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Three Days, Two Losses, One Rainout

Posted on April 20, 2009 at 10:12 AM
Filed Under: Chicago Cubs | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals
The problem with day games when I have other responsibilities that keep me from watching them is that the games seem like they never happened.  They are just recaps and numbers and you don't get a feel for how the team is going.  It'll likely be Wednesday before I get much of a chance to see this team again and it feels very strange.

Thankfully, I'm a blogger, which means I don't actually have to have any knowledge to talk about a topic.  Let's hit these last two games before discussing some issues that have come out of them.

Both of these losses to the Cubs have had the frustrating come-from-ahead quality that we saw out of this team last year.  Friday would have fit in well with 2008, as the Cards allowed a two-run home run to Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the 8th to erase their lead and send them on to defeat.

When you give up such a homer, you have to expect to get the Goat tag, so I'll assign it to Chris Perez.  However, if I hadn't set the standards and limited it to players on the field, this one could be a Tony LaRussa game.

The fact that Trever Miller is not good against right-handed batters is not a secret.  It's not one of those things that you really have to dig and use advanced sabermetrics stats to see.  Right-handers have slugged almost 100 points higher against him in the last three years than lefties have.  He's a LOOGY and needs to be used that way.  So why does LaRussa have him face the heart of the Cubs order, three of which are right-handed batters?  The first one, Derrick Lee, made some sense as there was a lefty behind him.  But continuing to stick with Miller after he got out Micah Hoffpauir was asking for trouble, trouble that answered the call.

There is little doubt, however, who the Hero was.  Ryan Ludwick went three for five, hit two homers and drove in four.  You have to figure he'll be back to full-time pretty soon.  Nice to see such a strong start for him.

Wish I'd been able to see how PJ Walters looked in his career debut.  His line isn't all that impressive--three runs in four innings--but on a day where Carlos Zambrano gave up seven in seven innings, looking at the box score may not be the best way to judge how that went.  With the rainout on Sunday, the fifth starter won't be needed for a little while.  Hopefully Walters will get another crack at it.

Saturday's game was a little less frustrating, since the Cards took a lead, lost it, then battled back to tie.  Anytime you get into the ninth or extras on the road, you can't get too worked up about it (unless you had a big lead late) because any mistake can lose the ball game for you.  It only takes one swing when you are the home team in extras.

Ironically, the same thing I just took LaRussa to task for (letting the lefty guy face righties) he did to end the Saturday game, but when you hit the 11th, it's not like you have a lot of options.  And, honestly, if you had to have one of those guys face a righty lineup, I'd rather it be Dennys Reyes.

Even though, if you read the game story, you might go with Kyle Lohse, I think I have to go with Rick Ankiel and his 0 for 6 day.  It sounds like a couple of those could have been hits and that the manager thinks Rick could be coming out of it, but 0 for 6 just doesn't happen that often and when it does, it's not good.

Heroically on Saturday, you'd look to Ludwick again.  The only person with two hits, he drove in two runs....right now, he's the team MVP after two weeks.

So a team that had no off days the first two week now gets two with Sunday's rainout.  It wouldn't be surprising to see a few things juggled today.  In fact, it's already started, as the rotation has been moved around.  Todd Wellemeyer, who was pushed back to Sunday's game with the Chris Carpenter injury/Walters callup, moves to Tuesday night's opener with the Mets.  Lohse stays on Wednesday, while Adam Wainwright goes in the series finale on Thursday.

With the rainout, it looks like David Freese might get a reprieve.  When there were discussions about adding a 13th pitcher due to the worn-out pen, Freese looked like the most likely to return to Memphis now that Josh Kinney was sent down for Walters.  With two days off, that's much less likely to happen.

It's a wild week of work and I'm not sure where blogging will fit into it, but I should be back tomorrow to take a look at the Mets series as well as any moves that get made today.  

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1 Comment | Leave a comment

Hopefully a couple of days off will be a nice break for this ball team. Unfortunately I had to experience both the Friday and Saturday loss in person as I extended my Cardinals losing streak in Wrigley Field to 5 games.

Ludwick was definitely the star of the series, no question. Pujols didn't look too hot on Fri/Sat. Perez walking Miles in front of Soriano on Friday was completely unacceptable... he's been struggling this season and to give him a free pass with a one run lead was terrible... and Alfonso made the Cardinals pay for it.

The starting pitching staff needs to come out with some strong performances against the Mets this week.

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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)
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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%)
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Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
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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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