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Jaime Being Jaime

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 7:08 AM
Filed Under: Cincinnati Reds | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals
I've often said the biggest problem with Jaime Garcia is just getting consistent work from him.  There are times when he looks like the Next Big Thing, rolling through batters and getting deep into games.  Unfortunately, just as often he piles up huge pitch counts in the early going and has trouble getting out of the fifth.  Yesterday was one of the latter outings for him.

While the game was technically lost by Marc Rzepczynski, who allowed the winning run to reach base, and Fernando Salas, who gave up the base hit to Chris Heisey that brought the winning run home, the biggest pitching problem (and our Goat) was due to Garcia.  After being staked to a 3-0 lead in the third, he immediately gave the Reds one run back and a couple of innings later gave them the rest.

It's really tough to swallow when the tying run scores on a bunt base hit by the same player (Wilson Valdez) that had reached on a bunt base hit earlier in the game.  A player never should be able to get two bunt hits in the same game, especially when there are runners on.  That's just a very tough way to lose.

For all their success against Johnny Cueto going into this ballgame, the offense was pretty quiet.  Jon Jay gets the Hero tag due to his two-run home run that looked to put the Cardinals on the winning track.  On a day when a lot of the big bats--Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran, David Freese--were on the bench, it was nice to see Jay step up and provide for the squad.  Not that often that he's going to go yard, but we'll definitely take it.

Credit also goes to Victor Marte and Kyle McClellan, who threw a combined 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and two walks.  That gave the offense time to win the ballgame, but they never could come through.

A side note: As much as most everyone not named Dusty Baker agrees that Aroldis Chapman should be in the starting rotation, he gives them such a dangerous weapon out of the pen.  Two scoreless innings against the Cards with five strikeouts.  If a lesser pitcher had been out there the Cards might have won this.  Chapman very well may be a force to be reckoned with in this divisional race before it's all said and done.

Even though they didn't have a happy flight, the Cards still went 5-2 on this road trip, a mark you'll take any time but especially when it came against what should be the two closest competitors for the NL Central throne.  That's a pretty good week in anyone's book and the down note at the end shouldn't dampen our enthusiasm about the squad.

A day off today, which is good for Berkman, who is listing himself as doubtful for this upcoming series with the Chicago Cubs.  I was hoping that not playing in yesterday's game, plus today's day off, would be enough to get him back in the lineup.  If that's not the case, it sounds like there's a good chance for a trip to the disabled list.  (Side note: wonder if DL management will be different under Mike Matheny?  Will he be as likely to let players linger on the bench for 10 days or be more forceful about disabling them and getting in a replacement?)

If Berkman does go to the disabled list, I'm not sure who replaces him.  Skip Schumaker is starting his rehab, I believe, but I don't think he's quite ready to return.  We have stopped getting updates on Allen Craig, so I'm guessing he's not close to coming off the list.  Even though Matt Adams is off to a strong start in AAA (.346/.393/.769 with three homers in 28 plate appearances), I don't think they'd want to bring him up for a cameo like that.  Once Adams comes up, odds are he's going to play on a fairly regular basis.

I'd say that leaves Mark Hamilton, but according to the Memphis website he's on the 7-day DL.  Maybe Adron Chambers would get the call, I don't know.  Hopefully this is just an intellectual exercise and we won't have to worry about it, but I expect the team to be pretty conservative with Berkman this early in the season and not risk losing him for a long time to come.

Cards have the off day today, as I've said.  Tomorrow we'll look at the home opener and all that entails.  If you are going to the opener, you need to see the press release the Cards have put out.  Plus I'm giving away a book if you missed it last night and the DVD giveaways are still going.  Hint: yesterday's starter was the same starter the bloggers saw last April when they were guests of the team.  If you've got the package and want a game to watch today, Miami and Philadelphia are the only ones playing in the prime time slot, but Dan Haren goes against Francisco Liriano at noon, which would be a potentially great matchup if you can get past seeing #5.  We'll talk Adam Wainwright tomorrow!

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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)

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%)

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%)

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%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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