Yadier Molina wrapped up a two-game rehab stint last night and topped it off by reportedly covering a post-game spread of steak and lobster for his short-term Springfield Cardinals teammates. While there he went 5-for-6 with three extra base hits. He has declared himself ready to return and ready to start for St. Louis in tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs, but we are still waiting on official word of his return from the Cardinals.
In the book An Integrative Theory of Leadership, Martin Chemers defines leadership as, “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” It’s one of those things that fans use when talking about players on their favorite sports teams. Cardinals fans have used “leader” to define a number of players who have been around the team. Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols, and Chris Carpenter have all been described as leaders.
To borrow from Kenny Rogers (not the baseball player), “You‘
Seth Maness came to the mound to pitch the 8th inning of a 2-2 game. He struck out Russell Martin. Then back-to-back singles came by Gaby Sanchez and Starling Marte. Then he got Clint Barmes to line out. Ike Davis got the call to pinch hit.
Last night Mike Matheny told the media after the game that he had decided that only four relievers were available out of the bullpen for Saturday’s game. He also added that he wanted Kevin Siegrist to pitch two innings of relief. Let’s tackle this.
It seems like Matheny put himself in a box that he didn’t have to put himself into. First, he decided that only Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal, Randy Choate, and Nick Greenwood were the only pitchers available in relief. That meant that the three relivers who had pitched the day before, weren’t available to pitch back-to-back days. A good decision in theory. Pitching guys on back-to-back days should be avoided if possible, but that plan needs to change when an opportunity to win arises. Especially if they are two of your better relief options.
Last night Trevor Rosenthal was called on in the 9th inning of a tie game against the Boston Red Sox. It was his third straight appearance. As Bernie Miklasz noted in a column he wrote today, Rosenthal has been well used this season. He’s thrown nearly 200 more pitches than the other top closers in the league this season. Part of that is Matheny’s insistence to use him in virtually every save situation, often on consecutive days, and even, like last night, when its a tie game late. It doesn’t help that thanks to the offense, most wins are save situations these days.