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Posted on June 2, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | New York Mets | St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers


This is what I put up on Twitter yesterday afternoon when the lineup was announced:
  And it was. You had Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina all in the lineup at the same time. That just doesn't happen these days, folks. Barring Lance Berkman's return that's probably the most potent lineup that the Cards can run out there. 

Perhaps this is slightly what the Texas Rangers feel like. Granted, it doesn't have the import as it comes at the beginning of June instead at the end of October. But baseball history is all well and good when you look at it objectively. It's wonderfully great when it's your team doing the writing. When your team is the subject of the history, though, it's not nearly as much fun.

I don't think it's sour grapes to note that there was some controversy around the no-hitter.


That's a real tough call and I don't think it's surprising that it went the way it did, especially since the umpire has to call it immediately. At the time, that might have made a difference not only in the avoidance of history but also in the game, as it was just 2-0 then.  Maybe in some alternate universe we're talking about the Cards' comeback win and how they came to life after being no-hit for so long.  Unfortunately, we don't live in that one.

I guess the Hero of our piece, because I've set up this conceit and you always have to have a Hero and a Goat in a game, no matter how good or bad, will be Maikel Cleto.  Obviously you can't pick any of the hitters and Cleto was the only pitcher to have a solid outing, throwing an inning and striking out two.  Now, granted, the Mets hitters by that time were just likely just trying to get to the ninth so Santana could get back out on the mound, but it's a promising sign.  If Cleto is able to do this on a pretty regular basis, he could really shore up a bullpen that has been taking on water in the last month.

Our Goat, because what's the point in trying to sort out a slew of 0-3 batters, will have to be Adam Wainwright.  I wasn't able to see the game, so I'm not sure exactly how bad it was, but that's a rough linescore to look at.  I know that two of those runs came when Sam Freeman made his major league debut and showed that, at least with the most generous sheen on it, he had some butterflies, walking his first two batters (which forced in one of Wainwright's runners) and allowing a base hit that drove in the other runner Waino had left for him.

Even subtracting those two runs, though, Wainwright gave up five in just over six innings, which is not what we thought we'd get after his last two outings.  He still showed some progress, though--three of those runs came on his bugaboo this season, the home run--but it's definitely a step back from what we'd seen in his last two starts.

I don't know if Cardinal fans can take any solace in this, but the last four pitchers to no-hit the Cardinals were Fernando Valenzuela in 1990, Tom Seaver in 1978 and Gaylord Perry in 1968.  That's a good group of pitchers, not a Bud Smith or a Jose Jimenez in the bunch.  Of course, Bob Netherton would point out here that the day after Perry no-hit the Cardinals, Ray Washburn no-hit the Giants.  Talk about payback.  Maybe Lance Lynn can do that today!

The good thing about a no-hitter, just like a rout, is that it is just one game.  It may be easier for the losing team to shake off the disappointment of a game like last night's than it is the winning time to shake off the euphoria.  The Cardinals better hope so, because now they sit 2.5 games behind the Reds and, with a loss and a Pirates win today, would slide to third in the division.  The team that looked so unbeatable in April now is only two games over .500.

Today's game will be covered by the United Cardinal Bloggers as their June project, the Progressive Game Blog.  The pregame post is already up and check back there throughout the afternoon and evening to find the links to those that are participating.  It has to go better than yesterday's game.  Right?

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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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