Posted on April 22, 2009 at 10:54 PM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats
| New York Mets
| St. Louis Cardinals
I won't be around in the morning, so as I listen to the UCB Radio Hour, ably covered by Mike
, I thought I'd go ahead and give my initial thoughts on tonight's game
and a look forward to tomorrow afternoon's.
First off, I think the Hero tag really should go to Joel Pineiro
, not only because he was very successful tonight, but because he was very economical, being able to get into the ninth and really keep the bullpen off the field. The more rested they are, the better, as they showed last night with four scoreless innings after two days off.
Pineiro really seems to have made some adjustments and has shown that he can bounce back from tough outings. Will this last into the summer and fall? I wouldn't want to be that it would. However, I think we can safely say it won't be as bad as last year.
I commented on Daniel Murphy's left-field skills or lack thereof yesterday. I think the most telling thing on him tonight was Pineiro not hesitating to score from second on a base hit to left. It was close, but most of the time the pitcher is going to stop at third on that play.
There were numerous other good performances tonight. I really was impressed with Colby Rasmus tonight. Two for three, with the one out a deep opposite-field drive that was well-hit. I understood why Tony LaRussa pinch-hit for him later in the game with the bases loaded and the Mets bringing in a lefty, especially since the pinch-hitter was Ryan Ludwick, but with a three-run lead at the time I would have liked to see what Rasmus could have done in that situation.
Albert Pujols was two for three with a sac fly RBI. I thought he had gotten a hold of one in the first, but it died at the track, even though that did produce the RBI. With an afternoon game tomorrow and before I check on how he's done against Livan Hernandez, I predict he puts one over the wall in the series finale.
Really, there weren't too many bad performances to sift through to find tonight's Goat. Khalil Greene went 0 for 2, but drew two walks and scored a run. So, unfortunately, that again leaves us with Rick Ankiel
. An 0 for 4 with a really bad looking at-bat against Casey Fossum especially. I'm starting to be afraid that John Mozeliak may have missed his window to move Ankiel for the maximum amount of return.
I got a chance to see the segment on Fox Sports Midwest with Cal Eldred in LaRussa's office as he worked on the lineup. I thought it was very fascinating to hear TLR explain when he starts thinking about things, why he sits players when he does and other things. The announcers said that the second half of that would air tomorrow, the graphic said Friday. I hope it's Friday because I'd love to see it, especially if he starts talking about why he bats certain players in certain slots.
Let's look at tomorrow's pitching matchups and get out of here. As mentioned, Livan Hernandez is going for the Mets as they try to avoid the sweep. He's had good success
against the Cardinal batters, even keeping Pujols under .300. I'm still holding to the Pujols homer prediction, though.
The Cardinals counter with Kyle Lohse. If career numbers are any indication
, this could be an ugly one. Carlos Beltran has owned Lohse, smashing 4 homers off of him and hitting well over .500, and he's not the only one with gaudy numbers. That said, Lohse has defied the career numbers already this year and has said he's got a different approach and is a different pitcher. Tomorrow may be the strongest test of that this season.
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