Winning a series in St. Louis when the Cardinals are having their World Series celebration would make for a pretty good mid-April peak. Today’s game is a big one, for all of those ethereal, irrational reasons.

  • Chris Volstad’s explanation for his rough fourth inning yesterday sounds a lot like Jeff Samardzija’s explanation for his rough fifth inning on Friday. “I just kind of stopped executing, [throwing] pitches over the plate that were up a little bit,” he said. “I needed to take a deep breath and get back to what I was doing the rest of the game.”
  • As for Starlin Castro and his two errors, it sounds like he’s in his own head a bit too much. “Sometimes I think too much, and on the [second error] I tried to be too perfect,” Castro said. “When you think a lot, that’s when the mistakes come.” We heard all of Spring Training that Castro was working hard on his defense and improving, so the errors are understandably frustrating for him. “It’s very frustrating because I have been working hard a lot [this offseason] in the Dominican and here,” Castro said. “Those kind of things aren’t supposed to happen. It’s happening because it’s the game and everybody makes errors. If it happens one time that’s [OK]. Two times? When you know that can happen in the game I don’t stay with that in my mind. I keep playing.”


  • Dale Sveum says he was never worried about Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood, who’ve looked better their last couple times out after struggling to open the year. “That’s like a hitter going 0-for-8 the first two games,” Sveum said. “Are you going to take them out of the lineup? These things are part of the process. Like I always say, people on the other side of the field get paid a lot of money to score runs and beat your closers and setup guys, and sometimes that’s just going to happen.” I’d say the comparison would be apt if that hitter went 0-for-8 *and* looked absolutely lost in doing so, striking out at least six of those eight times, flailing haplessly.
  • Luke is on the road today, so your Minor League Daily comes in the form of a long Bullet with the bare essentials: Travis Wood had a mixed start in Iowa’s loss yesterday. He struck out seven in five innings and allowed just three runs, but gave up eight hits and three walks. Welington Castillo is now hitting .500, and Brett Jackson had another homer. Anthony Rizzo did not homer, which is actually newsworthy at this point. The Tennessee Smokies won behind a solid Brooks Raley start and a big night from borderline prospect, Michael Burgess, who singled, doubled and homered in four at bats. (BN’er Nate added some first-hand accounts from the game last night, including: Raley’s breaking stuff was making hitters look silly, Logan Watkins hit a long bomb of a homer, and Jae-Hoon Ha’s walk up music is “Sexy and I Know It.”). The Daytona Cubs were stomped yesterday, thanks primarily to Zach Cates’ second straight rough outing. Matt Szczur and Ronald Torreyes are slumping to start the year, sporting lines of .125/.317/.125 and .188/.278/.219, respectively. At least the IsoD’s are nice, right? The Peoria Chiefs lost in the 9th after a good start from Ben Wells, who gave up a few runs early, but then dominated (he gave up just three hits and a walk in 5.2 innings while striking out five … ok, so he also hit two guys). Zeke DeVoss hit his first homer.



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