Blogs By FansC70 At The Bat
Sponsor
Cardinals_WideSkyscraper.jpg

Baseball Schedule is your best source for the latest St Louis Cardinals Schedule information as well as keeping up with division rivals including Cubs Schedule, Reds Schedule, Brewers Schedule and Astros Schedule.

Bet on the Cardinals with Sports Interaction's MLB betting lines


Slots Galore Casino Tournaments

Get your tickets from Bubba! Cheap St. Louis Cardinals Tickets and more, including tickets for the next MLB All-Star Game. Bubba's got Boston Red Sox Tickets and New York Yankees Tickets

Subscribe
RSS Feed

Archives

Players

Categories


Alliance tickets has an extensive inventory of St. Louis Cardinals Tickets , Colorado Rockies Tickets, San Francisco Giants Tickets and Seattle MarinersTickets.

With all of the St Louis tickets out there, Cardinals tickets and Rams tickets make for great presents. GoTickets.com can fill all of your sports tickets needs, just check out our testimonials

Is It Too Late?

Posted on July 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM
Filed Under: Chicago Cubs | Heroes and Goats | Houston Astros | St. Louis Cardinals
The idea at the trade deadline is to give a team an added boost to push them to the finish line.  While it's way too early to determine whether it worked or not here, the last couple of nights have reinforced an idea that has been floating around, that it may be not enough for this team.

Let's look at last night first before examining the bigger picture.  In his first outing, Marc Rzepczynksi gets the Hero tag, throwing two very impressive innings in relief.  Not limited to just LOOGY status, he struck out four of the seven batters he faced, allowing just a solitary hit.  On Twitter, there was some discussion about why he was allowed to throw two innings (the pitch count was a season high), but he handled it well.  I'd suggest that either Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan wanted to really see what they had in Rzepczynski or the stretching him out process has already begun.  Whatever the case, he looks like a good addition to the bullpen, if last night is representative of what he can do.

Corey Patterson and Octavio Dotel also got into the action with positive marks on the scoreboard.  Patterson drove in the first run of the game while Dotel threw a scoreless ninth.  At least for one night, there wasn't much complaining about what came back in the deal.

Among the regulars, it was good to see Albert Pujols have a couple of doubles, but there just wasn't much else going from the offensive side of things.  If Houston trades Wandy Rodriguez, I hope it's to the American League so the Cards don't have to face him nearly as often.

Flipping the focus, Jaime Garcia was off last night.  I don't know if the law of averages is catching up to him, but his last two road starts--where he had been struggling--were excellent, while he comes home--a place where he'd been dominant--and allowed five runs and was generally inefficient, throwing just under 100 pitches in six innings.

Really, that's the key.  If it's a good night for Garcia, he throws about 8 innings in that many pitches.  If he starts scuffling early, it's probably going to be a short night for him.  That's the way it was last night.  Granted, he had some complications and one of the charges against Garcia has been his ability to lose focus at times, but on the whole, not what we wanted to see out of him in a game that was a needed win.

So the Cardinals reach the midway point in this series against one of the worst teams in the NL with two wins and their top two pitchers going next.  They wind up with an unsatisfying split, which seems to be par for the course for this team.

Since June 1, this team is 22-27 by my count.  Granted, there were some injuries that played a part in that, but the idea coming out of the All-Star break was that this team was ready to rock and roll, ready to put up a strong second half.  Instead, they are just 6-7 so far since the game out in Arizona.  While the competition has been better than doormats, they still should be better than that.  Right now, this team feels like mediocrity.

Of course, mediocrity might be enough to win the NL Central, but I'd be a little surprised.  The Cards sit tied for second, 1.5 games behind Milwaukee for the division lead.  It's not like Milwaukee or Pittsburgh is tearing things up either, but right now all it'll take is one medium-sized winning streak from either team and the Cardinals might be too far out to worry about it.

This team, from a fan's point of view, still just feels out of sync.  Last night was an example--as soon as the team shores up its pitching staff, three position players leave because of injury.  Tony Cruz and Gerald Laird sound like they should be ready tonight or tomorrow, but Nick Punto, who is working on that "oft-injured" descriptor to go in front of his name, may wind up back on the DL.  While the manager continues to say that Allen Craig may not be ready yet, if Punto hits the DL (and with Craig getting two hits in Memphis last night), I'd be surprised if that's not the move that's made.

We know if the offense gets clicking and starting working with a pitching staff on a roll, very good things can happen in St. Louis.  All the parts are here (though one right now, Lance Berkman, apparently is still not likely to play tonight either) to make a run.  Whether they'll all get on the same page is a question that is likely to linger for some time, and the longer it lingers, the less likely it is to happen or, at least, happen in time.

Just as a passing note, a Chicago columnist has suggested that the White Sox didn't take Colby Rasmus because they wanted Tony La Russa to manage for them next year.  I'm thinking that if Cardinal management didn't have a strong feeling TLR was coming back next year, they'd have been more likely to tell them to deal with each other for a couple of months. It was the fact that La Russa was going to be around for longer than this season that gave the club the impetus to trade him.

Edwin Jackson makes his Cardinal debut tonight and gets to jump straight into the Cards/Cubs rivalry.  He's had some experience against the North Siders, but has it been good?

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Marlon Byrd 13 13 3 1 0 1 4 0 2 .231 .231 .538 .769 0 0 0
Alfonso Soriano 13 12 4 1 0 1 3 0 4 .333 .385 .667 1.051 0 1 0
Carlos Pena 11 7 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 .000 .364 .000 .364 1 0 0
Geovany Soto 10 7 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 .000 .200 .000 .200 1 0 0
Blake DeWitt 7 7 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 .286 .286 .286 .571 0 0 0
Starlin Castro 6 6 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0
Aramis Ramirez 6 5 2 0 0 1 2 0 1 .400 .333 1.000 1.333 0 0 0
Reed Johnson 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 .250 .400 .500 .900 0 0 1
Darwin Barney 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .667 1.000 0 0 0
Ryan Dempster 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Randy Wells 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 79 69 14 4 0 3 17 7 14 .203 .278 .391 .670 2 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/29/2011.

Not as much experience against them as I thought, but it has been pretty positive. Looks like Alfonso Soriano is the guy Jackson needs to be the most aware of. 

For the Cubbies, Matt Garza takes the hill. He's a pretty new face to most of the Cardinals.
 
PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Lance Berkman 18 15 2 0 0 0 1 2 4 .133 .222 .133 .356 0 0 0
Gerald Laird 15 12 2 1 0 0 2 2 5 .167 .333 .250 .583 0 1 0
Matt Holliday 12 11 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 .182 .250 .182 .432 0 0 0
Corey Patterson 11 10 6 1 0 1 1 1 2 .600 .636 1.000 1.636 0 0 0
Albert Pujols 5 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .250 .400 .250 .650 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Skip Schumaker 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 0 0 0
Ryan Theriot 3 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 .500 .667 .500 1.167 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 0 0 0
Nick Punto 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.500 2.500 0 0 0
Jake Westbrook 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 75 63 19 3 0 1 7 9 15 .302 .392 .397 .789 0 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/29/2011.

Interesting that former Cub and new Cardinal Patterson has possibly the best line against Garza. With Berkman still hurting, you figure he'll get another start tonight.

I said at the outset of this homestand than anything less than 5-2 would be a disappointment.  The Cards now have to sweep the Cubs to get to that level.  First step to a sweep tonight!

Enhanced by Zemanta


Leave a comment




1 Comments

1 Comment | Leave a comment

I immediately thought the same thing RE: the TLR to Chicago rumor. If he was as good as gone, why send Colby to Toronto? It seems quite obvious to me that the Cardinals are setting up a TLR-Pujols-Carpenter type team, likely with the goal of keeping them all next season. Colby just wasn't their kind of guy. Is it fair to think that, perhaps, it was him or them?

Regardless, I sure hope we stop the bleeding tonight (um, bad pun?) with both the injuries and the poor play. There's not a lot of wiggle room these days!

Leave a comment





Cardinals_MediumRectangle.jpg

UCB_11_trans_dark_sm.png

Search

 

You can also hear Conversations With C70, along with other great podcasts, at Baseball Podcasts.net.

BallHyped Best Sports Blogs Book
This blog was featured in the Best Sports Blogs of 2010 Book! (As well as the 2012 version!)
Pick up the limited print edition
Free Best Sports Blogs ebook 



United Cardinal Bloggers

FRIENDS OF THE UCB


Some Guy Named Robb--The Music of Conversations With C70 (coming soon!)

Check out the UCB Network over at LockerDome!
lockerdome-share_63x63.png
  


Other Cardinal Blogs

Recommended Cardinal Forum

Other Cardinal Sites

General Baseball Blogs/Sites

Get a Cardinal theme for your browser!

Cardinals banner.jpeg


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%


Looking for St. Louis Cardinals Tickets?  TicketCity is your source for New York Yankees Tickets and World Series Tickets.

Looking for Cardinals tickets? Stop by OnlineSeats. We’ve got Blues seats and even Rams games. Go to the coasts as well and catch a Celtics game or get Dodgers tickets.

Referrals