Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Offseason Talk:

* Mulder, Suppan, Marquis, Belliard, Weaver, Edmonds, Wilson, Bennett, Spiezio and Vizcaino have all filed for free agency. It's anyone's guess as to who's coming back.

* Padres are talking to Dusty Baker to replace Bochy; San Diego stops making plans for Padres postseason celebrations.

Monday, October 23, 2006

World Series Game 3 Preview

Since I probably won't have time before tomorrow's game, here's a preview of WS Game 3.

Detroit (Nate Robertson) vs. St. Louis (Chris Carpenter)

Robertson is a lefty with a 13-13 regular season record, and a 1-1 mark in the playoffs. He was the ALDS Game 1 starter for the Tigers, giving up 7 of the 8 Yankee runs in 5.2 IP, and threw 5 scoreless innings against the Athletics in ALCS Game 1. He features a low-to-mid 90s fastball and an excellent slider. Preston Wilson and Ronnie Belliard have had success against him. Belliard is 8-25 lifetime, while Wilson is a perfect 5-5 with 2 HR.

Chris Carpenter is the 2005 NL Cy Young Winner, and sported a 15-8 regular season mark in 2006. He is 2-1 in the postseason, both wins coming against the San Diego Padres in the NLDS. A number of Tiger hitters have faced Carpenter previously with success. Ivan Rodriguez is 9-26 lifetime with 7 RBI, Magglio Ordonez is 5-18 with 1 HR and Sean Casey is 6-13 with 1 HR.

Weather for Game 3 in St. Louis is forecast to be in the mid-40s with light wind. Rain is possible on Wednesday for Game 4.

So, about the new "Pine Tar Game."

Obviously, we'll never know for sure that it was pine tar; that chance went out the window when the home plate umpire told him just to wash it off.

This photo, from the 6th inning, seems to show that he still had it on the back of his hat. Looks to me like it would have been fairly easy to load his hand up with that hat dance he was doing between pitches.

La Russa's reluctance to go out and ask for an inspection is odd. J-Rod came to him from the clubhouse to tell him, and he should have gone out then and gotten Rogers inspected.

So what can be done? Nothing. Game's in the books, he's not getting suspended, so the Cardinals just have to go out and win 3 at home to lock this thing up before they have to go back to Detroit to face Rogers again.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

WORLD SERIES POST!

It's a rematch of 1968, when Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain beat Gibby and the Cards in a 7-game classic.

I can actually enjoy this Series. 2004 was a Series of conflicted emotions, for reasons that some know and few care about now.

Kid Reyes will start Game 1 against Tigers rookie Justin "Where the heck is Verland?" Verlander. Game 2 brings us Jeff "Dream" Weaver on short rest, with Game 3 featuring Chris Carpenter and Jeff "NLCS MVP" Suppan in Game 4.

My stab at a Game 1 lineup:

Eck, SS
Spiezio, DH
Pujols, 1B
Edmonds, CF
Encarnacion, RF
Rolen, 3B
Duncan, LF
Molina, C
Belly, 2B

Having the DH means that potentially, Pujols could hit but give way to Duncan or Spiezio at 1B to rest the strained hammy. It's not a move I'd be thrilled with, because El Hombre's defense is probably better than Skillet's or The Imperiale's.

The schedule goes Sat-Sun-Tue-Wed-Thu-Sat-Sun, so I will see at least 3 games, and potentially 5. If the Cardinals can clinch on Thursday, I might be enticed into changing my work schedule.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm not going to devote a ton of time or effort to breaking down tonight's game; goodness knows I've done more than enough of that elsewhere tonight.

Instead, I want to start looking forward to Game 7.

My lineup for Game 7:

Eck, SS
P-Dub, LF
El Hombre, 1B
Instant Breakfast, RF
Spiezio, 3B
Jed, CF
Belly, 2B
Yadi, C
Soup, P

P-Dub has had the most success of anyone in the #2 hole. No one's really set the world on fire in that spot, mainly because this team isn't exactly the Murderer's Row Yankees. Rolen's shoulder is obviously impairing his ability to cover the plate, and the hole in his swing is just too big.

Edmonds needs to hit down in the lineup to cover for the fact that he's not healthy, and Spiezio is cooling but is still preferable to Rolen. The Loneliest Number doesn't really hit that well in the #4 hole, but he's the best option.

The bullpen's not in horrible shape, thankfully, although Tyler Johnson is probably not available. Looper should be an option of last resort, as tonight's performance clearly showed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

So, the whole "updating this thing regularly" deal didn't pan out.

Thoughts on events in Cardinal-land while I've been away:

* Albert Pujols is still Baseball Jesus.

* Jason Isringhausen is creeping ever closer to officially being Dead to Me.

* We have no chance to survive make our time get to the World Series.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

June 22, 2002. Cards vs. Cubs, at Wrigley.

Joe Girardi comes out before the game and announces that "due to a tragedy in the Cardinals' family, the commissioner has canceled today's game."

It was only a few hours later that we would learn the tragedy was the death of Darryl Kile.

Today is the 4th anniversary of that day, and considering how our pitching staff has looked the past 2 days, God knows I'd love to have DK in the rotation right now.

DK
57

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Inspired by an argument I was in last night...

Is using performance-enhancing drugs cheating more than a pitcher doctoring the baseball? Both are illegal under the rules.

I maintain that doctoring the baseball is nowhere near the level of steroid use simply because no pitcher can successfully scuff every ball they throw to every hitter during every at-bat. A player who is on steroids has an unfair advantage every time he steps into the box. A pitcher who puts a little moisture on the ball or can scrape a rough spot is taking a much bigger risk of getting caught, since the ump is handling every ball he throws, and therefore there's no way to do it on every pitch.

Are they both cheating? Yes. The thing is, though, a hitter knows when he steps into the box that the pitcher COULD scuff a ball if he thinks he needs that edge during that at-bat, but it's not a guarantee. A pitcher doesn't have that luxury when a hitter on steroids comes to the plate. When Giambi, Bonds, Palmeiro or Canseco stepped into the box, their cheating was already in effect. There's no way to decide not to use steroid-enhanced strength. That's why they're different: steroid users cheat every time they step onto the field.