There's been a lot of talk this year about baserunning gaffes by the Cardinals and rightfully so. Numerous big innings or rallies have been killed when St. Louis has been too aggressive on the basepaths. Even last night we saw this as Yadier Molina tried to go from second to third on a fly ball and was cut down (though a run did score on the play). It's been a nagging thing, not necessarily something you can blame many losses on but not something that's helped the Cards win games, either. [Edit: As pointed out, it was Allen Craig who was thrown out on the play. As I say, I was listening to it in the car and, well, I don't know if I wasn't paying attention or Mr. Shannon's description was a bit off. You know it's hard to be sure!]
So if you are dying by the sword, it seems only fitting to live by it every once in a while. Ty Wigginton gets to be--gasp!--the Hero of the evening. After doubling through new Met and former Card Rick Ankiel's borrowed glove (it's good to see Rick employed again, even if it is in New York), Wigginton went from second to home on an infield hit when both the pitcher and the catcher chased after it, leaving home unoccupied. That broke a 3-3 tie and Matt Holliday added an exclamation point a couple of batters later with a two-run homer.
It's not quite "Glenn Brummer steals home" but it is one of the more unlikely baserunning exploits of recent times. Wigginton is not a fast man, but being alert worked for him here. It's nice that Wigginton will have at least one highlight from his time in St. Louis, because at the rate he was going, that was definitely in question.
Holliday went two-for-four and might have gotten the Hero tag was it not for him hitting into a double play in the first inning, something that could have cost the Cardinals. Both teams struggled to get settled into this game--St. Louis scored two in the first, then gave up three in the second before tying it in the bottom of that frame--and that might have had something to do with the man behind the man behind the plate. I only was able to listen to some of the first innings but Mike Shannon was not very complementary of the strike zone. I believe he said something to the effect of "That's the third man the umpire has walked."
Whether it was the strike zone or just wildness, it looked like Lance Lynn might have a short evening. Giving up three and walking four in the first two innings (including Ankiel, which is a fairly tough task) made it look like it wasn't Lynn's night, but he settled in and didn't allow anything else, walking just one over his last five innings. I was surprised to see Mike Matheny leave him in there so long, running his pitch count up to 124, but it seemed to work. Lynn had had an extra day off so that probably factored into it. Hopefully that won't play into his results next time out.
Also nice not to really have to talk about the bullpen. Randy Choate basically did his job, though the walk wasn't good to see. Trevor Rosenthal came in and struck out two batters and Edward Mujica clicked off yet another save. That's the way you want to see a bullpen work!
The Goat of the game has to be Carlos Beltran. Not only did he go 0-3, but he lost a ball in the sun (a result of the game starting an hour earlier to be on ESPN, at least in part) which allowed the Mets to score two of their runs directly and the other run indirectly (since that'd have been the third out). Everyone has an off game, of course. Save us commenting at home--we never goof up, do we?
Chris Carpenterthrew another bullpen session without incident on Monday and noted that, if he were to come back, this time he'll be making some minor league rehab stints instead of going straight to the big like he had to last year. I'm sure there were a number of Cardinal minor league teams quite happy to hear that report! Great quote from Jake Westbrook on the return of Carp: "There really shouldn't be any shock when it comes to Chris Carpenter." Very, very true. While I'm still not completely sold this is going to happen, you can't dismiss it out of hand like you would 95% of other baseball players.
The minor league depth comes into play again this evening as John Gast makes his major league debut in the place of the hurting Westbrook. Gast brings solid minor league credentials to his first battle with major league hitters and it should be fun to see yet another product of the farm system.
He's going up against Dillon Gee. Gee has struggled so far this season, going 2-4 with a 5.55 ERA, meaning that he's either struggling or he's trying to place a call on TV. He's had a couple of good games, including his last outing against the Pirates where he gave up just one run in five innings. Obviously, though, the bad outings have outweighed the good.
If anyone was going to get him on track, though, it looks like it might be the Cardinals. They've struggled against him the couple of times they've seen him, which is a bit surprising since he's not a lefty. Be nice if David Freese could use his past success against Gee to get jump started, don't you think?
The BBA has, as a secondary aim, the goal of producing year-end
awards in a similar fashion to the Baseball Writers of America. These
awards can be found at the official site in October with links back to the voters,
ensuring transparency and, most likely, the onset of some good baseball