Notes From The Pine: The Legend of #RallyCat

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It was a warm August night in St. Louis. One of those Missouri nights that feels great with a breeze but swampy without.

The Cardinals got off to a rough start that day. They fell behind 2-0 only 9 pitches into the game. Mike Leake looked rattled after 3 consecutive pitches were hit for a double, a single, and a single that could have been a double if not for a perfect throw by Dexter Fowler.

The deficit became 3 runs after a rare bad throw from Yadier Molina on a steal of second.

But the Birds fought back and took a 4-3 in the bottom of the 4th. Only to see that lead vanish and the crowd quiet after a 2-run homerun with 0 outs in the top of the 5th.

Things started to turn in the top of the 6th. Yadier Molina made a remarkable scoop and throw to nail a runner at second redeeming his earlier miscue.

Slowly in the bottom of the inning the Cardinals started to piece something together. A single and a walk put runners on first and second. Then a line drive to right moved them up to 2nd and 3rd and gave the crowd a bit of life.

Rookie sensation Paul DeJong stepped to the plate and went down quickly on strikes looking lost against the reliever with the goofy wind up. Things started to look like the same Cardinals we’ve seen struggle to reach .500 for the past months.

An intentional walk to Fowler to set up the force outs brought Yadier Molina to the plate. The first pitch sailed in for a ball.

Then something funny happened. Yadier Molina pointed his bat towards the shortstop. Was he calling his shot?

Then the rest of the crowd noticed what Yadi was pointing at and began to cheer as an unlikely hero scampered out from the third base line and took a leisurely stroll out to centerfield.

A Cardinals employee snagged the kitten on the warning track and started to jog back in. But this cat had a little fight left in him. Scratching and clawing at his captor. As shots of Carpenter and Fowler laughing on the bases filled the jumbotron.

And suddenly the stadium had some buzz in it.

One pitch later and the Cardinals had a 8-5 lead that would hold up for their 5th consecutive win.

The crowd went wild. Rumors flurried about what was next for #RallyCat but #RallyCat was never meant to be contained. The kitten escaped into the St. Louis night. Perhaps #RallyCat will show again just when the Cardinals need a boost in October.

Around the Horn

The surprise star of #RallyCat has been the guy that wrangled him.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been running baseball for quite some time now. The Cardinals have been struggling to reach .500. Yet somehow since June 25th the number 2 team in baseball has been the Cardinals.

The MLB released the Player’s Weekend Nickname jerseys for all 30 teams. The Cardinals have Yadi, Waino, Tsunami, and Seung Hwan Oh with Korean on his jersey. My favorite of them all is Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners sporting “Corey’s Brother”. Well done, sir.

The Cardinals did completely phone it in on their Player’s Weekend hat. There are some sweet ones around the MLB though.

Mark McGwire’s gone full-white beard. It is throwing me off big time.

The entire Detroit Tigers team apparently lost track of how many outs there were in the inning.

A Pittsburgh Pirates fan made a split second decision to possible interfere with a close homerun. Instead of grabbing it he let it get out. A decision his boys may regret. Someone get that guy some ice.

Billy Hamilton made an insane over the shoulder basket catch running into the wall in Cincy.

The Great Bambino is back. And he’s in Williamsport, PA.

This kid rules.

Marco Gonzalez made his debut for the Seattle Mariners on August 6th giving up 5 earned in 4 innings.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim donned some retro NBA uniforms for a trip to Seattle. Including a Toon Squad appearance.

Vince Wilfork put Marshawn Lynch’s cryptic Twitter retirement to shame when he announced his own in a Kingsford BBQ commercial. It was magical.

Jontay Porter, Michael Porter’s younger brother, has reclassified in order to join Mizzou alongside his brother this season.

Jay Cutler is making his comeback with the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots had a good run, but it’s Cutler time now.

The Rams and Chargers are now literally fighting over who gets to be the biggest dumpster fire of a team in Los Angeles.

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