Tagged: Mike Matheny

A few thoughts…

The Cardinals got killed in the first two games this series and finally came back and took the last one.  All of that you know, so no need to go into all of that.  But I do a have a few random thoughts about this series.  So, in no particular order, here we go…

1) 3 starters aren’t enough

Part of the reason we got killed the first two games, besides the O’s being super hot right now, is that we had shaky starting pitching.  They have their moments, but overall, Wainwright, Lynn and Miller and reliable.  In a short series, that’s fine.  But in a 7 game series, you need one more guy.  Right now, we have the possibilities of Lackey, Masterson and Wacha.  Each of these 3 have question marks for different reasons.  This needs to get straightened out ASAP.

2) We have to get better off the bench

A lot of these guys will do okay when you plug them into the starting lineup, but when they come in off the bench, not so much.  In their defense, there is nothing harder than sitting cold on the bench for 2 hours and then have to come in and swing at a 95 MPH fastball off the other team’s best reliever.  Nevertheless, that’s exactly what they’re getting made millions to do and they need to get it figured out.

3) Yadi has to get well pronto

Most of Yadi’s worth is not measured by his offensive number or the number of runners he throws out, as good as both of those things are.  It’s measured on all the guys who didn’t dare run on Yadi’s arm who have no problem going now.  It’s measured by how he handles his staff, the pitches he calls and the leader he is on the diamond.  Cruz and Pierzynski are doing fine in the offensive category.  But they don’t strike the same fear in the hearts of runners.  And you have to wonder that if Molina is behind the plate, do the Cardinals get blown out like that?  Maybe.  But there’s simply no way to know.

4) The Cardinals have to start playing like a playoff team

There’s this stigma that AL teams are better than NL teams.  Of course, that’s not always the case.  But in this series, it really seemed like a bunch of rookies trying to play with the big boys.  The Cardinals looked outmatched in every way until this final game.  What was the difference this last game?  Look no further than the team RISP.  The Cardinals have not been scoring a lot of runs this year.  And the first two games, every time the Orioles, threatened, they delivered.  In this game, Lynn kept them at bay.

Cardinals team RISP =  7 for 16                                                 Orioles team RiSP = 2 for 13

5) Instant replay

This is more funny to be than anything.  Buck Showalter motioned several times that he wanted the headset to talk to the guys who reversed the out call at 2nd base.  Matheny said something similar about a week ago.  “If they’re not going to give me the headset to yell at that guy, then it’s going to be someone on the field.”  I’ll be honest, you need a good manager / umpire fight every now and again.  As long as it doesn’t get carried away, it’s part of the game.

Conclusion: Everyone takes it for granted that the Cardinals are going to make it to the postseason every year.  And my money is on them making it rather than not.  I think until they show differently, the division is always theirs to lose.  But they also need to get on a roll.  It’s a little scary to still be 2 games out with just a little over a month to play.  I don’t want to win the wild card; they need to win the division.  One game for everything is too stressful.

Hope to see better results in Miami,

Tiffany

Pick-up basketball nabs another one

So I recently read about the latest prominent injury, that of newly
acquired Brewer ace, Zack Greinke.  He has a fractured rib and looks to
be out for a couple of weeks and missing about two starts.

A few things about this:

1) Brewer fans are probably livid that he did this playing pick-up basketball.

When
you’re a Major Leaguer, it’s not that you can’t play any other sports,
but rebounding hard in a friendly game?  Probably not worth doing damage
to your $27 million arm, especially when a team pulled out all the
stops to get you.  Also not the easiest way to get a fan base in your
corner.

Can you imagine if he did something more serious then
just a hairline fracture?  The Crew would really be sunk this year.  As
it is, a couple of missed starts in April is NOT the worst thing in the
world.  Losing ace Adam Wainwright for an entire year?  Now that
probably is the worst thing in the world.

2) Isn’t there something in professional contracts about not doing extreme things like skydiving and whatnot?

If
so, should there be something in there when a player inflicts damage on
himself?  Although at least Greinke did this playing a real sport. 
Remember Joel Zumaya?  He injured a finger on his pitching hand playing
Guitar Hero.  That’s right.  A video game.  And that was during the
ALCS.  So horrible timing even though his Tigers did end up moving on to
the World Series that year.  So yeah, it’s all perspective.  It can
always be worse.

3) Cardinals must take advantage

I
would never root for an opposing player to be injured.  And I do wish
Zack Greinke a quick and speedy recovery, just as I would hope opposing
fans would do for Wainwright.  But what’s done is done.  He is injured. 
He will miss 2-3 starts.  The Cardinals must take advantage of this
time.

I know games in April seem to mean less than late
September, but at the end of 162 games when you’re 1 or 2 games out of
contention, suddenly all of those missed chances in April start haunting
you.  Greinke will likely be a big winner for the Brewers this year and
be tough to beat.  So now, while they’re down a guy is the time for the
Cardinals to start ahead in the standings.

In other news,
Morneau is back for the Twins after missing extensive time with the
Twins because of a concussion.  The Twins are my favorite AL team and I
just like Morneau, in general, so I am thrilled to see him back. 
Concussions are scary and becoming way too common in baseball and have
ended the careers of far too many players.  Most recently was Jason
LaRue who suffered his from a kick to the end during an on-field
skirmish with the Reds and a run-in with Johnny Cueto’s spiked foot. 
Edmonds suffered lingering concussion effects after a bad run-in with an
outfield wall.  And one of my favorite Cardinals Mike Matheny’s career
ended early as well.  Here’s hoping a very productive season for Morneau
and all the Twins!

Greinke out, Morneau in,
Tiffany