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,
I started this blog in 2006. I was living in Europe, with little to no baseball contact. It was my way of keeping in contact with the sport I loved most in the world. Coincidentally, this was also the year the Cardinals won the World Series. I blogged it every step of the way that year and had a decent number of readers. I blogged the rest of my time in Spain, but once I moved back to the States, and was around baseball a lot more, I stopped.
With all that being said, it’s been a few years since my last blog.
However, I have missed writing about baseball and most importantly, the Cardinals. So I decided to give it a shot again. I’m sure none of my former readers are still around. But maybe some new people will find my blog and hopefully you will like it!
So let’s talk Cardinal baseball!
We have a little less than 2 months to play in the season and it’s a very close race. The Redbirds sit one game out in the division behind Milwaukee and the Wild Card race is tight as well. The Cards are tied with San Fran at the moment, but the Pirates, Braves and Reds are all within 5 games. So, as they say, this is baseball and anything can happen.
Tonight, we watch one of the “trade deadline stories,” unfold as two best friends and former teammates go against each other. Shelby Miller (Cardinals) and Joe Kelly (Red Sox) were the best men in each other’s weddings last year. But after Kelly was unexpectedly traded at the deadline, he now will have to go against his former team. You can’t write movie scripts this dramatic.
They’re trying to keep it light though. Don’t tell Pete Rose, but they have a $100 bet about who will get a hit off of who first. My money is on Kelly. He’s the better hitter of the two.
On another note, how great has Pat Neshek been? Yeah, he was an All-Star, but I would wager that most people outside of Cardinal fans don’t know who this guy is. If you’re one of them, allow me to explain.
Neshek didn’t have a team this spring, but the Cardinals signed him to a minor league deal. He made the team as a righty specialist and man, has he been good. He earned his 5th W of the season last night, making him 5-0 this year, with a miniscule .078 ERA. .078!! Are you kidding me? He also has 2 saves to boot. All this in 46 1/3 innings pitched in 51 games. The Cardinals have a long line of success stories of pitchers who were okay with other teams and come to St. Louis and are great and do big things in the postseason. He’s looking like he will be next. And I can only hope that Masterson will be another one.
Miller over Kelly,