Larussa’s Cardinals Begin To Fly Away From The Pack!
The St. Louis Cardinals visited Hollywood on the weekend and in sweeping the series against the Dodgers, sent a statement to the rest of the NL that they are getting their act together.
The three-game sweep was the Cardinals' first at Dodger Stadium since April 1993. They have won nine straight against Los Angeles and 15 of the last 19 meetings -- including a four-game sweep last week in St. Louis. Overall, the NL Central leaders have won 11 of 13 and lead Cincinnati by five games.
The only other time the Dodgers were swept in a season series by an NL club since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 was in 1994, when Atlanta was 6-0 against them. But a players strike that year wiped out the final seven scheduled meetings between the teams.
Meanwhile the Dodgers are sinking fast in the wild and wacky west as San Diego and San Francisco trade punches for possession of first place. The Dodgers are 1-10 with three shutout losses since the All-Star break -- two of them against St. Louis -- and have been outscored 57-17 during this stretch. The Cardinals outscored them 35-8 in the seven games.
A Rod will get an earful tonight as he heads back to Texas which is where the 0,000 contract originated and this guy is in a terrible funk. Rodriguez is batting just .154 (4-for-26) in his last six games and also trying to recover his fielding mechanics after committing five errors in that span. But the Yankees third baseman is batting .313 (15-for-48) with two homers and eight RBIs against the Rangers since being traded to the Yankees in 2004.
This will be Rodriguez's second trip back this season after going 5-for-13 (.385) with a home run and six RBIs in a three-game series May 5-7 in Arlington.
The Minnesota Twins have been playing remarkable ball the past month but with the play of the Tigers, White Sox and Mets, very few people realize that they have crept inside of 10 games from Detroit’s lead.
The White Sox (59-38) meet the Twins (56-41) in the start of a key three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday with just three games separating them in the wild card race.
On June 7, Chicago was 36-22 and one-half game behind AL Central-leading Detroit. Minnesota was a season-worst eight games below .500 at 25-33 and in fourth place, 11 1/2 games back of the Tigers.
Both teams have gone in different directions since then as they chase the Tigers and the wild card spot. The defending World Series champions have gone 23-16, but have fallen 6 1/2 games in back of the Tigers.
Minnesota, meanwhile, has won 31 of 39 -- posting two eight-game winning streaks and a season-high 11-game run from June 22-July 3 -- and are one-half game behind the New York Yankees for second in the wild card.
The Twins also have continued to win despite injuries. Outfielders Torii Hunter (stress fracture in left foot), Shannon Stewart (sore left foot) and Lew Ford (strained oblique) all are on the disabled list.
This is the first of 12 games between the teams over the remainder of the season. They conclude the regular season with a three-game set from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Minneapolis.
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About the Author: Bob Acton is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.