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Rain Delay Theater

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM
Filed Under: San Francisco Giants | St. Louis Cardinals
So the Cards were this close to finishing off the Giants for another night when Mother Nature decided to get in on the fun.  Right now, the Cards are still sitting in the clubhouse, nursing a 3-1 lead and waiting to put Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma on third and second and Jon Jay in the batter's box.  Until then, though, let me see if I can put down a few thoughts about the series and today's game, which I listened to on the way back from a client until the rain delay hit.

One: Where is the offense?  I know San Francisco has good pitching, don't get me wrong.  I don't think it's a huge surprise to know that the Cardinals haven't been as proficient with the bats.  That said, Washington had some hurlers as well and the Redbirds put up some numbers there.  The Cards have scored in five (counting today) of their 25 innings.  Which is a little better than the three of 18 that they had going before this contest.  Seems so often it's a two-out hit, which makes it difficult to get things started, or a hit that just is squandered by nothing coming behind. If Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, David Freese and Yadier Molina could even get partly on track at the same time, this series might look a lot different.

Two: Remember that scene in Star Wars where the admiral lambastes Darth Vader, telling him his sad devotion to that ancient religion hasn't helped him conjure up the stolen data plans?  I get that feeling about Mike Matheny and the last three innings of a game the Cards have a lead. No matter how much they've been used, no matter how much other options make sense, Matheny is going to go with Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte.

Today, for example.  Trevor Rosenthal gets the last out of the sixth.  Trevor Rosenthal is also a starting pitcher that can go more than one out in a game.  The pitcher's slot is not due up in the bottom of the sixth.  So it would seem logical to let Rosenthal at least start the seventh, see if he can't keep things under control.  His power stuff can keep the Giants off balance and then you could go Boggs/Motte or even Mujica/Motte if you wanted to.

However, Matheny goes to the tried-and-true method and it just about burns him.  Mujica gets only one out and has two on when he leaves, being bailed out by Boggs.  Not only does Boggs have to come in, Matheny goes ahead and double-switches Allen Craig out of the game.  Boggs was due up fifth in the bottom of the seventh, so it's not like it was imminent that he was going to bat.  Risking losing one of your big bats in a huge game to have Boggs go an inning and two-thirds seems like overcompensating.

Of course, Boggs struck out Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt and Shane Robinson, who came in as part of the double-switch, hit the ground ball that Zombie Marco Scutaro couldn't handle and forced in the insurance run.  Remember, that admiral got Force-choked by Vader as well.

Three: I don't consider what Matt Holliday did on that slide to be dirty.  I don't think it was right, I think as Holliday remarked afterwards that it was a mistake and he should have slid earlier, but in my mind "dirty" means that there was intent.  Accidents aren't dirty.  Does that mean Holliday would be exempt from being fined if MLB did that sort of thing?  No, and that's fine.  But don't call the play "dirty" when Holliday had no intention to injure and has said it was a mistake.  Call it a mistake, call it what you want, but I think dirty has to have a legitimate intent to go beyond the norm and to try to harm someone.

Four: It'll be interesting to see who Bruce Bochy calls on for Game 4 tomorrow.  I figure it'll be Tim Lincecum, since he didn't have to use him tonight, but Zito did hold the Cards in check the first time he saw them this season, giving up two in 6.2 innings.  Lincecum didn't face St. Louis this season.  I could see Zito being very tough on this lineup and them being able to get to Lincecum, especially if he doesn't have his good stuff.

Five: We know St. Louis will send out Adam Wainwright, hopefully with a 2-1 lead (the rain has stopped, so I need to write fast).  Waino struggled last time out, but was pretty masterful in Game 1 of the NLDS.  He'll get an extra day of rest this time around and hopefully he can be back on his game, because he'll need to be.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Hunter Pence 38 38 11 3 0 1 1 0 11 .289 .289 .447 .737 0 0 0
Ryan Theriot 36 34 9 2 0 0 2 1 0 .265 .286 .324 .609 1 0 1
Xavier Nady 25 23 9 0 0 0 3 1 2 .391 .440 .391 .831 0 1 0
Angel Pagan 15 12 4 0 0 0 2 3 4 .333 .467 .333 .800 0 0 0
Pablo Sandoval 11 10 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .300 .364 .300 .664 0 0 2
Gregor Blanco 7 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .167 .286 .167 .452 0 0 0
Marco Scutaro 7 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .286 .333 .619 0 0 0
Brandon Belt 6 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 .250 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Brandon Crawford 6 6 3 1 0 0 2 0 1 .500 .500 .667 1.167 0 0 0
Buster Posey 6 5 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 .400 .500 .400 .900 0 0 0
Matt Cain 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Aubrey Huff 4 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Joaquin Arias 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Madison Bumgarner 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Barry Zito 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 172 158 47 7 0 1 14 10 26 .297 .339 .361 .700 1 1 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/17/2012.

I still can't believe the Cards have been able to contain Pence in this series and I'm afraid it's going to blow up on them at the worst possible time.  He's the only guy who has gone yard off of Wainwright, though, which is some consolation.

Six: Can we please figure out a way to get Brandon Crawford out?  Seriously, for a guy that's hitting in the eight hole, he has caused more damage this series than, well, even Buster Posey.  Who does he think he is, Pete Kozma?  Man hit .248 for the year and now he doesn't seem to be able to be stopped.

Seven: Scutaro has two doubles since his untimely death at the hands of Holliday.  If I had much sympathy for him before, I don't anymore.

We're in the seventh, so seven will be where I stop.  (Has nothing to do with the fact that more points aren't coming to mind right now and I've got family obligations in a few, not at all.)  Here's to the Cards holding this lead and taking another one tomorrow!


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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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