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Living Right In LA

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 7:00 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Los Angeles Dodgers | St. Louis Cardinals
Something had to give last night.  Thankfully, it was on the Cardinals' side.

With both teams doing their darndest to let someone else take the wild card, the Cards were able to break through and get a 2-1 win.  Obviously, offense was again an issue, but it's come to the point where beggars really can't be choosers.  A win is a win, though these days it feels like more than that.  Not only did they push LA back a game, but everyone else surrounding the wild card either lost or did not play.  Even the Braves lost, though St. Louis still sits six back of them and really can't entertain any ideas of playing the wild card game at home, 2011 notwithstanding.

We gave a lot of grief to Mike Matheny about his choice of letting Lance Lynn take the spot vacated by Jake Westbrook and his troublesome oblique.  Given Lynn's troubles and the fact that shiny new toys Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal were already on the roster, it seemed irrational to let Lynn go out there in a pivotal game.  Lynn shut everyone up, though, with six innings of one run ball, striking out seven to go along with it.  The late inning trio of Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte worked exactly like they were supposed to (it's been a while since they have), with a hit against Motte in the ninth the only blemish.

If we are giving the Hero to Lynn, as he well deserves, it's not surprising that the Goat does come from the offensive side, which had chances often during the night to break things open, only to come up short in those situations.  10 hits and five walks equals only two runs?  My old scoring efficiency formula would say that's pretty terrible.  They should have scored about six with that many base runners, but unfortunately it is something we've gotten used to.

Anyway, the Goat goes to Daniel Descalso.  Not only did he go 0-4, he struck out with the bases loaded and only one out, depriving the Cards of a great chance to break the game open.  Two others didn't get a hit last night, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday.  Both drew a walk, but those are some tough places in the lineup to be hitless.

Yadier Molina went three for four and threw out Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp trying to steal, which just reinforced the fact that You Don't Run On Yadi.  Allen Craig drove in the game-winning run in the seventh as one of his two hits.  Encouragingly, Carlos Beltran went two-for-two with two walks mixed in hitting down sixth in the lineup.  Whether he is coming out of it, the change in the batting order worked for him, or it was just a fluke game we'll have to wait and see, but anything out of him lately is awesome.

Cards can't relax, though, because they've got to do it again tonight.  While their margin of error might be a little greater than it was yesterday, they still need to win two of the next three in LA to feel more comfortable.  Joe Kelly gets to go up against the Dodgers tonight and hopes to do a little better than when he faced them earlier in the year, when he gave up three runs in six innings.  Of course, that was in a stretch of games where Kelly did that to about everyone.  Kelly's a California boy and will have a lot of friends and family there, so we'll see if he can keep his focus.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Hanley Ramirez 6 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 .200 .333 .400 .733 0 0 0
Bobby Abreu 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .667 .000 .667 0 0 0
Mark Ellis 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 1
Andre Ethier 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .667 1.000 0 0 0
Matt Kemp 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Juan Rivera 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .333 .000 .333 0 0 0
Luis Cruz 2 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 .500 .500 2.000 2.500 0 0 0
A.J. Ellis 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 25 21 4 2 0 1 3 4 2 .190 .320 .429 .749 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2012.

Smallest of sample sizes and he faced Hanley Ramirez when he was a Marlin, but at least these numbers are in his favor.  We'll see if that means anything tonight.

Opposing him will be Chris Capuano, who the Cards mainly know from his Brewer days.  St. Louis got to him back in July, tagging him for six runs in 4.1 innings.  The career numbers don't look much better.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Matt Holliday 29 25 9 1 0 1 2 3 6 .360 .448 .520 .968 0 1 0
Lance Berkman 25 22 8 3 0 0 2 3 5 .364 .440 .500 .940 1 0 1
Yadier Molina 19 16 3 1 0 0 2 2 1 .188 .278 .250 .528 0 0 1
Carlos Beltran 11 7 2 1 0 0 1 4 1 .286 .545 .429 .974 0 0 0
Allen Craig 6 6 4 2 0 1 3 0 0 .667 .667 1.500 2.167 0 0 0
David Freese 6 5 4 0 0 0 2 1 0 .800 .833 .800 1.633 0 0 0
Jon Jay 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0
Jake Westbrook 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Matt Carpenter 3 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Tony Cruz 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Skip Schumaker 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Jaime Garcia 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 115 98 35 8 0 2 14 14 16 .357 .442 .500 .942 1 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2012.

Holliday has done some damage and so has, in limited time, David Freese.  Both of them are heading off to Scranton, Pennsylvania before the game today.  No, they aren't flying across country, they are visiting the set of "The Office".  I expect Freese will try to big-time Holliday with all of his acting experience, even if it never saw the light of day.

The Cardinals have to find some traction.  Last night was the wheels catching.  They need to start driving with a win tonight!

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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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