Our good friends at Pitchers Hit Eighth have been on this bandwagon for quite some time, but yesterday, Matt Adams no doubt added a few more to that group.
In the sixth inning, trailing by three but with the bases loaded, Adams came to the plate. Watching along via GameDay at that time, I thought that the situation was just perfect for some legend enhancement. After all, Adams has been known as a big thumper in the minors and there's a lot of excitement about what he can do at the plate. He didn't disappoint.
I can't seem to embed the video like I wanted to, but you can see his grand slam here. It was no cheap one, going out of left-center and without the aid of the wind. Spring training is known for those wind-blown homers, but this one would have left most yards on most days.
Adams's power potential is really exciting. There doesn't seem to be much of a path for him to St. Louis this year, but he should be able to get a September callup with a good season in Memphis and it's possible that an injury to Carlos Beltran or Lance Berkman could get him on the roster, though it would seem like Allen Craig would be the first line of defense there once he returns from his surgery.
While the Cardinals may not have as many hitting prospects as they do pitching ones, people like Adams prove the cupboard isn't completely bare in that regard.
While Adams's big blast gave the Cardinals the lead, it was a fleeting thing. Pete Kozma made a key error and Adam Reifer wasn't sharp and suddenly the Mets had an 8-6 lead, which is how the game finished. Cards still winless in the spring, though I would sincerely hope nobody is actually concerned.
It was also interesting to see that Mike Matheny may have a little more of the Tony La Russa style in him than we thought. In the ninth inning, trailing by two with nobody on and one out, Matheny send up Zack Cox to pinch-hit. The Mets countered by making a pitching change, which led Matheny to pinch-hit for Cox with Kyle Conley. I thought it was a strange time to be playing the percentages, but Matheny has to get into regular-season shape as well. However, if Cox is going to be the hitter that people think, he's going to have to be hitting lefties in the bigs. I would have thought this was a good time to let him practice that, but the skipper thought differently.
That said, it's been known that Matheny is an Anderson supporter and he was saying some good things about Anderson in that story. I still have a hunch that, barring an abysmal spring, Anderson is the backup catcher and Cruz plays every day in Memphis. That's just my guess, though, and it'll be interesting to see how that competition plays out.
There's a good profile about Lance Berkman by Joe Strauss in the Post-Dispatch today. Berkman talks about how good it was for him mentally to have a solid season like he did last year. It's one thing to know you can do it, it's another to actually do it. Berkman did a lot for the clubhouse and the chemistry last year, and while some of that might be overrated, I think too often it is completely dismissed as well. This team really liked each other last year, which helped in their big comeback. This year, the clubhouse seems even lighter and looser and hopefully that will lead another great season.
Before I get to the approval ratings, there's a link I'd like to bring to your attention. The Grubby Glove is a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and has proposed something for all baseball fans this year. He suggests that you forgo one game this season and use that money as a donation to Bryan Stow's medical expenses. As you know, Stow is the Giants fan that was abused in the parking lot following a Dodgers/Giants game and, at one time, seemed to be near death. His outlook is much better now, but he's still going to have a lot of bills to pay. If this is something you are interested in, the information on how to donate is on the post.
All right, we've got three more days on these approval ratings. Today we take a crack at Yadier Molina. All of these were done before his contract situation was completed, so that might have had some impact on the ratings. (Speaking of Molina, I got to watch him throw out a Mets baserunner from his knees yesterday via MLB.tv. Looks like he's already in mid-season form!) Molina tailed off some last year, but has consistently been one of the top Cardinals in these rankings. Does that hold true this year?
Molina pulled in four perfect scores on his way to a 87.4% ranking. While that's not his personal high, it was up about four points from the year before. One person noted that he's "like an experienced coach on the field" and someone else pointed out that they didn't see many people try to run on him in the postseason.
Our media member is one-half of the KMOX radio broadcast. John Rooney's having a great time, personally, having watched the White Sox win a series, then moving over to St. Louis and seeing two more titles there. While anyone that sits in Jack Buck's chair is going to have problems living up to that standard, do people have a higher opinion of him than the television guys?
Rooney got a couple of perfect scores and fashioned an 81.5% mark. While that's down a little from last year, it's right in the range of his four-year totals. There seemed to be more comments about the television guys, but it seems that St. Louis hasn't completely forsaken the radio either.
Finally, the big one. It seemed fitting to use this forum as an opportunity to see if the scars had healed from this winter and to see what people now thought of Albert Pujols. Sure, he wasn't going to get the 97, 98, even 90 mark from the last three years, but how far would he drop? Would people remember the good times or focus on the fact that he left?
Albert still has his supporters. He wound up with a couple of 100s and a few between 85 and 100 as well. That said, there were a lot of zeros. There were a lot of people that still aren't over his decision to pack up and leave. Pujols tumbled over 40 points to 54.9%, a stunning if not unexpected drop. Needless to say there weren't a lot of positive comments left about him either. Maybe we'll put him back on the ballot in five years and see if things change.
Cards take on the Nationals today. Hopefully they can get their first win on the board!
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