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It's Either Laugh or Cry

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 6:44 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Los Angeles Dodgers | St. Louis Cardinals
At the end of yesterday's post, I wrote the following:

We as fans know that this season is over from a postseason perspective. All we can hope for now is winning, non-frustrating baseball. Is that too much to ask?

As Phineas might say, "Yes, yes it is."

Some games are over early.  This one was pretty much done in the first, when Matt Kemp launched a three-run homer in the top half while the Cards got two on against Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the inning before Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman struck out to end the threat.  After that, it was all over but the padding, which the Dodgers did plenty of.

Obviously, Kyle Lohse had nothing last night, making him the Goat.  I mean, you give up eight in three innings, it's just not your night.  I thought it was an interesting comment that was made on the Fox Sports Midwest postgame show, I believe by Rick Horton, that wondered about how the absence of Dave Duncan might have affected Lohse, being that he's still trying to get adjusted to some different mechanics.  I don't think it would have made all the difference, but possibly Duncan could have helped him get back on track.  No telling.

If you have to award a Hero for last night, I guess go with Allen Craig, who had two hits.  Probably the only other positive was that the Cards scored two in the ninth against old friend Blake Hawksworth, but that was after being down 13-0 and it wasn't like the Dodgers were pushing to get outs.  And, even so, the game ended on yet another double play.  At least the team is consistent in that regard.  Also, Tony La Russa dug Marc Rzepczynski out of mothballs and let him pitch some garbage time.  Because that's what we wanted to get out of the Rasmus deal, that "win now" move.

The most exciting part of the night was probably the top of the ninth, when Skip Schumaker got to add to his utility guy resume by pitching an inning of relief.  Skip actually looked pretty good, at least in results.  He hit 91 on the radar gun and struck out two of the five batters he faced.

Most importantly, though, there was a collision of scrap, one to make sure that Matt Sebek is  busy all day long.  Former Cardinal Aaron Miles, who was usually in this "position player pitching" position as noted by a wonderful blog title, came up to face Schumaker and wound up belting a two-run home run on the first pitch.  Lots of entertainment there, but when that likely will wind up on the season's highlight reel, you know there are problems.

The Cards are now double-digits behind Milwaukee, so I think the team can stop scoreboard watching.  (Really doesn't matter, the Brewers win every day anyway and I'm not sure even the SI Cover Jinx can stop them, at least not enough to make it interesting.)  All they can do is go out and play as good of baseball as possible each day.  Whether they can do that or not is completely up in the air.

Just a programming note, you won't see anything in this space until likely Saturday at the earliest, as I'm leaving out tomorrow morning early for St. Louis to be at Social Media Night that evening, then heading back here Friday.  Just letting my two readers know!

Afternoon game for the Birds today.  Jaime Garcia at home is usually a pretty good option to avoid a sweep.  How has he fared against the Dodgers?

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Casey Blake 6 6 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 .333 .333 .500 .833 0 0 0
Jamey Carroll 5 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .800 .800 1.200 2.000 0 0 0
Andre Ethier 5 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 .400 .800 0 0 0
Matt Kemp 5 5 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .600 .600 .600 1.200 0 0 0
James Loney 5 5 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .400 .400 .400 .800 0 0 0
Juan Rivera 3 3 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 .333 .333 1.333 1.667 0 0 0
Rod Barajas 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Chad Billingsley 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Hiroki Kuroda 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 0 0 0
Total 35 34 14 1 1 1 6 1 5 .412 .429 .588 1.017 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/24/2011.

Oh, that's not what you want to see. Small sample sizes and it looks like mainly singles, but there's a lot of singles there. Hopefully Garcia can bring those averages down some today.

Hiroki Kuroda goes for the Dodgers. This was a guy that a lot of people thought the Cards might look at around the trade deadline. Instead, he stayed with the club (exercising his no-trade clause).

 
PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Matt Holliday 24 23 10 3 0 1 7 1 2 .435 .458 .696 1.154 0 0 0
Lance Berkman 12 10 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 .200 .333 .200 .533 0 0 1
Albert Pujols 12 12 2 1 0 1 1 0 3 .167 .167 .500 .667 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 11 11 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 .182 .182 .182 .364 0 0 1
Skip Schumaker 11 11 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 .273 .273 .364 .636 0 0 0
Ryan Theriot 11 10 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .300 .364 .300 .664 1 0 1
Corey Patterson 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Edwin Jackson 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Jon Jay 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Gerald Laird 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Chris Carpenter 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1.000 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0
Jaime Garcia 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 102 96 24 5 0 2 12 4 14 .250 .277 .365 .642 1 0 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/24/2011.

Holliday's done pretty well against him, but he's one of the few. The numbers are not in favor of the Cardinals today, but that's why they play the games.

Let's see if the Cards can't bring us just a little bit of sunshine today, because getting swept wouldn't do much for some of the exasperated and resigned moods around the fan base!

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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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