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Epic Frustration

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Philadelphia Phillies | St. Louis Cardinals
If you follow Bob from On The Outside Corner over on Twitter (and if you don't, go follow throatwarbler right now) you know that he, from time to time, has Twitter Tales.  Stories about games gone by, descriptions of some of the past triumphs and failures of the St. Louis nine.  Something tells me that last night's eighth inning won't be one he's passing along in 5-10 years.

It's too bad, because it began like a great one for fans to relay down to the next generation, one that seemed to put the Albert Pujols issue behind them and get them started on the right foot during this time without their star.  Kyle McClellan was easily the Hero, limiting a very tough Philadelphia team to just one run over seven innings in his second game back from the disabled list (and following up a very rough start against Washington).  McClellan seemed in command all night, though he did allow four walks.  The Cardinal offense was struggling, but they were facing Roy Halladay so it wasn't surprising.  They also proved he was human, taking a 1-0 lead against him before they tied it back up.

Mark Hamilton had a key hit in the bottom of the seventh off of Michael Stutes as, surprisingly, Halladay was done after six.  The Cards manufactured a run and took a 2-1 lead into the eighth.

Oh, the eighth.

It's very, very difficult to figure out which reliever should get the Goat tag.  My first inclination was to go with Trever Miller.  After all, if he does his job, things might go a little differently that inning.  Then again, he did actually get an out, which is more than come can say, and he didn't physically allow runners to score, though he was charged with two runs.

Then you have Jason Motte.  Tony La Russa said that, no matter what, Motte was going to face Ryan Howard.  Which seems a bit strange knowing that Howard historically struggles against lefties (and while he might be hitting them for a higher average than righties this year, it's a small gap and he slugs way less against the southpaws, with all his home runs coming off of righties) and if there's anything that Howard would be able to hit, it's a strong fastball.

Motte, though, had major command issues, plunking both Howard and Placido Polanco to blow the lead.  Not often you see a box score line with 0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 ER.

Brian Tallet and he did get one out, but he also allowed the go-ahead run to score.  Now, even if nothing else happens in that inning, the Cards were behind the eight ball, needing a run in the last couple of innings, but at least it was a reasonable possibility.

So the tag has to go to Miguel Batista, who saw the flames smoldering, rushed over, and grabbed a gas can to throw on it. Two bases-loaded walks, then a two-run single made the game academic, so much so that Maikel Cleto came into the game instead of Mitchell Boggs,  The big question is, why wasn't Boggs brought in instead of Batista there?

Batista's last outing against Kansas City went well, but he allowed five runs against Washington and a run against Houston in his outings before that.  Boggs hasn't allowed a run since his return to the big club, going 5.2 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.  If you wanted to keep a game close, it would seem Boggs was a better choice there, unless he was being saved for the ninth instead of Fernando Salas.

So the no-Albert stretch starts off poorly and a game like that has a chance to overshadow the whole series.  It's interesting that this morning there is some suggestion of Pujols not being out as long as feared.  He already is feeling good and you know he's going to be itching to push his timetable as much as possible.  It'll be interesting to see what the examination in 10 days shows, whether he's healing quickly or not.

However, some things don't change, as Pujols still didn't want to talk about how this injury might affect his contract status.  He called a question "stupid" and walked off, but to be fair, Joe Strauss was the one asking the question and, as condescending as Strauss can be, turnabout is somewhat fair play.  Heaven knows Strauss has frustrated enough people in his day. 

John Mozeliak says they aren't going to talk contract during this time and, as much as I can understand why people would want them to, this might be the right move.  Trying to push an advantage right now most likely only ticks off the Pujols camp and pushes them farther away from an agreement.  The odds are they wouldn't come to an agreement anyway as the Pujols camp will want to see how he recovers from this and are not interested in selling the big guy short.  Mo's respecting of the process could pay dividends down the road.

Kyle Lohse goes tonight, hoping that his 2011 magic isn't wearing off.  His numbers against the Phillies:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Raul Ibanez 35 30 9 0 0 3 9 4 3 .300 .371 .600 .971 0 0 2
Placido Polanco 24 22 8 0 0 0 3 1 1 .364 .417 .364 .780 0 1 2
Jimmy Rollins 23 21 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .143 .217 .143 .360 0 0 1
Chase Utley 21 17 3 1 0 0 1 3 3 .176 .333 .235 .569 0 1 0
Shane Victorino 18 17 4 2 0 0 0 1 2 .235 .278 .353 .631 0 0 0
Ryan Howard 17 13 6 0 0 1 6 4 5 .462 .588 .692 1.281 0 0 0
Carlos Ruiz 14 14 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 .214 .214 .286 .500 0 0 0
Roy Oswalt 11 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .286 .429 0 0 0
Ross Gload 8 5 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 .200 .375 .200 .575 0 0 0
Wilson Valdez 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .250 .400 .250 .650 0 0 0
Roy Halladay 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Cole Hamels 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Total 180 154 40 5 0 4 21 18 23 .260 .341 .370 .711 0 2 5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2011.

Polanco has done well against him, but I've not heard how being hit by the Motte pitch has affected him, whether he'll be in the lineup or not. 

Cliff Lee opposes Lohse.  Career numbers:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Ryan Theriot 15 13 4 0 0 0 2 2 2 .308 .400 .308 .708 0 0 0
Lance Berkman 11 9 3 2 0 0 3 2 0 .333 .455 .556 1.010 0 0 0
Albert Pujols 10 8 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 .125 .300 .125 .425 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 9 9 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 .222 .222 .333 .556 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 6 2 1 0 0 0 1 4 0 .500 .833 .500 1.333 0 0 0
Jon Jay 4 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 1
Colby Rasmus 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Skip Schumaker 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Jake Westbrook 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 64 52 12 3 0 0 7 10 6 .231 .355 .288 .643 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2011.

Lee's not going to walk six like he did last time out. It's going to be a very tough battle and it's made even tougher by knowing that, if Lohse can only go seven (or less), even if he leaves with a lead, there's no telling how the game will come out.

Hopefully they can shake it off and have a good outing today.  Going to be a tough one, though.

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1 Comments

1 Comment | Leave a comment

It's a shame that Pujols got injured, but the Cardinals will be alright if he isn't out that long.

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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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