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The Big Day

Posted on July 31, 2008 at 8:00 AM
Filed Under: Atlanta Braves | Baseball | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals
For the second time this year, a start was highly anticipated, with ramifications for the rest of the season.  Unlike Mark Mulder's implosion, though, Chris Carpenter's night was much more of what we wanted to see.

Four innings was a little short, but he was getting close to his pitch count and came up in the top of the fifth, which was a logical place for a pinch-hitter.  He got stronger as the night went on, only allowed one run (though numerous base runners) and has something to build on for his next outing against the Dodgers at home.  (I'm sure he'll get a standing ovation when he takes the mound that night!)

It's another one of those nights where it's hard to pick a goat.  The bullpen did well, keeping the Cards in the game until they could pile on late.  All the starters got a hit.  Almost everyone either scored a run or drove one in.  It's a terrible day to pin it on someone, but since we are stuck with the conceit, we'll go with Troy Glaus again, only because his only hit and RBI came after the game was pretty much in hand.  Still, it was good to see him break his o-fer slide.

When I left work yesterday, it sounded like the Cardinals were real players for Jason Bay.  Now, not so much, especially with the Red Sox in the mix.  Also, it was almost a slam dunk the Cards were bringing Will Ohman back with them from Atlanta.  Matthew Leach says not so fast.  John Mozeliak says (you take what a GM says right now with some grains of salt, of course) that sending Randy Flores down was more about Carpenter's return than being close on a lefty.  So now what?

Maybe there will be an out-of-the-blue trade, like the Ken Griffey Jr. one that just came down.  But after seeing Carpenter's start last night, there has to be added pressure on Mozeliak to make a trade.  He's seen that Carp is back and will give a boost.  It's not that he went out there, his arm fell off, the season is pretty much over and there's no reason to deal.  He's back and that should keep the Cards in the race.

In other words, the players have done their part.  Isn't it time for the front office to do theirs?

I'm not suggesting they recklessly throw prospects at someone to make a deal and I realize that there may not be anything out there that will improve the team.  But I think Mozeliak has to work doubly hard today to make sure there's nothing.  Getting a trade done will help morale for the team as well, a team that is now tied for the National League Wild Card.

No matter what the front office does, the team gets another shot at Atlanta tonight before flying home to take on the Phillies this weekend.  And waiting for them tonight is an old "friend".

Remember way back when Mike Hampton was the most prized free agent on the market?  When the Cardinals made a huge push for him, coming up second to the Rockies because of the school system (and they paid more)?  Remember when Hampton used to dominate the Cardinals?  (He's 10-8 lifetime with a 3.59 ERA now, but it sure seemed like he was always beating the Cardinals in the 2000-2002 time period.)

Well, he's back.  Personally, I was surprised that he made it through his first start without getting placed back on the DL.  (Heck, getting through warmup tosses is an acheivement when you have Hampton's medical history.)  He does end the streak of the Cardinals facing entirely new-to-them pitchers, as a few Cardinal batters do have a history with him.  Pujols especially seems to enjoy facing him, but he enjoys facing most pitchers.

For the Cardinals, Joel Pineiro takes the mound.  It'd be really nice to see Pineiro go through six, at least, since the bullpen was used a little bit last night.  If he doesn't let Mark Kotsay beat him, he might have a chance to do that.

The Cardinals have a chance to really complete a crazy second half of July.  Four wins, five losses, win, loss, four wins (with one tonight).  For a team that was really consistent in the first half, usually winning two of three, they've been a bit streaky lately!

If the Cards make a move today, obviously places like MLB Trade Rumors and others such as the VEB fan posts will be good places to look, but I'll try to come back and give my opinion on it was well.   

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

Who knows who Mozeliak might deal for, or not? I'd like to see a lefty reliever as close to closer and light's out as possible. Sure, Waino can go back to the pen, but I'd rather see the Cards suddenly have on of, if not the, best starting rotations in baseball midway through August. No deal at all is okay too, because the Cards have lot of awesome propects that are starting to ping-pong around the various "levels of A."

No deal can be OK, but I think even a small deal would help at least the players know that the front office is behind them and thinks they have a chance.

I'd also love for Roy Halladay to be a surprise, really freeing up Wainwright for the bullpen (if necessary) or moving Looper or Wellemeyer there if not. Imagine Carp, Halladay, Wainwright, Lohse....

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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)

Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
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Lance Lynn (2)
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Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
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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%)

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%)

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%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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