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So Close To The Sweep

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 2:35 PM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | San Diego Padres | St. Louis Cardinals
I had a nice outline of a post saved up for yesterday, but things got in the way and I never got around to fleshing them out.  I'm taking advantage of the fact that yesterday was an off day to hit some of the general points that I was going to talk about.

First off, let's look at Tuesday's game.  Extra innings on the West Coast aren't really conducive to sleep and I wasn't able to see the end of it.  Gotta give the Hero tag to Daniel Descalso for putting yet another game away, as he seems to be able to get the hits when the Cards really need them.

Also, as Travis from Fredbird Follys pointed out in an e-mail to me as we prepared for Wednesday's UCB Radio Hour, how often do you see a player make his major league debut and outhit the other team, especially when the game goes long?  Tony Cruz with three hits was able to do that, as the Padres only managed two in the whole contest.  Nice intro to the bigs for the rook.

Another very strong outing by Kyle McClellan and the bullpen did well also, with Jason Motte having three strikeouts and Miguel Batista even putting up two scoreless innings.  The latter might have been the biggest hint that the Padres are struggling at the plate right now.

On the down side, Skip Schumaker went 0-5.  He struck out three times and one of the times he actually made contact, he hit into a double play.  Pretty much a night to forget for Skip.

Wednesday, the Cards got to play some afternoon ball meaning that a lot of people got to watch the game.  I was actually out of town and traveling home through most of it, so I wasn't able to do so.  It was another tight contest, as the Cards scored in the first and Brad Hawpe hit a home run for his second consecutive day in the second.  Got down to the ninth before the Pads broke through and the Cards couldn't answer.  So close to finally putting together a three-game sweep, but we'll have to wait for that a little longer.  If you aren't going to sweep people, winning two out of three is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

I'll give the Hero tag to Lance Berkman, who had two hits including driving in the only run of the game.  Jon Jay also had two hits, stepping into the void left by injury and Colby Rasmus's slump.

Goat-wise, I'll go with Tyler Greene.  He did have a hit, but he struck out twice and his throw in the ninth that short-hopped Yadier Molina turned out to be the difference in the game.  He makes a better throw, Molina puts on the tag and we go into the ninth tied up.  Instead, the run scores and the batter makes it to third, where he easily scores on a Ryan Ludwick base hit to give insurance.

There's a lot of talk about Chris Carpenter not being able to get wins, that his record is 1-5, etc.  I'm fairly sure that it is driving Pip completely up the wall, as the emphasis on pitcher wins is a personal bugaboo of his.  He's right, though.  It doesn't matter if Carpenter won or lost, really.  Carpenter had one of his effective games on Wednesday and he put the team in position to get the win.  The offense didn't support him, that's all.  If he gets even 2-3 runs early, the whole complexion of the game would have changed.

Carpenter is probably going to be a bit erratic this year.  You'll see some vintage Carp but you'll see some games that make you wonder if he's losing it.  Right now, with the rotation as strong as it is, the Cards can afford to take the bad with the good.

It might be a little early to claim Albert Pujols is back.  After his strong opening game in San Diego, there wasn't much heard from him.  It could have been the pitching, it could have been the ballpark, but if that was a turning point in his season, it's not going to be a continuous one.  We'll see if this weekend at Colorado helps out somewhat.

Matt Holliday may have to go on the DL, which would be a very unfortunate thing for the Redbirds.  It's becoming apparent that this team runs this year not on Pujols, but on Holliday's bat.  When he was out the first week of the season, the team struggled.  When he was out in San Diego, the team struggled.  It's hard to believe that is a coincidence.  You'll see some remarkable stats in Bernie Miklasz's column today about how important he is to the team.  

Nick Punto is eligible to return June 3, but unlikely to do so.  Being that there is an entire glut of middle infielders, this wouldn't seem to be an issue, but Punto has produced more than some of the others and, even though he's only been healthy a limited amount of time, he's worked his way into the good graces of the team.  Hopefully his injury won't keep him out an extended period of time.

Carlos Martinez pitched last night at Busch and did an outstanding job.  Really excited about the 2013 rotation of him, Shelby Miller, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia.  That could be very impressive!

The daughter is calling me, so the matchup numbers will have to be the last part of this.  Be sure to check out Wednesday's UCB Radio Hour or last night's Padres Trail if you want to hear some more from me.  Not sure why you'd want to do that, but I'm glad if you do.  Have a great weekend and I'll hopefully be back in this space before it is over!

Jake Westbrook vs. Colorado

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Jason Giambi 21 16 6 1 0 2 6 5 3 .375 .524 .813 1.336 1 0 1
Ty Wigginton 13 13 4 1 0 0 1 0 3 .308 .308 .385 .692 0 0 1
Todd Helton 7 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .143 .286 0 0 0
Jose Lopez 7 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .143 .143 .286 0 0 0
Dexter Fowler 4 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 .500 .500 .750 1.250 0 0 0
Jonathan Herrera 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0
Carlos Gonzalez 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Chris Iannetta 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Ryan Spilborghs 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Troy Tulowitzki 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Seth Smith 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 0 0 0
Total 69 63 16 3 0 2 7 6 15 .254 .319 .397 .716 1 0 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/27/2011.

Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Cardinals
 
PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Ryan Theriot 26 22 6 0 0 0 0 3 2 .273 .385 .273 .657 0 1 1
Skip Schumaker 20 17 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 .059 .200 .059 .259 0 0 0
Lance Berkman 15 13 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .308 .400 .308 .708 0 0 0
Albert Pujols 15 12 2 1 0 0 3 2 3 .167 .267 .250 .517 1 0 1
Colby Rasmus 14 14 4 3 0 0 0 0 5 .286 .286 .500 .786 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 10 10 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 .300 .300 .300 .600 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 10 10 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 .300 .300 .300 .600 0 0 1
Allen Craig 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Jon Jay 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .667 1.000 1.667 0 0 0
Chris Carpenter 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Tyler Greene 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 127 112 25 5 0 0 5 12 22 .223 .302 .268 .569 1 1 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/27/2011.



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I think that the Cardinals pitching staff will need to be bolstered if they want to make a run at the World Series this year.

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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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