Saturday marked the annual Progressive Game Blog collaboration by the United Cardinal Bloggers, where a host of the member site from the UCB come together to cover a game, frame by frame. Here at I70, we were assigned the second inning and ninth inning, with me finishing up the game.
Josey Curtis handled the previous inning, handing it off to i70 for the final frame.
Top of the ninth inning, Los Angeles leads the Cardinals by the score of 5-1
The Cardinals offense has disappeared in this one, plating one single run in the first inning when Jhonny Peralta sent Kolten Wong scrambling home on a fielder’s choice. Since then, the bats have produced a few hits, but there are no runs to show for it.
When Daniel Shoptaw hands out the assignments for the Progressive Game Blog every year, you hope to grab an inning with some excitement or intrigue. You hope to grab the inning that proves to be the climax of the game, the moment when the tide turns or when something historic happens on the field.
You’d like to think the ninth inning would provide that.
Indeed, I nearly had half the post written in my mind. Trevor Rosenthal would come in to close the game out for the Cards, earning a save and continuing his early season success. It would focus on the young man and the work he has done to become the closer for one of the top teams in baseball.
I won’t give away too much of my look at Trevor Rosenthal, it will come later this week here on i70.
Baseball seldom cooperates with planning ahead and this night would be no different. Michael Wacha, previously undefeated, would not be quite good enough to win a game without run support. He would be good, just not good enough.
In spite of my plans, Carlos Villanueva would take the mound for the Cardinals in the top of the final inning. He would be tasked with taking the ball from Matt Belisle, who was pinch hit for by Tony Cruz in the bottom of the eighth.
While Justin Turner would find his way on base with a two-out single, the remainder of the inning would be relatively quiet. Enrique Hernandez struck out to start the inning. Joc Pederson sent a ball into the air for Jon Jay to track down for the second out. Adrian Gonzalez, looking to produce an extra run with Turner on first, lined out to Randall Grichuk in left field.
Adam Liberatore would take the hill for the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning and prove to be too much for all but one Cardinal hitter. Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta and Randal Grichuk would all strike out but right fielder Jason Heyward was able to produce a one out single. He would move up to second on defensive indifference, and the rest of the game was put into the books.
There are names that invoke stories for the Cardinals in 2015 that show up in this inning. Peralta is proving to be one of the most productive shortstops in baseball. Grichuk is the youngster the team desperately wants to take the brass ring and run with it. Heyward is struggling to find some productivity with a new approach at the plate. All of these stories deserve unique attention and you can expect them soon here on the site. But it’s hard to get into the production of Peralta, Grichuk or Heyward when talking about an inning that featured a single up the middle from one of the three and little else.
The baseball season is 162 games long. Along the lines, there will be some losses. The sky is not falling. The team is not dead. It will take a full season to determine exactly who this team is. This game, number 49 if you’re scoring at home, was another stepping stone toward the goal. This time it was a loss. Tomorrow is another day.
Head by Cardinals Conclave and read Daniel Shoptaw’s game recap that brings this whole Progressive Game Blog full circle.
As always, thanks for reading and it continues to be an honor to work with the fine folks at United Cardinal Bloggers.