Praising Neshek

Mention Pat Neshek to a Cardinals fan and you’ll no doubt get a positive reaction. “He’s having a good year.” “He deserved that All Star nod.” The 33 year old veteran relief pitcher that the Cardinals signed on a flier in Spring Training made the team and has put together a great season. However, just how great that season has been has flown under the radar.

As we approach the end of July, roughly 2/3rds of the way through the season, Neshek is sporting a 0.85 ERA and a 0.638 WHIP over just over 42 innings of work, both league leading numbers among relievers with more than 30 innings pitched. He has a 428 ERA+. For those who don’t know what ERA+ is, it’s an attempt to normalize ERA for league and park factors. An even 100 ERA+ means a league average pitcher. For Neshek’s 428, which leads the league as well, it means he is more than 4x as good as the league average pitcher this year.

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Cardinals set to add Pierzynski

The latest news for Cardinal Nation is that A.J. Pierzynski is already in Chicago and an announcement of the signing will be made before tomorrow afternoon’s game. The news came this afternoon that George Kottaras had reportedly cleaned out his locker after less than two weeks with the club after being claimed off waivers by the Cardinals on the 11th of July. Kottaras caught just 11 innings for the team.

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Taveras getting plenty of opportunity

There seems to be a common refrain among Cardinals fans and even the media, it seems. Oscar Taveras isn’t getting an opportunity to play in St. Louis. Mike Matheny is showing his loyalty to Allen Craig by giving him most of the playing time. That’d be all well and great. If it were true. Funny how nobody bought the concept that there wasn’t playing time for him in April and May. It was all about Super Two!

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Instant Replay needs some camera work

I’m watching tonight’s St. Louis Cardinals game and Matt Holliday ripped a ball right down the line that was called foul. The Cardinals challenged the call, which eventually stood, but it shows a massive problem that I have with the instant replay system in baseball.

If you haven’t noticed, some of the camera angles in baseball are great for watching the game, but horrible for actually determining things with precision. Like, there is no camera shot directly down the foul line to help determine whether the ball was fair or foul on review. Instead, the guy making the decision has to look for chalk being kicked up and distinguish it from grass. A ridiculously difficult judgement call, regardless of how high definition your cameras are.

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Bean balls, Rosenthal and a pinch hitter

I hate bean ball battles. Reading quotes from the Dodgers after last night’s game, they seem to be saying that hitting batters accidentally is bad, but hitting batters intentionally is absolutely okay. That makes total sense right?

Anyone who actually watched last night’s game knows that there was only one intentionally hit batter, and the pitcher who hit him was wearing Dodger blue. To me that erodes the moral high ground they are attempting to claim.

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