusive, in which one game can be seen through many different sets of eyes. Each blog will take an inning (or half-inning, in two cases) and fill you in on what happened in their own unique way.

This year, I-70 Baseball has drawn the first inning and it is my pleasure to bring you coverage for the site.

Head by the official site to get a run down of the entire game, the pre-game warm up, as well as each blog’s post by clicking here.

With clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70’s, the Cardinals will take on the division rival Brewers in a Saturday afternoon showdown in beautiful Busch Stadium. Let’s take a look at the lineups for today’s game:

Brewers at Cardinals
Rickie Weeks 2B Nick Punto 2B
Craig Counsell SS Colby Rasmus CF
Ryan Braun LF Albert Pujols 1B
Prince Fielder 1B Matt Holliday LF
Casey McGehee 3B Lance Berkman RF
Mark Kotsay RF Yadier Molina C
Jonathan Lucroy C Daniel Descalso 3B
Carlos Gomez CF Tyler Greene SS
Yovani Gallardo P Kyle Lohse P

 

Notable in the lineup is the absence of Ryan Theriot, who joined the banged up infield on the bench after getting hit by a pitch in his first at bat Friday night and left the game with a bruised shin.

Tyler Greene gets the start at short

Kyle Lohse to the hill today looking to continue his dominant form and possibly forget his last game. Thus far into the season, Lohse has appeared like the young hurler that earned this contract as opposed to the player that has struggled through some injuries the last few years.

On the opposite end, Yovani Gallardo was the Brewers ace last season and has two wins and two losses as well as a complete game shutout already in 2011. The Brewers themselves have been struggling, especially at the plate. In response to this, I-70’s own Angela Weinhold shot out a tweet while watching the Fox Sports Wisconsin coverage of the game:

#Brewers did not take BP today in hopes that it will wake up bats. Should be fun doing UCB progressive game blog w/FSWI insights! #stlcards
@CardsChic
Angela W

You can find Angela’s coverage of the Progressive Game Blog on Diamond Diaries in the seventh inning.

The key to this game will most likely be in the first inning for the Cardinals offense and later in the game for the Brewers. Gallardo is a pitcher that looks to get out the gate strong and the Cardinals will need to jump on him early before he finds his groove. Lohse, on the other hand, is a pitcher that does well to start and begins to taper off. The Brewers may look to get to him in the fifth inning or later.

The top of the first did not see Kyle Lohse look particularly sharp, but he stayed effective. Weeks would ground out to shortstop Tyler Greene’s left that the young fielder made a solid play on, making me wonder if Ryan Theriot being out of this game had not already paid dividends. A base hit from Counsel erased any thoughts of a repeat performance of last night’s near perfection. Ryan Braun would hit a scorcher that Descalso would knock down at third base and erase Counsel on a fielder’s choice at second base. Finally, Prince Fielder would sky a changeup into shallow left field that Matt Holliday put away easily.

The Cardinals may have one of the most defensive sound teams they can put on the field right now taking the field in this game and it shows early on that they are focused with solid plays by Greene and Descalso early on.

Defense may be the order of the day if the bottom of the first is any indication. After Nick Punto drove an excuse me swing into left field near the line that was caught by Braun, it was Colby Rasmus that put a charge into a ball into deep left center. Gallardo would drift back and leap at the wall, slamming hard into the padding, and bring the ball down with him. In a show of concentration, the ball appeared to be coming out of the glove but Gallardo adjusted as he was falling to the ground to hold onto the ball and ensure his spot in tomorrow’s highlight reel. Albert Pujols would hit a chopper to the middle infield that Craig Counsel scooped up and made a solid running throw to get the Cardinal superstar.

An uneventful first inning bodes well for the Brewers right now and par for the course for the Cardinals. I’m sure the game will not stay in shutout mode for long and the roster of blogs from the United Cardinal Bloggers will keep you all apprised of the action in their own unique ways.

For now, that wraps up I-70’s coverage and we turn you over to our friends at Aerys Sports to continue from here.

Drop over to Aerys Sports Cardinal site Aaron Miles’ Fastball to catch the coverage of the second inning of today’s game.

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