The St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful team in the history of the National League with 11 World Series titles to their name. The Athletics are the most successful team made of mortals in the American League with 9, I say mortal because the New York Yankees are in another universe and can’t be compared to anyone. This meeting of two storied franchises was billed by a few local media outlets as a potential World Series preview. While a declaration like that is getting way ahead of ourselves, this weekend series is quite intriguing.
Shelby Miller is one of the best young starters in the game today, and had been extremely impressive in his rookie campaign with a 2.35 ERA coming into tonight’s game. The Oakland Athletics were not impressed. In a tremendously nightmarish 2nd inning for Miller, the A’s worked the count, pounced on pitches to hit, and put 5 runs on the board. The hit parade that saw the team bat around in the inning led Miller to throw 51 pitches, an MLB high for any pitcher in any inning all season, and he didn’t even complete the frame.
The highlight of the night though came later in the 4th inning though when Stephen Vogt came to bat to lead off the inning. Vogt had gone 0-32 in his brief MLB career, and was desperately seeking his first knock in the Show. Vogt got it in this at bat in a big way when he drove the 1-1 pitch from Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly into the BBQ Terrace in right field. Vogt raced around the bases and was greeted by a dugout full of Athletics who evidently couldn’t care less about his accomplishment. After the customary “silent treatment” Vogt’s teammates mobbed him in celebration of his dinger.
Bartolo Colon was simply masterful tonight, just as he has been in his last 8 starts. He held the Cardinals off the basepaths until Matt Holliday walked in the 5th inning, and Matt Adams followed with the Cards first basehit of the night. David Freese drove in Holliday with an RBI single that would account for the only run they would score tonight. Colon was also efficient as he usually is, suppressing the Cardinals lineup for 8 innings while throwing just 101 pitches, 70 for strikes. Colon is now 11-2 on the season with an ERA of 2.79 on the season, sounds like an All-Star to me.
It won’t be easy tomorrow for the A’s as they take on Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (10-5, 2.31 ERA). Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.27 ERA) will toe the rubber for the green and gold. With the Texas Rangers victory over the Cincinnatti Reds tonight, the A’s remain 1/2 game behind them in the AL West with a record of 47-34. They’ll try to seal a series victory tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 PM PST as the A’s hand out the much anticipated “Coco Lean” bobbleheads.