So, I mentioned in previous post (here) that it makes you wonder “what if” Roy Oswalt was a St. Louis Cardinal instead of a Philadelphia Phillie. Now, today, i read a story on MLB.com, that makes you wonder that same “what if” about Scott Rolen.
Now, I am a little more biased here. If you read my blog back in the day (like, say in 2006), you would know that as a Cardinal, Scott Rolen was my favorite player. Still, this MLB.com article backs up something that does not surprise me in the least.
The young, upstart Reds are .608 when their veteran, Scott Rolen, is in the lineup. When he’s not? They’re not even playing .500 ball. That is HUGE. It’s no secret that 3rd base has been a struggle for the Redbirds this year. At the beginning of the year we looked to have a great 3rd baseman in Rookie of the Year candidate, David Frese. Then we turned the position over to Tyler Greene. Then he got hurt. Then we suffered and screamed and yelled, as we saw guys who didn’t belong there flub play after play at the position. Yeah, I’m looking at you Felipe Lopez.
At least now we have an adequate player there in Pedro Feliz. He makes the routine plays. He’s good. But he’s no Scott Rolen. Rolen was literally a human vacuum cleaner at 3rd. He ate up everything that was hit to him and some things that weren’t. He was a big man, but he could dive for a ball on the line and jump up to throw him out faster than anybody. His arm was a cannon.
To have someone in that spot like Scott Rolen? It would be incredible. That says nothing about his bat. There have been some offense struggles this year. And I have no doubt that when Pujols or Holliday have struggled, Rolen would have been there to pick up the slack. Instead of Pujols, Edmonds & Rolen of ’06, we could have Pujols, Holliday & Rolen in ’10. But that never would have happened. It’s no secret that Rolen and LaRussa did not like each other very much. And now there’s the same sort of thing being said of LaRussa and Rasmus. Personally, I’m not much of a LaRussa fan and I wouldn’t be sad to see him leave after this year. But that’s for another blog.
In the end, I am sad. I am sad that we do not have Rolen on this team. We could use another veteran force. Yes, he’s a quiet guy, but that strong, silent type might be exactly what was needed to kick the Cardinal’s butts into gear. Rolen would never sluff off. He’s in it to play hard and to win. He hits a home run, puts his head down and runs the bases. That’s what I wish these young Cardinal guys had to look up to this year.
Another what if day,
Doesn’t it make you wonder what if the Cardinals has pursued Roy Oswalt? He was available prior to the trade deadline, had made it clear that he would like to be a Cardinal and that he would be willing to negotiate his price to make it happen. Obviously, I don’t know all the inner workings of the negotiations, but man, I wish that deal would have happened. I was fine with giving up Ludwick, but instead of Westbrook, to get Oswalt would have put us right there in serious competition with the Reds.
Look at the numbers. Since being a Phillie, Roy Oswalt…
- has a 6-1 record
- has posted a 1.98 ERA
- has struck out 54 in 9 games (average of 6 Ks per game)
- pitched 1 shutout
- posted a 0.93 WHIP
Roy Oswalt as our #4???? Are you kidding me? He would have given that extra punch that we have lacked since Brad Penny went down after game 9. Man, what if…..
Wishing Oswalt was wearing Cardinal red,
A 3 games series against the Cubs. A series that we could have
swept, just as easily as we could have lost all 3. So I am somewhat
thankful to escape with at least 1 win against the boys from
The odd thing was that the games were remarkably similar. Let's have
a recap, shall we?
- Cubs go up 3-0 within in the first 2 innings.
- Cardinals tie it 3-3, thanks to a 3 run shot by Albert.
- Cardinals go on to win the game in the bottom of the 9th thanks to small good old-fashioned small ball
- Final Score: 4-3 Cardinals
- Cubs go up 4-1 within the first 2 innings.
- In the bottom of the 9th, Albert gets things going with a double and is followed by a Ryan Ludwick home run, which leaves them just shy of a game-tying run.
- Final Score: 4-3 Cubs
- Cubs go up 3-0.
- Pujols gets things going with a run-scoring double, following a walk by Aaron Miles.
- In the bottom of the 9th, the Cards had 3 different runners on, but couldn’t seal the deal.
- Final Score: 3-2 Cubs
In all 3 games...
1)...the Cubs started out with a 3 run lead.
2)...the Cardinals mounted a comeback; 1 of them successful, two of
3)...the Cardinals made the 9th inning worth watching.
4)...the difference one tiny run.
5)...Albert Pujols was the rallying point, either the
first to score an RBI or a run and in one game, both.
Pujols went 5 for 13 (.385 AVG), with two doubles, a home run, 4 RBI
& 2 runs. Not surprising. He's always hit well against Chicago.
If only we could get him a little help. Yeah, Ludwick hit that
dinger and Miles was scrappy as always, scratching out walks and
infield hits, but come on. A couple of doubles by ANYBODY and we
could have had these games. The injuries are not helping.
Glaus has this shoulder problem now, which really isn't a big deal
for this series. The Cubs have had his number all year, save the 2
home run game he had after going like 1 in 500. But we could really
use him the rest of the series.
Add to that Ankiel, Molina and a host of other guys bit by the injury
bug and it's really a wonder we're still in this thing. It makes you
wonder that even if we do make it to October, how healthy of a team
we could put on the field. We know we're practically useless in the
postseason without Carpenter on the team and now it looks like he
won't even be back in a bullpen role, as previously thought.
The one really bright spot of the series? (Besides Albert,
of course.) I can't believe I'm going to say it, but the pitching.
They really came through. They were far from perfect, but they kept
us in it the entire game. The starters and the relievers teamed up
to pitch some pretty good ball. They got out of countless jams:
bases loaded, runners on the corners, you name it.
5 pitchers allowed 3 ER over 9 innings.
The Cubs left 8 on base.
5 pitchers allowed 3 ER over 9 innings.
The Cubs left 18 on base.
4 pitchers teamed up for 1 ER over 9 innings.
The Cubs left 9 on base.
The relief corps were especially impressive, with only 1 of those
runs being charged to a reliever.
Now what? Well, the Brewers fell to the Phils, so we keep pace
with them, but lose a game to the Phillies and the still streaking
Astros who crushed Pittsburgh 6-0 thanks to another outstanding
showing by Roy Oswalt. He went the distance in a shutout
performance, where he only allowed 3 hits.
Hopefully the Pittsburgh bats stay ice cold because we start our
next series against them tonight. And if we can't beat this last
place team, in the midst of a 6 game losing streak, then we don't
deserve to see October ball. We MUST take 2 of 3, if not a sweep or
I will declare it to be over for the Redbirds.
Moving on to Pittsburgh,