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Laboring For A Win

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 6:47 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | New York Mets | St. Louis Cardinals
After the last week, a win is a win is a win and you can't complain too much about it, but yesterday's victory against the Mets was a little more nerve-wracking than you'd care for when you are drawing up the plans.

I mean, having an appeal be one of the biggest plays of the game?  If the umpire misses that call (and, you have to figure, a lot of times they would have), there's a runner on second in the ninth with nobody out.  Jason Motte might have been able to work his way out of that kind of situation, but thank goodness Carlos Beltran was watching so that he didn't have to.

Still, the biggest part of that game may have been Joe Kelly, who gets the Hero tag for throwing six scoreless innings, something we've not seen out of the starting rotation lately.  He gave up a two-run shot in the seventh, but still left the game in good shape.  That had to be a shot in the arm for these guys, who didn't have to see themselves behind for the first time since last Sunday against the Reds.  Kudos go to Motte as well for getting out of the eighth inning jam with a strikeout and coming back after the appeal to lock down the ninth.

Offensively, Skip Schumaker had a good day with a home run as one of his two hits.  Jon Jay continues to do well in the leadoff slot with a 1-2 day (also a HBP and a sacrifice bunt).  Matt Holliday and Allen Craig had two hits and Matt Carpenter had two RBI.  It wasn't the biggest offensive game the Cards have had, but it was enough consistent offense to keep them ahead of the Mets.

Downside, our Goat has to go to Mitchell Boggs, who allowed a two-run home run that tightened the game up and then put the tying run on before leaving the game for Sam Freeman, who put the go-ahead run on before Motte came in.  If there is fatigue on Boggs's part, the Cards are going to have to get him rested up, because if they are to go far in the postseason (assuming they get there), that late inning relief really needs to be on their game.

We already knew that Shelby Miller was going to get a callup and, in fact, it should be official today.  It sounds like, though, that Miller might actually get a start along the way in September.  That's surprising, but not terribly so.  What is more surprising is that Chris Carpenter is likely to do the same.  I expected the Cards would be looking to get Carp in as a reliever, have him throw a few innings, so they'll know what they are getting.  Instead, they don't necessarily want to activate him unless he can throw 90 pitches or so, which apparently is not out of the realm of possibility.  How fun would a game be started by Carpenter, then turned over to Miller?  I don't think anyone in Cardinal Nation would dislike seeing that!

Another person that Cardinal fans are anxious to see is Oscar Taveras.  While the chances are slim that he's going to make the big leagues, I don't think they are quite as slim as they were before.  John Mozeliak said he'll play the Texas League playoffs for Springfield and then the situation will be reevaluated, not bringing him up unless he can get playing time.  If Beltran continues to have the knee problems and the offense sputters some more in the next week or so, there would have to be consideration given.  Again, I don't think it happens, but I think the chances went from 10% to 25% with this news.

Rafael Furcal thinks that he can return this season, getting an injection of platelet-rich plasma  and going through an aggressive rehab instead of doing surgery.  I had something similar a few years ago when I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  That was IVIG instead of PRP, but I know that it made a significant difference and fairly quickly.  Obviously a nerve situation is different than a strained ligament, but I could see how Furcal would be willing to give it a shot (pun not intended).  Still, though, it seems very, very unlikely we'll see Furcal again until 2013.

Cards send out Jaime Garcia to try to keep the positive momentum going.  Garcia is pitching at home, which tends to be a better situation for him than on the road.  

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
David Wright 9 8 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .250 .333 .250 .583 0 0 0
Ronny Cedeno 6 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Andres Torres 5 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .200 .400 .600 0 0 1
Jason Bay 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Scott Hairston 3 3 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 .667 .667 1.667 2.333 0 0 0
Justin Turner 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Lucas Duda 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 0 1 0
Total 31 29 7 1 0 1 2 1 8 .241 .290 .379 .670 0 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/4/2012.

Garcia's done fairly well in limited time against these guys.  Of course, there's a lot of the current Mets that he's not faced, so we'll have to see what they are able to do with him.  If we get Good Jaime, it should be a low-scoring affair from that side of the contest, at least.

The Mets run out Matt Harvey, who has never faced St. Louis in this his rookie year.  While the Cards were able to get some runs off of yesterday's rookie Met starter, that doesn't mean they'll be able to do the same with Harvey.  Harvey is basically the Mets' Miller, putting up three wins and a 2.76 ERA in his 42.1 innings in the bigs, but had 112 strikeouts in 110 innings at Buffalo before his callup.

Should be a good game to watch.  We'll see if St. Louis can adjust to Harvey's heat and get into the Mets bullpen earlier rather than later.  Holding on to the wild card may depend on it!

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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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