After losing two out of three to the Oakland A’s over the weekend the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves two games out of first place in the National League Central. Both Friday night’s loss and yesterday’s loss featured poor pitching performances by Shelby Miller and Jake Westbrook respectively. Friday night’s game also saw a dominating pitching performance by ageless wonder Bartolo Colon as he kept the Cardinals bats quiet throughout the game. Saturday saw another outstanding pitching performance by Cardinals ace Adam Wainright and the Cardinals were able to get their bats back on track. Yesterday’s game was winnable from start to finish and the Cardinals put up enough runs to do so but were not able to get the pitching they needed.
The Cardinals begin a three game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday. The Angels have to be the biggest disappointment in baseball as they are desperate to buy a World Series championship title. They have a humongous payroll having signed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to huge long term contracts and neither one of them has even come close to living up to the price paid for them. Pujols is unable to play in the field on a regular basis because of nagging foot and knee issues and is limited to DH duties most of the time while Hamilton has been in an unbelievable slump the entire year. They have played better as of late and this could be an interesting series as the Cardinals have really been struggling against the AL West this year.
Over on the other side of this great state the Kansas City Royals are very slowly getting closer to the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers as the Royals find themselves only four games out of first place after taking two out of three from the Minnesota Twins. The Royals next twenty games should determine their season as they will be playing teams with above .500 records. They are still getting excellent pitching and their hitting has gotten better but still tends to be very inconsistent.
Matt Kenseth surged ahead of Jimmie Johnson in the closing seconds to win the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Sparta, KY yesterday. Johnson had led throughout most of the 400 mile race before relinquishing the lead to Kenseth at the very end. This is the fourth win for Kenseth this year. NASCAR makes their annual July 4th weekend return to Daytona on Saturday night.
Wimbledon began the round of 16 for both the men and women today with many of the seeded players having already exited the tournament. There are no American men in the round of 16 and Serena Williams may be the only American woman in the round of 16.
A new era in the history of Truman State Bulldogs athletics begins today as they are no officially members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. As I have stated before in this blog the GLVC is in my opinion a much better fit for Truman and gives them many geographic rivalries they didn’t have before. As the MIAA continued to expand westward and to the south it became increasingly difficult for Truman to be competitive and for the Truman fan base to be able to follow their Bulldogs on the road. Now that they are members of the GLVC Truman’s fans will find it much easier to follow the Bulldogs on the road and the road games will primarily be in locations with strong tied to Truman both from an alumni standpoint and from a current student standpoint. Many of the Truman athletes will get the opportunity to compete in front of their hometown crowds which is something which rarely if ever happened in the MIAA. The money save on travel alone will help Truman athletics tremendously in the long run as that money can be put back in the program and used for other things. The move to the GLVC will benefit Truman on many different levels for many years to come and I applaud them for taking what had to be a difficult step after being in the same conference for over 100 years.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with out usual midweek blog. This blog will also look ahead to the weekend’s sports action as there will be no blog on Friday. We’ll be back on our normal schedule next week. Thanks as always for checking out this blog and please take a moment to read the other excellent blogs on this site.
Have a terrific Monday!