8:11 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
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Viva El Birdos 8 hours ago
Conversation with Manny Acta, former MLB manager and current ESPN baseball analyst

Conversation with Manny Acta, former MLB manager and current ESPN baseball analyst

The St. Louis Cardinals look to complete their sweep of the Cincinnati Reds tonight on Sunday Night Baseball, the team's final appearance on ESPN this season. If successful, the team will improve to 20 games over the .500 mark, and at minimum, reduce their magic number to four (three if the Brewers win again). Well, as you may recall from way back in May, I had a chat with Buster Olney prior to the Cardinals taking on the Pirates on Sunday Night Baseball, and in a similar situation, I was able to talk baseball with Manny Acta in between his appearances on ESPN. Here is what he had to...
Viva El Birdos 11 hours ago

Cardinals take young roster towards the playoffs

In 2011, the Cardinals fielded a starting eight that averaged over 30 years of age. Over the past few seasons, the Cardinals have made a series of moves resulting in its youngest team of position players in more than two decades. As the Cardinals inch closer to the playoffs, they have leaned on their veterans, with 31-year old Yadier Molina providing stability to the pitching staff and catcher position, 32-year old Jhonny Peralta having a stealth, near-MVP level season, and 34-year old Matt Holliday, putting up an incredible second half with a .286/.375/.541 slash line to go with 14...
Viva El Birdos 20 hours ago

9.20.14 Cardinals vs. Reds Recap: Cards Cruz to 8-4 Victory

The Cardinals hit three home runs tonight to bury the Reds and expand their division lead over the Pirates to three-and-a-half games. Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit angry 'cause you're never going long Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit tired of flying out to deep left or right Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit nervous That the best of all the years have gone by Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit terrified And then I see the look in his eyes Turn around Mike Leake, every now and then you fall apart Turn around Dennick,...
Viva El Birdos Sep 20, 2014

The case for an eight man October bullpen

It's all about matchups. On yesterday's podcast, Ben and Craig did a rundown of what the playoff rotation and bullpen might look like for the Cardinals in October. Recorded on Thursday night, that was before the walkoff win against Milwaukee, which pretty well clinched the Cardinals playoff chances, as well as the 7 1/3 innings of work by John Lackey last night, which probably solidified his spot in the playoff rotation. Michael Wacha will get his chance to do so tonight. That's the thing about debates this time of year: They tend to age in a matter of hours. Friday's game wasn't without...
Viva El Birdos Sep 20, 2014

Cardinals Win a Close One 2-1, Preventing Extra Innings With Bullpen Mathenaging

John Lackey was good enough to hold the light hitting Reds lineup, and the bullpen was mathenaged effectively tonight, while the offense was powered by the washboard forearms of Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday Source: FanGraphs First off, Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Happy Steel Day. Tonight, I turned on the game right when Randal Grichuk homered, and that felt really good. Next thing you know, Matt Holliday was smacking one out of the park too. And that was all the offense the Cardinals could muster, while it was also all they would need for the win. The washboard forearms won the...
The Cardinal Nation Sep 19, 2014

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Not the Final Nine

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014

Hunt and Peck: Links of the Week

With nine games remaining, here is how the division records are shaping up. If the Cardinals are able to get to 92 wins, the very worst-case scenario is a tie with Pittsburgh (and if Pittsburgh loses the game they have in hand, they would win the division outright with 92 wins). - Viva el Birdos what else is going on in baseball... The Nationals and Orioles have clinched the AL and NL East. - MLB The Angels clinch, too. - MLB Bryan Cranston does a one man show. - Cut4 Can Clayton Kershaw win the NL MVP? - Sports on Earth Duffman. - Cut4 The unlucky five. - Sports on Earth...
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014
Series Preview: Cardinals vs Reds, September 19-21

Series Preview: Cardinals vs Reds, September 19-21

The moribund Reds come to Busch for the final homestand of the season. Series Schedule Cardinals vs Reds John Lackey vs LHP David Holmberg, 7:15pm tonight (all times are central times) Michael Wacha vs RHP Mike Leake, 6:15pm Saturday Lance Lynn vs RHP Alfredo Simón, 7:05pm Sunday (ESPN Sunday Night Baseball) Pirates vs Brewers Jeff Locke vs Yovani Gallardo, 6:05pm tonight Edinson Volquez vs Matt Garza, 6:05pm Saturday TBA (though probably Charlie Morton) vs Wily Peralta, 12:35pm Sunday The Standings Remaining Schedules Cardinals: 3 vs Reds, 3 at Cubs, 3 at...
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014

The Viva El Birdos Podcast episode 4

in which Ben Humphrey and Craig Edwards talk some baseball. You can head over to subscribe via itunes here. Don't forget to rate and leave a review! The episode might not be live on itunes immediately, but it will be as soon as they update. The RSS Feed is here.
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014

The ups and downs of the 2014 season for Trevor Rosenthal

Trevor Rosenthal has had a relatively inconsistent 2014 season. Let's take a look at some PITCHF/x data and see what we can find out. After accumulating 2.2 fWAR in the regular season and then throwing 11 and 2/3 postseason innings without allowing a single earned run in 2013, expectations were extremely high for Trevor Rosenthal this season. Well, as Michael Baumann noted in this somewhat controversial piece for Grantland, "Closer Trevor Rosenthal hasn't quite lived up to expectations." Given the majority of expectations were probably unfair for a 24-year-old pitcher entering just his...
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014

Interview with the Sklar Brothers: Comedians and Cardinals fans

Cardinals fans Randy and Jason Sklar grew up idolizing Jose Oquendo. On Saturday, they will be throwing out the first pitch on Jose Oquendo Bobblehead Day and then performing at The Demo following the game. They were kind enough to answer a few questions. Comedians Randy and Jason Sklar are first-pitch throwing twin crusaders for Jose Oquendo. They will be in St. Louis on Saturday throwing out the first pitch at Busch Stadium on Jose Oquendo Bobblehead Day and performing at The Demo in St. Louis following the game (tickets here). If you have a chance to see them live, do it. I first heard...
Viva El Birdos Sep 19, 2014

Cardinals vs. Brewers recap: Shelby Miller and a cast of thousands beat Brewers 3-2 in 13

Outbreaks of Cruzmania reported throughout Cardinals Nation. So what's the overarching narrative for this game? Is it Shelby Miller's excellent performance? How Kyle Lohse shut down the Cardinals for 7+ innings? The missed chances? The long slog of an extra inning game that seemed like it might have no end? Here's what you need to know: The Cardinals won. The Cardinals won and took 2 games out of 3 in the series and put the Brewers 6 games back, their playoff hopes in serious peril. Shelby really did look like Good Shelby tonight, mixing in 20 curves with 62 fastballs, and again allowed no...
Viva El Birdos Sep 18, 2014

Dugout Thrones: Episode Two.

III. Allyn, IV. Carlya If you missed Part I, please read it first here. Allyn "If you will not partake, Ser Allyn, please allow me," proclaimed the Limpfish, snatching the mug of frothy Milwaukeros ale from Allyn's grasp and swiftly bringing it to his lips as the nearby men at arms cheered and laughed. Ser Joseph Kelly, known as the Limpfish, seemed to hold his knighthood secondary to his role as an entertainer. Allyn remembered his tricks and japes back in Buschfell. The Limpfish was always teasing and prodding, trying to get a rise out of even the most somber of the Saint Card men such...
Viva El Birdos Sep 17, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals rotation: John Lackey and the dead army you know versus the one you don't

The Cardinals' recent history of zombified arms gives reason for concern regarding John Lackey. The term "dead arm" isn't a medical one. You won't find it in a medical text book as an orthopedic diagnosis made only of baseball pitcher's arms. It's more a term of art, used by Baseball Men, in the dog days of summer and infancy of autumn, to describe a pitcher who is not quite himself. Like Playing The Game The Right Way, the term is a nebulous one that means different things to different folks. But that doesn't make it any less concerning when the term is bandied about in regards to a St....
Viva El Birdos Sep 16, 2014


RALLY! RALLY, I SAY 2-2 heading to bottom of the 11th.
Viva El Birdos Sep 16, 2014

Series preview: Cardinals vs Brewers, September 16-18.

The 83-67 Cardinals host the 78-72 Brewers to close out their regular season series. Schedule Cardinals vs Brewers Lance Lynn and Wily Peralta start tonight at 7:15 (all times central). Adam Wainwright and Mike Fiers have game two tomorrow at 7:15. Shelby Miller and Kyle Lohse pitch Thursday at 7:15. Pirates vs Red Sox Charlie Morton vs Anthony Ranaudo tonight at 6:05. Francisco Liriano vs Clay Bucholz tomorrow at 6:05. Gerrit Cole vs Brandon Workman Thursday at 6:05. The Standings I am retiring the wild card standings for now. Eyes on the prize. There are many, many marbles at...
The Cardinal Nation Sep 15, 2014

WHO News Talk Radio: Post-Season Peeking

Brian Walton’s discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Chuck Reed and Jim Walden of WHO News Talk Radio 1040 in Des Moines.
Viva El Birdos Sep 15, 2014

Hunt and Peck: Links of the Weekend

An update on the playoff race. Cardinals Pirates Brewers 16-0 - - 15-1 - - 14-2 - - 13-3 16-1 - 12-4 15-2 - 11-5 14-3 15-1 10-6 13-4 14-2 9-7 12-5 13-3 8-8 11-6 12-4 7-9 10-7 11-5 6-10 9-8 10-6 5-11 8-9 9-7 4-12 7-10 8-8 3-13 6-11 7-9 2-14 5-12 6-10 1-15 4-13 5-11 0-16 3-14 4-12 what else is going on in baseball... Here is a look at the 2014 postseason schedule. - Hardball Talk And here is how all the divisional races are shaping...
Viva El Birdos Sep 15, 2014

Cardinals' rotation is jumbled heading towards the playoffs

The slowdown of Michael Wacha, skipping the start of John Lackey, and the late-season effectiveness of Shelby Miller have caused confusion for the current state of the rotation as well as the playoff status for the Cardinals' staff. The Cardinals' opening day rotation included Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, and Joe Kelly. Eleven Cardinals' pitchers have made at least four starts this season, but only four pitchers (Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, and Michael Wacha) have more than eight starts for the Cardinals. The Cardinals have continued to search...
Viva El Birdos Sep 15, 2014
How are the St. Louis Cardinals defying the gravity of their run differential?

How are the St. Louis Cardinals defying the gravity of their run differential?

The Cardinals are in first place with an 83-67 despite a run differential of just +10. After weeks of chasing the Brewers in the National League Central, the St. Louis Cardinals caught up to Milwaukee on August 31 before taking sole possession of first place on September 1. Making the feat uncanny was the Cards' -7 run differential on the day they ascended to the top of the Central. By Pythagorean expected record, the Redbirds should have had a losing record, yet there they were, 73-63, alone in first. Like so many principles in modern baseball statistics, Pythagorean record got its start...

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