Redbirds' record looks familiar, but team is different

Monday, June 14, 2004

The division-leading St. Louis Cardinals begin a nine-game homestand tomorrow with the Oakland A's sporting the best winning percentage in the National League.

The red-hot Cards (36-27) began the month of June on a six-game winning streak and are 9-4 this month entering the game.

Big deal.

The Cards were 8-5 to this point last year in the month of June and had already won 35 games.

So what separates this club from last year's? A lot of things, but the most important thing is this team is winning the close games.

The Redbirds are 10-6 in one-run games this year, a complete turnaround from last year at this time when they were 5-13.

Much of that has to do with Jason Isringhausen, who has appeared in 27 games already this year. He pitched in just 40 games all of last year.

Izzy isn't the only one who has stayed healthy; the whole team has managed to avoid the injury bug that has managed to plague other teams around the league. I don't know about you, but my fantasy baseball team roster looks like a hospital chart.

And to think I was ready to fire Tony in just the second week of the season. That won't be the last time I'm wrong.

Today

Cape Girardeau's Amercian Legion team hosts a legion team from Paragould, Ark., at 5:30 p.m. Wear something comfortable, it's a doubleheader.

Wednesday

The Cardinals play the second game of a three-game set with the A's at 7:10 p.m. It's AMC action photo night at the ballpark. All fans 15 and under will receive an action photo of a Cardinals player.

Friday

Jackson's American Legion baseball team hosts Fulton, Ky., for a doubleheader at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is back in Memphis for the O'Reilly 200. There will be an autograph session at 6 p.m. Friday at Memphis Motorsports Park. The gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday for the 2 p.m. race.

Sunday

The Cardinals, in the midst of a nine-game home stand, wrap up a series with the Reds at 1:15 p.m. This is not just any ordinary series finale, though. It's Lou Brock bobblehead day, and the first 30,000 fans will receive a bobblehead commemorating the 1964 World Championship. Here's a trivia question for you: Who holds the dubious distinction of being the Cardinals' career leader in strikeouts? I can't say, but show up and get his bobblehead.

David Wilson is a sportswriter for the Southeast Missourian, his column appears every Monday.

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