Game 18: Cardinals 12 – Cubs 9
Cardinals 8-10, win series 2-1
POTG: C Michael Barrett (3 H, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB)
Runner Ups: 2B RYAN T. RIOT (3 H, 2 2B, R), 1B D Lee (H, BB, 3 R), 3B A Ram (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), RF Jacque Jones (2 H, BB, 2 RBI), RF Mark DeRosa (H, 2 RBI), RP Michael Wuertz (1.2 IP, H, 2 K), Wind (Out)
The big signing for 2B is looking pretty pointing, because the kid they had no faith in is one of the biggest positive factors so far, the huge signing for CF is now moved in to LF, and the GM’s favorite player who was signed for LF is likely now a man without a spot. At least the big pitching signings are going fine so far – it’s last year’s big pitching signings which are blowing the heck up.
This was a horrible day for pitching, but that only affects the ball after contact is made – Wade Miller was making it look bad before the ball even got to the plate. The wind helped things along, but all of the home runs were hit hard. I believe Wainright and Miller would’ve put up similar numbers on a neutral day; both (and others) were dropping their heads on as soon on contact of the big shots, because they didn’t have to follow it to know where it was landing.
Unfortunately, Guzman got lit up in Iowa, so you can’t easily make a move. Yet. One more bad start like this for Miller – a start where you can come in with an ERA of 9 and have it go up! – and I think they’ll try anything else.
I don’t generally like the idea of 12 pitchers on a team, but I think I can understand in this situation. Al Yellon actually got this wrong (which is notable because it’s rare) – it most games, you might bring in Dempster in a tie game in the 9th rather than saving him for a save, but Pinella didn’t hold out Dempster because of a overstrategized stat. He held out Dempster till the 10th because he was the last usable guy in the pen. Ohman pitched two yesterday, so he couldn’t give you much more than an inning, and probably not a good one at that. You had to wait as long as possible to use Dempster. This also explains a double switch I didn’t like at the time.
Basically, everything went to heck once Miller couldn’t make it out of the 5th and the Cubs got around the lineup far enough to require a pinch hitter but get nothing for it. The bullpen got burned off at a rapid rate from there, and Cotts walking more than he got out didn’t help any.
I do share Al’s concern about Soriano – if he’s not healthy enough to run around the bases on Sunday (and that looked to be true), how he’s going to be playing the outfield on Monday? They’ve been saying Soriano MAY be ready for Monday, and I think they could take advantage of the qualifier.
Assuming Soriano’s status doesn’t affect things, it looks like tomorrow will see a roster move to bring up a pitcher, just so they have someone besides Eyre ready to come in if/when Z blows up. I think there’s two ways to go:
– Pie gets sent down, Jacque moves to CF, Murton/Floyd is now a RF platoon and outfield defense is punted. Theriot, who was banned from the outfield days ago, returns to being a backup OF, probably center if they have the patience.
– Cedeno gets sent down, Theriot becomes back up SS and we all demand him become starting SS because that’d be one awesome lineup. Pie sticks around to play CF and catch every single ball possible.
I think I know which one I want. I think it all depends on why they believe Pie is hitting under 200 – if he’s just unlucky, he’s staying, if they think he’s overmatched, he goes back to Iowa.
Tomorrow’s a night game, so I think they’ll be discussing this for a good long while.
(Hey look, Jacque came thru in big situations and was overshadowed, yet again!)
Michael Wuertz needs a non-pun related nickname.