Category Archives: Baseball

Louisville Cardinal Short Shots

So I’m standing in line at the grocery on the first day of the weekend, and the clerk asks if I have anything fun planned for the holiday?

“Errands. Maybe some music,” I reply.

At which point the fellow next to me in line says, “Post something at CardChron.”

Fortunately he didn’t seem to be one of the regulars, an antagonist whose vitriol would indicate I wouldn’t want to be meeting them out in public. He was a good guy.

“It’s that time of year, when there’s not a lot of news. Hopefully the baseball team (which had just gone ofer the ACC tourney) will get its act together.”

Anyway, my reader’s wishes are my command. So, here I come with a bunch of little stuff. Most, but not all of which, is Cardinal related. Continue reading Louisville Cardinal Short Shots

‘Dores Slow Cards’ Mo’ at the Jim

Irresistible force. Immovable object.

Unless Tuesday evening’s matchup found the powers battling at 3d & Central knotted when curfew hit, somebody’s momentum was going to be thwarted, if only temporarily.

The Vanderbilt Commodores (39-9) took the field for the midweek Battle of the Barrel, ranked either #2 or #3 depending on which poll you look at, on an 11 game winning streak. RF JJ Bleday leads the nation with 23 taters. At .429, Austin Martin, is among the leading hitters in the land.

The #6 or #3 Louisville Cardinals (39-10) victory skein stood at nine, after recently sweeping then #2 NC State in Raleigh. Pitching ace Reid Detmers is a lock All-American.

The visiting nine in the black hats prevailed, 6-2, in the relatively close but laborious three hour forty six minute game.

Since 2007, when Dan McDonnell took the reins at U of L, the schools have developed what is arguably the most intriguing rivalry in college baseball. Continue reading ‘Dores Slow Cards’ Mo’ at the Jim

Brooms ‘r’ Us: Cards Sweep Cats, CWS Next

Well, then, the University of Louisville nine swept through arch rival Kentucky in the Supers, as it had the weekend before through Radford, Xavier and Oklahoma in the Regional.

Like a team being sponsored by O-Cedar Brooms.

Like a team hellbent on returning to the College World Series after two frustrating years of walk off disappointments when heavy favorites.

Like a team focused such that no impediment would prove an obstacle.

Such as, you know, the somewhat disturbing reality that the best player in the history of the program, who happens to be the best player in the sport this year, has so far hit a less than glossy .148 (3/21) for the NCAA tourney so far, including an ofer in the two Ws over UK.

But the dude in hurler mode was all that on the mound for six and two-thirds in the capper. He hit a batter for the first time all season. No biggie. Then, with Cats on 1st and 2d and one gone in the bottom of the 6th, he flinched while on the rubber. It was his first balk of the season.

No biggie. With the runners each having advanced a sack on the gaffe, Brendan McKay went K and K.

From the bullpen, Sam Bordner, as he’d done the weekend before, was brilliant and closed the deal.

Meanwhile, McKay’s Bash Bro, Drew Ellis rocked two more taters over the wall — he also homered in the series opener — going 3/4 and drawing a walk. Logan Taylor had two hits, scored twice and knocked one across. Devin Hairston was also 3/4, with a BB and a run scored. Continue reading Brooms ‘r’ Us: Cards Sweep Cats, CWS Next

Moxie Meets Its Match: Resilient Cards Meet Comeback Cats in Supers

High Noon.

Would we want it any other way?

Arch rivals U of L and UK are set to battle for a trip to the CWS in Omaha.

First pitch. Friday. 12:00 Noon.

The University of Louisville Cardinal nine had to dig deep into its reserve of pluck and guile to capture a fifth straight regional crown.

Do not be mislead by 11-6 and 11-1 victories over Radford and Oklahoma in Games #1 and #2. Each was fraught with peril, victory far from a certain until late.

The come from behind, come from behind, come from behind finale, a back and forth 8-7 escape over Xavier to live for another weekend, is a far more accurate portrayal of the Cards fifth consecutive NCAA Regional sweep.

Ahead: The Cardinals’ hated arch rival.

Meanwhile down the road, Kentucky’s Wildcats survived rain delays, and captured three straight elimination games, including a comeback against NC State in the finale, to advance to their first ever Super Regional.

Ahead: The Wildcats hated arch rival. Continue reading Moxie Meets Its Match: Resilient Cards Meet Comeback Cats in Supers

Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Speaking of point guards, Duke just got a commitment for next season from the highest rated ball handler left. Actually the highest rated PG committed or not.

Meaning Coach K and Coach Cal have once again corralled enough Golden Arches superüberduperstars with enough free burger coupons to sate every fan that will be in the Alamodome for next season’s Final Four.

The question of course is, will the Blue Devils and Wildcats actually be there to participate themselves?

I know stuff happens, kids don’t pan out like they’re supposed to, extraneous diversions affect team performances, etc, etc, but, given how they’ve harvested talent in the last decade, shouldn’t UK and Duke make it to the last weekend of the season every season? And win the dang thing more than they do?

 * * * * *

There’s a NBA Game 7 tonight. Boston and Washington shall battle to see which gets whipped by the Cleveland LeBrons in the Eastern Division finals.

It ought to be an exciting tilt. The squads are pretty even, if flawed.

My sense is the Wizards shall prevail, even though the game’s in Beantown. But that’s not why I bring it up.

Which is that I’m as mesmerized as the next hoopaholic about Celtic Isaiah Thomas’s offense. The guy can score. The guy can score at crunch time. From inside, despite his diminutive stature. From outside, even when closely checked by leaping bigs with a huge reach.

(We shan’t mention Thomas’s D. Because I could guard guys better than he does. And there are analytics to prove that. At least to provide evidence how bad he is. I haven’t seen any statisticians checking out my footwork recently.)

Now my point. When I see Isaiah Thomas play, I see Russ Smith.

(Except Smith knows how to play D.) Continue reading Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Cardinal Nine on a Collision Course???

Since The Schnell pontificated that now infamous and iconic proclamation about his pigskinners — “We’re on a collision course with a national championship; the only variable is time” — several other U of L athletic programs have ascended further and faster than football.

Like, say, women’s hoops, men’s soccer, swimming. Of course, there’s that ’13 NCAA crown worn by the men’s basketball program.

And Dan McDonnell’s Cardinal baseball program, a once moribund sector of U of L sports, is now a perennial national contender. To which we tend to pay more attention than some of those other successful programs. Because baseball, ever unique, ever bucolic, remains the national pastime, if no longer America’s favorite sport.

A balmy night at the ballyard remains one of our nation’s treasures.

It is generally believed that one of these seasons, U of L will shake off the shackles and prevail in Omaha.

The Cards have made it to the Elite Eight thrice, ’07, ’13, and ’14, with a lone CWS victory over Mississippi State during that first appearance. And, truth be told, the team should have made it four straight years, meaning in both ’15 and ’16.

But, such are the vagaries of the game. Two seasons ago, the Cardinals’ ace reliever Zach Burdi couldn’t shut the door on Cal State Fullerton at The Jim. The Cards lost 4-3 in 11. Last season, when considered by many wags to be the nation’s best squad and title favorite, it was deja vu all over again. Burdi, regarded as the country’s premier closer, gave up a walk off tater at The Jim, and UC Santa Barbara prevailed by another 4-3 margin, then headed to Nebraska instead of the Cardinals.

But the Cards remain steadfast, continuing to reload as McDonnell works his dugout magic. Continue reading Cardinal Nine on a Collision Course???

Five Provocative Questions for Louisville Cardinal Fans

cardsOkay it’s a glorious time of year.

Bowl games. Conference play begins. NFL playoffs.

And the Holidaze, which means lots of parties, extra time for cookies in the coffee room at work, hanging out at night with pals.

Lots o’ time for sports talk.

And, bottom line, sports fans, even those who love the same team or school, love to argue over this or that.

The Louisville Cardinal faithful are no exception.

So, I got to thinking what could spur U of L fans, or even those who just observe Cardinal sports dispassionately, to some serious back and forth.

So, I came up with these five contemplations, looking to hear what my readers think? Continue reading Five Provocative Questions for Louisville Cardinal Fans

Forget Omaha, Cardinal Nine Down & Out

baseballHad baseball’s philosopher laureate Lawrence Peter Berra been sitting with the other dignitaries in U of L AD Tom Jurich’s box, he would have simply nodded knowingly at the decimating conclusion to the Cardinals’ baseball season.

“It ain’t over til it’s over.”

The visiting UCSB Gaucho’s, with a game in hand in the 2 of 3 series, could get nothing going against Card starter Drew Harrington. Scattered hits here and there, but no real threats until the bottom of the 8th, at which juncture they’d been shut out with the Cards’ line showing 3 runs. But they showed life and had men on 1st and 2d with no outs, after a lead off single and HBP.

Exit gritty Harrington, after striking out 12 and surrendering only one BB, but his shutout in jeopardy. Walking in from the bullpen came Louisville’s ace fireballing closer, Zack Burdi with his  triple digit heat, 11 saves, 2.20 ERA, and 7 to 1 strikeout ratio. Foes had hit but .155 against him this season.

Standing tall, Burdi quickly got the Cardinals out of the bottom of the 8th jam, inducing a double play and pop up on just a few pitches.

Then, after the Cards meekly failed to add insurance in the top of the last, he got the lead off hitter out in the bottom of the 9th. Continue reading Forget Omaha, Cardinal Nine Down & Out

Cardinal Nine Advances to Sweet Sixteen

baseballAn afterthought on the local sports scene a decade ago, the Louisville Cardinal baseball squad is now the most consistently successful contingent around.

In the NCAA tourney once again, hosting a Regional once again, heading for a Super Regional again, where it will be hosting again, looking to advance to the College World Series for the third year in the last four, and fourth time in the decade.

More important, with Coach Dan McDonnell here for awhile under a new contract, the whole scene remains fresh and exciting.

The future’s so bright, etc, etc.

And it’s all far from ho hum, as yesterday’s 3-1 W over Wright State proved, completing completing an undefeated Regional weekend. Continue reading Cardinal Nine Advances to Sweet Sixteen

MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean

allsportsSo, you remember me, right?

Your resident point guard, Seedy K. Well, I’m back after the usual early spring hiatus.

Why the disappearance, you might wonder?

Well, first there was my annual bout of PMMSD (Post March Madness Stress Disorder). Then Jordan Spieth’s meltdown in Augusta, which had me wondering if anything meant anything anymore in the world of sports.

Then eight days in New Orleans for JazzFest, and too much great music and equally delicious eats.

Then the announcement that Dylan, the Stones, McCartney, Neil Young, the half the Who that’s left and whatisname from Pink Floyd will be gigging together in Cali come October for the Mother of All Oldies Shows. They’ll be more than glad to relieve you of the entirety of your IRA as a down payment on tickets, which can be purchased over time at low interest rates.

Then Derby, which is always everywhere in this burg, even when the Julep glasses are inferior, even if one tries to hide out in unusual nooks and crannies of Derbyplace USA. (Though, in honor of the namesake of the winner, I did wear my stylin’ Red Wings sweater to a blissfully laid back post race get together.)

But, the Cavs are on the cusp of dominating the NBA, while the Spurs are showing their age. Little Richie Farmer, who had the governorship by the short and curlies had he any sense and moxie at all, has filed bankruptcy post-prison term, and is getting by with help from his parents. Gulp.

Which is to say, it’s time for my triumphant return. I’m back, with the usually skewed perspective, droppin’ dimes for deuces. Continue reading MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean