Preseason Approval Ratings: Survey Results

The final post in the series of the Cardinals’ preseason approval ratings. For those who aren’t familiar with the song that the line comes from in the photo caption, catch it YouTube here, it’s a 1996 classic. Today, I’m going to take a look at the final two ratings for management and the survey questions. And I’m not going to waste any time doing it!

Starting right off the bat, John Mozeliak. The Cardinals GM only scored a 6.5 on the approval ratings. Obviously his rating is hurting because of the recent lack of a contract for Albert Pujols. Personally, I gave him a 9, which was the highest rating anyone gave him.

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Game 6: Pirates 3, Cardinals 1

Once again the Cardinals find themselves on the wrong side of the runs column. It’s beginning to be a regular thing these days. Now 2-4 to start the season. The last Cardinals’ team that I found that started 2-4 was the 2007 version. I think it’s interesting to note that both of those teams lacked their ace. In game 1 of that 2007 season the Cardinals lost Chris Carpenter, it would be the only start he made all season. The 2007 Cardinals finished third, just 7 games out of a playoff spot and were battling for the division lead at the beginning of September. It was a three team race in 2007, much like it’s expected to be this year in the NL Central. Time for my all positive thoughts… Nothing negative here. Chris Carpenter put up another impressive start. Didn’t get into the 7th inning, as I prefer starting pitchers do, but 6 innings with 1 earned run (thank you Mr. Pujols) is still pretty good. Colby Rasmus, though he went 0-for-4, nearly hit what would have been the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the 5th (or maybe 6th, not writing these right after the game decays my mental notes). The ball was caught at the warning track with guys on first and third. That would have been a big burst of offense and Rasmus has probably been the team’s best player through the first six days of the season. If he can keep it up once Pujols gets back on track, watch out, this team could be potent. Daniel Descalso was sweet at the hot corner today. Who knew he had an arm? Twice he made a great play to gun out a guy at first and I’m not even sure Freese could have made those plays.  The team will now get a much needed day off and hopefully back on track Friday against the Giants as they play the next nine straight days on a west coast swing. It would be nice to see Holliday back and available to pinch hit this weekend, though I’ll admit that I’m not up on the latest on him. =&0=& Nobody but Carpenter is exceptionally deserving. So Chris Carpenter it is. (6.0 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 6 K) =&1=&Everyone was about equally bad today. Two guys that stick out to me would be Descalso or Jason Motte. Descalso left 4 men on base, despite going 1-for-4, but he had some slick defensive plays that saved at least one run. Motte came in in the late innings and let Pittsburgh tack one more run on the board. I’m thinking I’m going to lean Jason Motte, when the offense is struggling, gotta keep the runs off the board. (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 0 K)

Preseason Approval Ratings: Pitchers

Continuing my post series on the preseason Cardinals’ approval ratings. Today I’m going to move on to the pitching staff.

Adam Wainwright did not make an appearance on the list due to his injury, but I’m fairly certain that he would have been the highest rated pitcher on the staff. Call me crazy.

Instead, that opened the door for the Cardinals’ other ace, Chris Carpenter, to take the nod with his 8.5¬†rating. After a rough September last year, Carpenter has a lot of work to do to regain the “ace” status that many feel he lost last year to Adam Wainwright. It’s the year that the Cardinals need him too. Wainwright and other stepped up when he was hurt, now it’s his turn to step up.

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Game 5: Cardinals 3, Pirates 2

Is that the hallelujah chorus I hear? No? Well it should be! The Cardinals eked one out tonight with a hit by Albert Pujols that just barely squeaked past the infielders. Plus, it wouldn’t be the ninth inning without Ryan Franklin letting someone on base. My thoughts on the game: Kyle McClellan did everything we could have asked him to do. Threw a strong six innings and kept us in the ballgame. You have to rely on the offense to score some runs because no pitcher will always be perfect. He made one real mistake in the first inning that resulted in a two run home run by Lyle Overbay, but settled in after that. Who can blame him? The St. Louis boy making his debut as a starter in front of the home crowd, my nerves would be flying. In the end, six innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts. Colby Rasmus has turned into a beast in the two spot so far this season. He goes 2-for-3 tonight with a walk to improve his batting average to .400 on the short season. Hitting in front of Albert, even a slumping Albert, has gotten him hot. If he can maintain the attention he seems to be paying to the game, this may be the season he polishes his game and puts it all together for a very big year. Return of the MV3 in 2011? We could see it with Rasmus, Pujols, and Holliday in the middle of the lineup. And yeah, Albert Pujols finally comes through. He might not be out of his slow start yet, but he manages to get the game winning RBI and for 13 or 14 hours, all will be right with the world. It wasn’t a very well hit ball, but it went between the infielders for a hit at a crucial time and that’s what matters. =&0=& Craig and Pujols are obviously both very good candidates, but I’m going to give it to Kyle McClellan tonight. (6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 7 K) =&1=& Does there have to be one? I think I’m just excited about another win. Looking at the boxscore, I think that has to go to Gerald Laird, though David Freese could get it too as his struggles at the plate continued. It was his first start of the season, and I heard the 600th game of his career. Unfortunately, he did not celebrate it in style. (0-for-4, 2 K, GIDP, 3 LOB)

Game 4: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

Kyle Lohse turned in five solid innings before his first walk of 2011 came back to bite him in a 4 run sixth inning. All in all, probably one of the better fundamental games of the season. Considering the lack of fundamentals, I’ve decided that was worth noting. However, here are my three thoughts. In the bottom of the 8th, the Cardinals had Lance Berkman on first, Albert Pujols on third, with Allen Craig at the plate and none out. Tony LaRussa had Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene sitting on his bench and didn’t opt to pinch run for Berkman. I’m curious as to why as it probably became the game changing move after the Pirates short stop bobbled the ball and managed to just beat a sliding Berkman to second. If anyone faster is on first, there isn’t an out and you get another at bat in the inning.  Yes, you’d already used your other outfielder on the roster in a pinch hitting situation, this is a place where only having 24 usable players has hurt the Cards. However, with the will to shuffle Descalso or Greene could have been used. Either Greene goes to right field or Schumaker does, in either case Greene or Descalso can play second. But LaRussa was probably unwilling to move Schumaker from second base.  I know I got on Tony last season for managing us out of games, but this is one time where he sat on his hands and shouldn’t have. There were a couple of us on Twitter that realized this and we’ve never managed a major league ballclub, so why did we know it was the right decision? That leads into my second point. How does Tyler Greene only have one plate appearance this season? The way he was talked about in the offseason led me to believe that he was going to be the primary guy off the bench this season. Instead, it’s Descalso getting the opportunities. For once, Tony has surprised me with how he’s handled guys off the bench. Part of me wonders if Greene is hurt and we just haven’t heard anything. And finally, Lance Berkman should have played more outfield in Spring Training. His error in the top of the 4th was a result of having not played enough outfield and not having the right instincts. As a guy who plays outfield a lot, and usually right field at that, once you’ve decided how to pursue the ball you don’t change your mind. In this situation, Berkman was charging hard at the ball and changed his mind at the last minute and the ball bounced off his shoulder and away from him. Luckily it didn’t haunt us this time, but it’s something he’ll need to get back if he wants to be an every day right fielder.  =&0=& Tough call. I really liked how Lohse threw six of his seven innings. He bounced right back from the four runs, but I think it has to go to Lance Berkman. Beyond the error, he went 1-for-2 and drew a couple walks. (1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB) =&1=& As much as I’d like to give it to Albert for another 0-for performance, it goes to David Freese tonight. Twice he came up with an opportunity to make something happened and struck out. (0-for-4, 2 K, 5 LOB)