July 30, 2014

Cardinals get some pitching help, dealing with Indians for pitcher Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson will start against the Brewers on Saturday.

Justin Masterson will start against the Brewers on Saturday.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they have acquired right-handed starting pitcher Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Springfield (AA) outfielder James Ramsey. Masterson is scheduled to start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Masterson is 29 with a 4-6 record and a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts for the Tribe this season.  He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 8 (right knee inflammation) and made a pair of injury rehabilitation starts (July 20 & 25) for Columbus (AAA) prior to today’s trade.

Masterson was an American League All-Star in 2013 as he compiled a 14-10 mark with a 3.45 ERA while ranking 8th in the league with 195 strikeouts and a league-best three shutouts. The Jamaican-born Masterson owns a career mark of 57-49 with a 4.16 ERA in 231 games (169 starts) for Boston (2008-09) and Cleveland (2009-14).

The Cardinals also announced that they have transferred pitcher Michael Wacha from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day D.L. The team will make a corresponding 25-man roster move prior to Friday’s game once Masterson reports to the team.

Yeah, just because you played a little ping pong down in your friend’s basement, does not make you an expert (VIDEO)

Ping pong or table tennis...whatever you call it, this is amazing.

Ping pong or table tennis…whatever you call it, this is amazing.

I’m back into the swing of things at work after a nice 10-day vacation.  So are my videos.  The best part about vacation as a sports guy is I’m not ashamed to say I completely shut myself off from the sports world.  I didn’t follow Twitter, I didn’t post stories, I didn’t check ESPN or local papers for stories.  The closest I came to sports was watching my daughter play in the Show Me Games and coaching a rec softball team.

Anyway, it took me a couple of days to get back into “work” mode.  Today I share my thoughts on the suspension of Mizzou wide receiver Levi Copelin, not so much on his absence, but what the Tigers have at that position.

Plus, if you haven’t seen it yet, one of the best table tennis rallies you will see.  This isn’t down in your buddy’s basement ping pong…this is world class table tennis between some of the world’s top talent.

Cardinals unable to take advantage of walks in series opener in San Diego

Home plate umpire Tony Randazzo calls Matt Carpenter out at home in the fifth inning. (photo/MLB)

Home plate umpire Tony Randazzo calls Matt Carpenter out at home in the fifth inning. (photo/MLB)

San Diego starting pitcher Tyson Ross won his third straight start, holding the Cardinals to one run on four hits and five walks in six innings. He did strike out seven and got some timely defensive help as the Cardinals lost to the Padres 3-1.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked three. “You hate to lose a game that way when you are throwing the ball well and thinking you are making good pitches. But it just wasn’t my night.” Lynn said.

Jedd Gyorko singled in Yangervis Solarte with the go-ahead run with two outs in the sixth inning, and Solarte later added an insurance home run off Jason Motte.

The Cardinals wasted walks early.

Matt Carpenter led off the game with a walk and was out on a double play ground out by Kolten Wong.  Matt Holliday then walked, but was stranded when Matt Adams struck out.

In the second, Allen Craig walked with two outs and made it to third on a single, but was left there when Lance Lynn made the final out.

Again, Carpenter led off the third with a walk and Holliday walked with one out, but Adams and Jhonny Peralta failed to move the runners over as the Cardinals stranded five in the first three innings.

Lynn scored in the fifth after leading off the inning with a single and moving to third on a double by Carpenter.  Wong’s sacrifice fly tied the game, but Ross got some defensive help when Carpenter was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice from Holliday’s grounder.  Holliday made it to third on an Adams’ single, but Ross got Peralta to ground out ending the threat.

Former Mizzou hurler allows just two hits in seven innings as Twins hold off Royals

Kyle Gibson delivers a pitch against the Royals. (photo/MLB)

Kyle Gibson delivers a pitch against the Royals. (photo/MLB)

Minnesota starting pitcher Kyle Gibson gave up a single toAlcides Escobar in the third inning and another basehit to Nori Aoki in the sixth and ended his night on a four-pitch seventh inning as he improved to 9-8 and shut down the Royals in a 2-1 victory for the Twins on Tuesday night.

James Shields, seeking his 10th win of the season, ended up on the losing end.  Josh Willingham hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning and Brian Dozier added a run-scoring single in the fifth as Shields threw 124 pitches while walking four in only six innings.

The Royals put together a rally late.  Glen Perkins gave up a leadoff double to Omar Infante and an RBI single to Eric Hosmer. Perkins came back to get three straight pop outs and record his 26th save of the season.

Same receiver busted for suspicion of pot with DGB in 2012 gets season long suspension from NCAA

Levi Copelin (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Levi Copelin (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

The NCAA suspended Mizzou sophomore wide receiver Levi Copelin for the 2014-15 season.  Copelin is from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

“The reason I am suspended is that I recently bought an over-the-counter nutritional supplement from a local store, and used it as part of my workout routine. Unfortunately, I used it without clearing it with my strength coaches or trainers. This supplement is legal and available to the public, but it isn’t approved by the NCAA, and as a result of using it, I failed an NCAA drug test. This was a stupid mistake on my part, and I’m very sorry that I put myself and my team in this situation. This is a hard lesson to learn, as I never had the wrong intentions. I also understand there aren’t any shortcuts to success. There’s nothing I can do except dedicate myself to representing me, my family, my team, and Mizzou the right way going forward. I’m very grateful to my coaches and my teammates for giving me a chance to overcome this.”

“This is a very unfortunate situation, but one that Levi created for himself. He’s paying the price for this mistake, and I commend him for owning up to it and taking responsibility. Our strength coaches and trainers rely on our players to be careful of what they do on their own, and to always get approval from them first. We’re disappointed that Levi didn’t follow this guideline, but we will support him during this time, and have high expectations that he will handle all of his responsibilities in the classroom, in the community and on the field in a first-class manner.”

University of Missouri police arrested Copelin along with Dorial Green-Beckham and Torey Boozer in October 2012 on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or fewer of marijuana. The three players later pleaded down charges to misdemeanor trespassing.

Copelin made four tackles on kickoff coverage and also blocked a punt and made three catches for 61 yards in all.