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Splitting

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 10:29 AM
Filed Under: Baseball | Heroes and Goats | Houston Astros | Pittsburgh Pirates | St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards have been doing a lot of .500 ball playing lately.  They are 5-5 in their last 10, with a pattern of win two, lose one, win one, lose two, win one, lose two, win one.  It's a roller-coaster ride after the smooth winning pattern of the first couple of weeks.

They got back on the horse last night with patience and strong pitching.  While I wanted to go Hero-wise with Brian Barton, who was 2-4 with a walk and got the scoring started with a two-run double (on the first hit of the game), it's tough to argue with the numbers Joel Pineiro put up last night.  Seven innings of one-run ball, four hits, six strikeouts and bonus points for the kick-save out that will on highlight reels for years to come.  I think that's the second time this year that Pineiro has done a kick move like that, but the first time it's actually worked.  Besides Barton, honorable mention goes to Yadier Molina for three hits, including two doubles, and Albert Pujols for reaching base five times (though once was when he was thrown out going for a double).

Goat-wise, I guess you have to go with Ryan Ludwick for his 0-5 night.  He wasn't even able to coax a walk out of Tom Gorzelanny, something that just about everyone was able to do.  I really like the patience that the team is showing so far.  Especially with the weaker hitters.  If they are able to get on base, that just makes the offense that much more potent.

The Cardinals go home and get to match up with the streaking Houston Astros, who have won five in a row.  The Cardinals beat them two out of three in Houston earlier in the year, but the Cards will only face one pitcher they saw in that matchup.

That pitcher is Shawn Chacon, who goes tonight against Braden Looper.  The Cards were able to beat him last time, 5-3, but historically they've had their troubles against him.  Chris Duncan has had success in limited action against him, so you figure to see him out there tonight.  Then again, since it's a right hander on the mound, you figure all the lefties will be in the lineup.  Which is too bad for Brian Barton, after his strong game, but if Ludwick got benched after hitting home runs in three straight games because a righty was on the mound, Barton has little room to argue.

Looper has done all right against the Astros and hopefully will continue that this evening.  He wasn't anything special last time out, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings, but he did get the win.  Which is what counts the most, right?

The biggest key to this series will be getting the guys out in front of Lance Berkman.  Berkman always seems to kill the Cardinals, so the pitchers are going to have to do their best to limit the damage.  To a lesser degree, Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada are also threats, but I personally will always breath easier when Berkman is retired.

And Saturday's matchup should be a lot of fun, with Adam Wainwright against Roy Oswalt.  If Oswalt's on his game (something that's eluded him a lot in 2008), that could be a pitcher's duel that ranks right up there with another Saturday afternoon game against the 'Stros.

The series preview and the YNOT are up at the Clubhouse, so check those out as well.


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4 Comments

4 Comments | Leave a comment

You are quite right about the patience. Against the Brewers and the Giants they were pressing. First pitch swinging in the eighth and ninth while trailing always leads to trouble. I was glad to see them back off a bit.

Barton did get the scoring started, and he did have two hits, but don't forget about his lapses. When Gorzellany walked three consecutive batters, Barton came up and fouled off the very first pitch with a check swing. Then he got picked off second base. Then he had an ugly throw from right that missed the cut off and made it all the way to the backstop.

I'm not saying the bad outweighed the good by any means, but I'm not so sure I call his overall game "strong".

Anyway, just my two cents. Keep up the good work. Go Cards!!

Good points, Mike. I didn't actually see some of that, going by the boxscores for the part I didn't see. That definitely would be enough to take him out of the Hero running, but still a good game with the bat for the most part.

When playing .500 ball is your slump, things will go well for the season.

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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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