Due to circumstances beyond my control, (not enough hours in the day), there was no Wednesday blog this week.  Therefore, we have some catching up to do. 

First place is beginning to look like a distant memory for the St. Louis Cardinals.  They find themselves 4 games out of first place after losing three out of four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Cardinals apparently used up their run allotment for the month in Cincinnati and other than Tuesday night when they scored five runs have only managed one or two runs so far this week.  Yes, the Dodgers are red hot right now but the Cardinals are showing signs of buckling under the strain of a long season as they simply have not played very well for the past several weeks.  Their pitching hasn’t been quite what it was but their hitting has really fallen off which could not have happened at a worse time. 

I generally try to avoid criticizing Cardinals manager Mike Matheny because I have so much respect for him as a person and for the job he has done managing the Cardinals but I have to make an exception after Wednesday night’s game.  For those that don’t know, starting pitcher Shelby Miller was struck on the elbow by a batted ball during the first inning of Wednesday night’s game.  He appears to be OK but obviously there was a lot of swelling and he had to be taken out of the game after throwing only two pitches.  Matheny then decided to bring in the scheduled starter for last night’s game Jake Westbrook to take Miller’s place.  Westbrook who had to rush through his normal warmup routine and hasn’t appeared in relief since 2011 looked anything but sharp.  In my opinion this was the wrong decision to make especially given the fact that rookie Carlos Martinez came out of the bullpen to start yesterday’s game.  Why wasn’t Martinez who is used to pitching in relief brought in and then Westbrook who is used to being a starter could have gone through his normal routine?  There is obviously no way to know but this decision could have cost the Cardinals both games.  They ended up getting hammered by the Dodgers on Wednesday night and didn’t look especially sharp last night although I thought Martinez pitched reasonably well. 

The Cardinals will try to rebound tonight against the Chicago Cubs or at least what is left of them as the Cubs begin a three game series with the Cardinals in Busch Stadium.  Next week things don’t get any easier as the Pittsburgh Pirates come to town. 

The Kansas City Royals are six games above .500 but are now 8.5 games out of first place.  The Royals keep winning pretty regularly but so do the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.  All the Royals really need is to keep doing what they are doing and for one of the teams to go on a losing streak.  Until that happens the Royals are stuck.  The Miami Marlins are in Kansas City to begin a three games series tonight. 

The St. Louis Rams began their exhibition season by losing to the Cleveland Browns last night.  Although the pre season means very little in my opinion it would appear the offense looked OK but the defense still has some work to do. 

In what may one of the most anticipated pre season games in history the revamped Kansas City Chiefs are in New Orleans to play the Saints tonight.  The Chiefs plan to give all four quarterbacks on the roster an opportunity to play so this won’t exactly be a true test of what they might be capable of but it will definitely be interesting to see how the offense does and how the new era with a new coach and new quarterback begins.  There is a level of anticipation for both of Missouri’s NFL teams that hasn’t been there in a very long time. 

The PGA Championships are underway and it looked like Tiger Woods might actually come out of the first round with the lead but he had problems on the final four holes yesterday and didn’t finish the round strongly.  He is still considered the favorite by every TV commentator and every newspaper reporter except for this one.  Oh wait a minute, I’m an unpaid blogger not a reporter so my opinion doesn’t count.  Did I mention I was unpaid?  Anyway, they are in the midst of the second round as I write this an obviously the tournament wraps up on Sunday. 

NASCAR has its second road race of the year this weekend as the Cheetos 355 takes place on Sunday.  Of course that has been overshadowed somewhat by the fact that Tony Stewart broke his leg at a race in Iowa earlier this week and has already undergone two surgeries to repair the damage.  No word yet on when he might return but it is certainly a major blow to the sport. 

We’ll be back on Monday with a look back at all this weekend’s sports action plus a look ahead to what’s on the docket for next week.  Thanks as always for checking out this an all the other blogs on the site.

Have a terrific weekend!