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The Late Game Magic Still Lingers

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM
Filed Under: Boston Red Sox | St. Louis Cardinals
Of course, coming from behind in a spring training game doesn't have the magical allure that similar rallies last September and October had.  There's a strong chance that nothing in our lifetimes will be as magical as that, though, so it's a high bar to clear.  Doesn't matter what the situation, though, a late-game rally always is a good thing to see.

That's just what the Cards did yesterday to the Red Sox.  Trailing 6-4 in the eighth, they put together five runs, led by Shane Robinson's three-run triple.  Robinson is still in the hunt for that last man on the roster, though Erik Komatsu's Rule 5 status and fairly strong spring may complicate that somewhat.  Robinson is hitting .300 this spring, though, and with Allen Craig likely not ready until close to May, having another outfielder on the team is probably going to happen.  I'm still betting on a Memphis trip for him.

Matt Adams hit his second home run of the spring and continues to show why he's probably the top prospect in the system not standing on the mound.  Adams, who is also hitting .300, had a single to go along with that long ball.  I think there are a lot of Cardinal fans anxious to see him in the big leagues and I think he gets there this year, but only later in the season.  There's no reason right now why the Cards should rush him past AAA.

The offense banged out 15 hits yesterday, but the pitching staff had some troubles enjoying that bounty.  Kyle Lohse didn't make it through his projected four innings, leaving after allowing a home run to Darnell McDonald.   Lohse admitted after the game he didn't have his best stuff, which I guess is somewhat encouraging.  You'd almost think with the problems he was describing he'd have been hit around more, especially by a good lineup like Boston has.

Mike Matheny has been wanting to get J.C. Romero into situations that he'll be in during the season, facing a strong left-handed hitter with the game in the balance.  He was able to do that Thursday, but the results weren't exactly what he was hoping for.  It sounds like the Cards aren't completely committed to the two-lefty bullpen that we've gotten familiar with, which is a definite change from the past.  Granted, Kyle McClellan can get lefties out when he's on (which he seemed to be yesterday, locking down the save), so you have that flexibility, but I'm still thinking unless Romero really bombs in the spring, they at least start the year with him in the bullpen.

Off the field, the biggest news of yesterday was that Craig took some batting practice for the first time this spring.  Craig says he feels good and that he doesn't need to hold back, but the club is a little iffy on that.  With less than three weeks (wait, is that right?  Less than three weeks until the season?) until Opening Day, the odds of him being ready to go in that game against the Marlins is pretty slim.  On the upside for the fans in the Springfield area, that probably means it's more likely that he'll play in that exhibition game against the AA team the day before the season opener.  So that could be a silver lining for some folks.

Chris Carpenter update: Still playing catch, still not having any soreness.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him start maybe Monday or Tuesday, which apparently would be about the latest he could back to work and still be ready for that opener down in Miami.

Playing Pepper will be a little bit earlier today.  We've got the Oakland team taking its cuts today and look forward to sharing that with you.  Pepper's on deck, and the Smith Regional of the All-Time Cardinal Team Tournament is in the hole.  That'll be up mid-morning and the polls will be open until Sunday at 8 PM.  Come back and check that out, because it's going to be a blast!  I70 and PH8 already have theirs up, if you've not voted!

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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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