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Forces of Nature, Both Cardinal and Otherwise

Posted on April 23, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Filed Under: Cincinnati Reds | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals | Washington Nationals
The last two days, we've seen Kyle Lohse mow through the Washington Nationals and then a natural storm mow through St. Louis.  Let's look at both games, but first my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the storms last night.  Springtime can be a wonderful time, but it has its darker edge as well.

Thursday (5-0 win)
Hero: Kyle Lohse. This is what the Cardinals thought they were getting when they signed Lohse to the long-term contract.  And, when he's been healthy, this is pretty close to what they've gotten.  People tend to forget that, before being plunked by a Ron Mahay pitch in a game against Kansas City, Lohse's 2009 was very strong as well.  After that pitch, he never was quite the same until the surgery he had late last season.  Now, he looks very, very good and could easily slide into that third starter role if Jake Westbrook continues to struggle.

Goat: Ryan Theriot.  A number of guys got shut down in this one, as the offense was pretty dormant between Matt Holliday's home run in the first and Albert Pujols's home run in the eighth.  My natural bias in those situations is to penalize the leadoff hitter, because his job really is to get on base.  Tie goes to the leadoff guy, as it were.

Notes: Holliday continues to rake, getting two hits and having his average well over .400.  Nice to see Albert get into one as well, as he continues to look more Albert-ish.

Friday (4-2 win)
Hero: Ryan Theriot.  This guy is going to dominate the charts this year, it looks like.  After a couple of 0-fer games, he breaks out with three hits and scores two of the teams runs.  He may be a streaky player, but so far it's been pretty effective for what the team needs.  I'm still not excited about the infield defense, but I will admit having offense in those slots makes up for some of it.

Goat: I'm going to slap this one on Daniel Descalso because he did go 0-3 and I'd like to see him produce enough to make it at least a controversy when Skip Schumaker returns.  That said, he did have a couple of nice plays in the field, getting a double play started on one.

Notes: Kudos to Tony La Russa.  You can question whether or not the game should have started, but if he did that to burn Edinson Volquez, it worked like a charm.  I was shocked when my MLB At Bat let me know that Miguel Batista was on the mound to start the game, but when the delay came and the reasoning behind all of that was made clear, it was a very smart tactical decision.  Reds fans are probably calling it dirty, but as I said on Twitter last night, sometimes the difference between dirty and smart is whether it is your team.  I think some of us would have been disappointed if this had happened in Cincinnati, but I also think we'd have been willing to give credit where credit was due if it'd happened to us.

Also, very solid game out of Kyle McClellan.  Getting to use him instead of making it a bullpen game was probably the difference in a win and a loss.  McClellan wasn't the sharpest he's been--three walks against only two strikeouts in six innings--but he was able to get out of most of the jams and keep the Cards in the lead.  I'm sure he wasn't thrilled about letting up a home run to Brandon Phillips though.  Of all people to go yard.....

Liked what we saw out of Eduardo Sanchez last night as well.  To come into his most pressure-filled outing of his young career and to work out of that jam was very impressive.  He added to the degree of difficulty by throwing a couple of wild pitches, though they looked like ones that Yadier Molina might have gotten to on most nights.  Still, he only allowed one run and kept the Cards ahead, which makes for a successful outing.

Good to see Jason Motte do fairly well, though he struggled at the end of it.  The differences between him and Mitchell Boggs, who came in for his second save, are pretty apparent.  Motte's a great guy to have start the eighth of a game you are winning, but once he starts to get into trouble, he doesn't seem to have enough command to use anything other than his fastball.  Boggs came in following him with some different looks and it really confused the Reds hitters.

Gotta wrap this up as I'm about to head out to a family gathering, but it's Chris Carpenter vs. Travis Wood today on Fox.  It's a good matchup for the Cards, though I think they struggled some with Wood last year.  The way this offense is going, though, I don't think that'll be much of an issue today.  Assuming we get the real Chris Carpenter, there's a strong chance the Redbirds can win the series today.

 
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1 Comments

1 Comment | Leave a comment

Is it really fair to have a goat when the team wins? Enjoyed the post though.

Also, my thoughts are with the tornado victims as well.

Lohse and McClellan are both doing great!

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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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