I’ve been enjoying the winning ways of the Cardinals so far in 2009 as I watch them daily on my Internet at MLB.TV at a price $10 cheaper than last year. The product has improved quite a bit since my first annual purchase in 2007. A few more years of tweaking and the picture is going to be superb. Right now the streaming image on the Internet does not measure up to the picture on a regular TV, but it’s getting there. To watch the games live I tune in at 9:10 am on Tuesday for the 7:10 pm Monday night game in St. Louis. I have to keep on my toes sometimes to escape from becoming confused about what day it is the Cardinals are playing and at what time. There’s 14-hours difference in the Central Time Zone, 13-hours difference Mountain Time, and 12 hours difference Western Time—I believe? I’ve half-way figured it out unless I’m tired. Afternoon games in the States are live here very early in the morning hours, and I usually don’t get to watch those live, but I can watch the whole game when I wake-up on Archive. I believe its a copy of the stream and not a tape of the game. I really don’t know the difference, but I think that’s it.
If the Cardinals pitching staff stays healthy, they will be contending this year to take the Central division. The Chicago Cubs will be right there if the Cards falter due to injuries or a team slump. The Cards this year are much improved pitching wise with five good starters and decent early relief and set-up relief. One of their weaknesses is an absence of a closer. They were hoping Jason Motte would fill that roll, but he failed in his two first outing and has been relegated to relieving in situation where there is little pressure on him. He has a good arm but needs more work. He use to be a catcher and reverted to a pitcher after failing to make the grade at the catcher’s position. As he acquires more experience and confidence, he has the tools to make it as a closer. At this time he is still a work in progress. Until then, Ryan Franklin will play a large part in assuming the responsibility of team’s closer. He is a veteran with the most experience in that roll and has longer whiskers this year to go with his new job. He is now “ruff & tuff and hard to bluff.”
Todd Wellemeyer started for the Cardinals today (April 13, 2009) and pitched well for 7-innings allowing 7 hits and 1-earned run before being relieved in the 8th by Kyle McClellan who chalked-up two outs with Lefty Dennys Reyes retiring the next batter for the last out in the 8th. Both runs for the Cardinals came via the home run: Albert Pujols blasted his 4th homerun of the year in the 4th inning; and former draftee of the D-backs, Brian Barden, smashed his first homerun in the Big Leagues into the right field seats in the 8th. Ryan Franklin earned the save as the Cardinals won their sixth win against two losses. Tracy drove in the lone run for the D-backs when Tracy doubled to right to knock in Jackson. Pujols picked-off Tracy as he rounded 2nd base to clear the bases of Ari runners. Pujols can do it all. Chris Carpenter (1-0) goes for the Cards tomorrow at Chase field facing the D-backs Scherzer (0-0). garland dale