In Baseball, Culture on June 12, 2013 at 10:45 am
The Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals are battling atop the National League Central division for another trip to the postseason. CDH’s Ian Brickey takes a look at the deeper meaning behind the Cardinals-Reds rivalry.
Matt Holliday ruined Curtis Partch’s Sunday night. It had been a good weekend so far — a great one, in fact. Louisville Bats manager Jim Riggleman had delivered the news that every AAA player greets with a mixture of joy, relief and terror — Partch was going to the show. He made the short two-hour drive to Cincinnati later that day, been fitted for his uniform at Great American Ballpark and was ready to dress for his first major league game Sunday night. And then Matt Holliday had to beat it all to hell by doing what Matt Holliday is paid to do. With the bases loaded in the top of the 10th inning, the St. Louis Cardinals left fielder belted Partch’s 2-2 pitch into the upper deck of Great American Ballpark, capping a seven run inning for the Cardinals and extending their division lead over the Reds to four games.
There’s a concept in the field of aesthetics known as the “uncanny valley.” It holds that, when human features resemble and move almost, but not quite perfectly, like natural human images, it can create a feeling of revulsion in observers. While it’s primarily a scientific term, since 2009, the uncanny valley might have a baseball application: the rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals.
In Soccer on June 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Last week, Manchester City and Chelsea of the English Premier League competed in an exhibition match at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The match was unique, but St. Louis has a long history with the beautiful game.
A sea of blue shirts is an odd sight to see in Busch Stadium. The home field of the St. Louis Cardinals is usually filled with more than 40,000 fans each clad in a ubiquitous red shirt and cheering on the 11-time World Series champions. But last week, blue was the color of the day as English Premier League teams Manchester City and Chelsea clashed in an exhibition match in front of the largest crowd for a sporting event in the stadium’s eight-year history.
Chelsea appeared to be in control for the majority of the match. In the 14th minute, Chelsea forward Demba Ba’s header sneaked past Manchester City keeper Joe Hart to put the Blues ahead 1-0. Cesar Azpilicueta’s penalty kick made the score 2-0 going into the half. With a half hour remaining in the contest, the Blues held a commanding 3-0 lead over Man City. But Chelsea couldn’t seal the deal, and Man City rebounded to even the score at 3-3 in the 85th minute. Midfielder Javi Garcia capped off Man City’s rally with the game-winning goal at the beginning of injury time.
In Baseball on April 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm
The Atlanta Braves have dominated the National League in April. Can they keep it going through October? CDH’s Ian Brickey doesn’t think so.
The Atlanta Braves are living up to their hometown’s “Hotlanta” nickname. Baseball is back in Atlanta, and it’s National League opponents who are getting burned. Three weeks into the 2013 season, the Atlanta Braves have a 13-5 record — tied for best in Major League Baseball — and a three game lead in the NL East. Atlanta fans should enjoy it while they can, because it probably won’t last.
But before we get to the bad, let’s look at the good. Three things have contributed to the Braves’ success thus far: pitching, pitching and pitching. Through the season’s first month, Atlanta’s pitching staff has compiled the lowest team ERA in the majors at 2.36. They’ve surrendered the fewest earned runs in all of baseball with 42 and allowed the fewest runs per game at 2.44. Braves pitchers have given up only 11 home runs — fourth best in baseball — and have issued only 45 walks — also fourth best in baseball. The staff’s combined performances have produced an eye-popping and MLB-leading team ERA+ of 171. And that’s with an unimpressive Tim Hudson and an awful Julio Teheran.
The Braves’ pitching is the main reason for their fast start in 2013, but their gaudy Win-Loss record overshadows some troubling figures.