As fans we see it all the time. Another tight game and the manager makes the walk to the mound to bring in your bullpen’s best pitcher for his second or third consecutive day of work. Either by routine or by role, the manager makes this decision, in most case, purely out of habit without consulting whether the statistics say it’s a good move. But he’s a pitcher the manager has faith in to get the job done.
Last spring as the Cardinals descended on Jupiter, Florida, for spring training there was quite a bit of talk about the organization’s efforts to put together the team’s next group of core players that would carry the team through the next 5-7 years. Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina were the centerpieces of the current Cardinals’ core and at ages 34, 36, and 33 respectively, they’re also getting old.
The final out was recorded and the Chicago Cubs celebrated on the field, clinching their first postseason series victory in 12 years and their first series clinching victory ever at Wrigley Field. Congratulations to the Cubs and their fans. I just hope that they don’t get used to it.
The saving grace for Cardinals fans of the loss–or just me, at least–is that it was a good series.
Neither team rolled over. Both teams played hard. The games went back and forth. Games weren’t over until the final outs were recorded. It was everything you could want in the first postseason matchup between longtime rivals. It didn’t disappoint in any way. Except the outcome.
Over the past couple weeks there has been a lot of angst about Mike Matheny’s lineup decisions. They’ve primarily focused on the decision to use Jon Jay in center field much more often than Tommy Pham.
After a minor league career littered with injuries, it’s more than a little ironic that he’s finally gotten a real Major League shot thanks to the littany of injuries to the big league club. He struggled in his first cup of coffee with the Cardinals. Opponents quickly figured out his weaknesses and exploted them. He is back and has made adjustments.
It seems that every time the Cardinals lose on Twitter, there’s a segment of fans that seem to believe the season is over. It doesn’t matter that the Cardinals have the best record in baseball by a few games or even have a five game lead in their division. All is lost! Just go ahead and send the players home. Forfeit the rest of the season. The Cardinals lost a game on August 9th. There’s no chance.