Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Benjamin Linus Would Be Proud

I was about to make the case that the Cardinals are losing a lot of close games and are thus better than their record shows. They are making silly errors (see: Duncan, last night), stranding more people than Oceanic Flight 815, getting line-drives caught like colds in January, and having overall simple bad luck. 7/11, no, not the store, of the Redbirds' losses are what I call winnable (winnable means that if one small thing had gone differently it could have easily been a W for the good guys). The Cardinals lead MLB with 231 LOB. Sure, that's partially due to the Cardinals ranked #1 OBP (tied with the Cubs at .367). This is actually good news, because it is just a matter of time before those base runners get home. The Cards, while having made a few very untimely errors, only have 12 errors on the season--good enough for a tie for 5th best. However, I started looking at the W's and there are a slew of single run wins as well. 6/16 were one run games. Add in a couple of losable games and we're lookin' at 50% of our wins. What's that mean? I think it means our record accurately reflects the team thus far. Perhaps we're a bit better than we appear in the standings.

You know the guy I'm talkin' about. He has Austrailia--the purples. He doesn't look menacing in his little corner of the board. He has to fight through the mess that is Asia. But then all of a sudden, one turn, his paltry forces have accumulated into a fearsome pile of plastic impunity. I'd like to think that the rolls will go the Cardinals' way soon.

Looks like I might make that case after all.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Batting McClellan Bottom 8th

It might be a little too early...but it's been two games that one might expect Izzy and TLR has avoided him. Sure, today was not a save situation (4 run lead), but McClellan was left in the game (with one out) to sacrifice with Molina at first. Doesn't seem to be a sign of a whole lot of confidence in our normal closer. Sure, you could say that TLR is simply giving Izzy some time to recover from the fiasco a couple of nights ago. But the night before TLR let a pitcher go all the way for the first time all year--which, btw, was a save situation. It's too early to come to any conclusions, but I wouldn't be surprised to see McClellan or another pitcher be groomed for the closer role in the near future.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

That's one way...

..to handle the bullpen issues. I've always preferred Wainwright closing out games.

Bullpen Issues

We have them. We have them badly. Something needs to be done. No, we still need protection for Pujols. A little more offense and we still mighta pulled it off. But Izzy is getting HAMMERED. Perhaps we can just move some from the rotation once the big guns get back.


Friday, April 25, 2008

For Love of the Cardinals

Dear Cardinals Admin,

I'm not the only one. Sure, I've brought it up before, but I'm saying it again now. Pujols is in the prime of his career and you all didn't sign him to that big contract to watch him get walked 1/3 of his AB. Even worse, he isn't on this team so that he can get waked 50%+ with MoB. I'm not saying Pujols isn't a team player, but you have to think that he may get the itch to play with a team that will give him chances.

But, even if you don't do it for the team or for Pujols, you should do it for me. I don't want to watch Skip stretch a single into a double only to watch someone fly out and then 1b is glaringly open. With Pujols 3rd, 9,1, and 2 are not gettin' on base enough. EVERYONE knows that's why the pitcher hits 8th on this team. But I'm gettin' off topic.

I'm not even saying that you have to go out and get Barry Bonds. But, if you care for Pujols, who obviously cares for this franchise (look how cheaply you got him for many years), if you care for his legacy (and thus the future legacy of the Cardinals), if you care for releasing a quality product for your fans, then by any and all means necessary GET SOME FREAKING PROTECTION FOR THE MAN! Ortiz has Manny, A-Rod has an entire team, and Vlad has half a team. I'm not saying that the Cards go out like the American league Warbuckses. But this team needs another superstar. Rolen filled the roll nicely for a couple of years, but the time has come for protecting YOUR INVESTMENT. Your money will be better spent if a fearsome hitter is acquired. Glaus is solid, but not even close to your answer.

I am thrilled for the potential of Ankiel, Ludwick, Ryan, et.al., but they are not the answers either--at least not that I can see now.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Cards, but this is a glaring weakness and problem. Pujols is one of those players that will be legendary. He's one of those guys who is willing to get paid less than others of lesser talent just for the team. Let's make sure this continues to be a place where the relationship is mutually beneficial. Ask not what your Pujols can do for you! Ask what can you do for your Pujols!

This message brought to you by the blogger who hopes his progressive dinner inning isn't like the 6th inning of tonight's Astros game (Looper singles, Ryan flies out, Schumaker double play).

Why are you a Cardinals fan?

Someone asked about my "Cardinals experience." Therefore, I thought I would share my brief response.

My first memory of baseball was my dad jumping up and down screaming as the ball rolled underneath Buckner's legs. Now, I'm not as young as that may sound, but I didn't start watching baseball from the cradle. However, I wasn't old either--7 years old. I'm sure in my household I would have watched some games before that--but that is when it stuck. Following the '86 World Series, I started watching the Cardinals in '87. It was my first full season of following baseball. As far as I'm concerned they're the greatest team ever and they got hosed in the series against the Twins. Tommy Herr was SAFE! That stupid Metrodome and those stupid hankies. Seriously, that's when I fell in love with the Cards. Ironically enough, I loved the 3rd base incident with Will Clark--who even though I loved the Cards became my favorite player. When Clark ended his career with the Cardinals I was thrilled. I enjoy the classy nature of the Card's organization yet they have a gritty and "bootstraped" history. I am proud to be a Card's fan especially because of the overall class and IQ of Cardinals fans (when I sent out that response I misspelled "especially" LOL). Soooo, enough about me. Tell me, if you like, when did you come to like the Cardinals?
BTW If you didn't see it, watch Osgoo...errr Pineiro with the kick save.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Here's a comment made on Obviously You're not a Golfer

..in Cardinals Nation, not knowing how to spell Albert's last name is like not knowing the pledge of allegiance..."

Seriously, I think I need stitches...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What They Were Thinking

Here's a snippet from one of favorite Cardinal blogs, Fungoes: "Happily, the team corrected the problem today, but we’re concerned about the thought process that animated such a reckless decision."

This was regarding the decision to option Washington (536 OPS; .158 BA) instead of the expected Brad Thompson. The decision to go short handed in the infield caused some unorthodox moves to say the least. Fungoes does a great job of explaining the potential disaster that could have occurred from having too many pitchers.

The slight injury to Izturis has forced the call-up of Brendan Ryan (SS) and the demotion of Thompson.

However, I offer these thoughts on the aforementioned "thought process".

A. There have been several times that TLR has played his cards differently than the norm. Yet, often times it seems as though those gambles have paid off. No, they don't always work, but when they do they appear as genius.

B. It is clear that no one could have predicted the injury to Izturis. Had TLR et.al. known this, I doubt Washington would have been moved down.

C. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that player options had something to do with it. Washington was a flier and if I am not mistaken has never been called up before. I mean, if you don't want to lose an option on Thompson, who else are you going to send down?

D. TLR was having a tough time fitting Washington into the lineup as it was. And with that anemic OPS who's to blame him? Don't get me wrong, Rico was a feel good story about a guy finally getting his chance (been in the minors from 10+ years). 2/7 of Washington's appearances were in the outfield anyway.

All in all, I agree that sending Rico was prolly the wrong move. However, eating up one of Rico's options (especially if he is eligible for a 4th) is not half as bad as taking ANOTHER of Thompson's. However, the semi-injury to Izturis makes this all moot.

So...now the real question becomes: Why isn't Ludwick starting every game?



Another..."good loss". Okay, but there are beginning to be to many. Perhaps I got to excited with our hot start and we are slowly drifting back to reality. Maybe I just shouldn't complain about splitting a series with the Brewers. It's only the second split series of the year (only one lost series). Please excuse the construction, but I had to get rid of a lot of dead links and put in links to new blogs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Mac Land

On the anniversary of the longest homer ever, Pujols' left the yard in a HURRY! More on this in the AM.

That's How to Lose

This is how you want to lose a ball game. Fielder's quasi-pop fly had bifocals and dropped catastrophically into left field. This was the only reason why we went to extra innings. It's the way you want to lose. Last night, in my weekly poker match, I made it to head's-up play by some tight play at a loose table. I was short stacked but with confidence. I flop trip 8's. I go all in, my opponent calls with Q-4 of hearts. One heart on the flop. You know what came on the turn and the river. See that's what I'm talkin' about. That's how you want to lose. Put yourself in position to take care of those and we're talkin' October. Sure 3 runs isn't enough to install massive amounts of confidence, but we're going to have those games. I'm more than happy to take 2 outta 3 against the Brewers.

So....ehhh...Ludwick is on fire. I told ya! Actually, I've been yellin' about him for several seasons now. Huh? You checked my archives and you only saw one post on him. Okay...but I said I've been yellin' about him. I didn't necessarily mean posting. Anyhoo...I knew it. Proof or not. Now the question is...how much staying power do Ludwick and co. have?


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lucky Lucky

The Cardinals clinched another series victory. They haven't lost a series yet (splitting the away series with the Giants). Tonight they'll get the brooms and dustpans ready. Last night was verrrry lucky. I don't know if anyone at the ball park got a good look at Shu's homer, but from my angle it didn't look like it cleared. However, the closest person to it (RF Hart) didn't seem to object much. At least not on my TV. Perhaps he was objecting but wasn't shown. The debated homer aside, Izzy was gettin' hammered. The two doubles were hammered to RF. Pujols made amends for his gaff a few nights ago with a snazzy snag of another well hit ball to RF. Looks like Izzy is up to the same ole tricks. His pretty ERA took a beating and is up to 4.91. Nevertheless, the lineup put up the hits and the runs. As for me, I'd like to not have to rely on disputed and picther homeruns for my "W's."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cards Vs. Umps

Don't be fooled. The Cards were playing the Umpires more this series than the Giants. Horribly inconsistent strikezones. Last night's game during the ninth was the worst. Ludwick and Duncan both called out on what was clearly a ball each time.

All in all I am really happy with the way the Cards are losing...losing close games. It's a sign of good things.

Ludwick is playing some great ball.

What would the outcome have been if that first pitch to Pujols hadn't been a wild pitch? Bummer...


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Starting Pitching

It was another solid outing for the rotation as Wellemeyer (7ip 2 er). However, a 9th inning rally to tie it up was overcome by a walkoff homer. Good Astros pitching and some lucky positioning was too much to overcome (not to mention a horrific Hickox strikezone). Hopefully Duncan's plate awareness will improve as he was made to look quite silly. The lefty, Wandy, seemed to baffle several Cardinal batters. The southpaw advantage left hot Ankiel hitless. Pujols got his first hit off Rodriguez.

However, my biggest gripe is once again about that joke of stadium. Towels HR once again would have been in a double or an out in most parks. Tejada played very well for the 'Stros as his defensive performance plus his walkoff (no doubter) made him the player of the game.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Feelin' Good

I know it's the start of the season and even the Pirates fans are feelin' good. However, I'm stolked...and for several reasons:
  • The Redbirds are a young team for a change. 15 of the active roster are under 30. While many are pushing 30, it is a big change from what we had last year. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Rolen and Edmonds. But it's nice to know that things seem to be on the upswing again.
  • The entire outfield is new and they seem to be excited to play ball. The talent of this group is eye popping. Here's hoping it comes to fruition on the field.
  • Rico Washington finally getting his chance is reeeeeeaaallly cool.
  • Last night's performance was nice to see after the debacle that was our first loss. I was wondering which will be the real Cards: the team that jumped out to a 5-1 lead on opening night or the team that blew a tiny 1 run lead through mistakes.
  • Welly pitched fairly well.
  • The only bad performance might be considered: Franklin. The bullpen has not been impressive so far.
  • Overall, if this team can hold on till Carpenter, Mulder, and Clement...yikes.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Day 1--kinda

Well I have a daughter. Born during Spring training no less. Yes, I have a daddy and daughter matching Pujols shirts. Yes, she'll have to grow into it (she's only up to 6lbs 2 oz--it's for 3-6 month babies). Yes, she was upset that the game got rained out. Yes, she thinks that the PPD rule in baseball is one of the worst in all sports. Yes, I was extremely disappointed that I stayed up to watch the game (6 hour difference here in Ireland). Yes, I plan on posting more often.

Baseball is even better when you get to watch it with your own kid.