104 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. For fans of 28 other teams, that coundown had already begun. For Cardinals’ fans, it begins now.
Last night the Red Sox did what they did all series long. Pulled a rabbit out of their hat.
The entire series they didn’t hit well. In fact, only David Ortiz had more hits than games that were played in the World Series. But they got the hits when they needed them. Something the Cardinals were unable to do.
In Game 4, it was Jonny Gomes (2-for-17) getting a home run. In Game 5, it was David Ross (3-for-16) getting a double. In Game 6, it was Shane Victorino (2-for-13) knocking a triple off the green monster with the bases loaded. Continue reading
In a turn of events that has me remembering back to Game 2 of the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was spotted last night with a foreign substance on his glove. The substance was spotted and tweeted about by Cardinals minor leaguer Tyler Melling who has since spoken with the organization and deleted the tweet (probably ordered to under threat of release).
Since then, about the only defenses for Lester being mounted are an MLB statement indicating that they have no evidence of any wrong doing (which considering the lack of research they’ve done is unsurprising) and that Melling, a high A ball pitcher who didn’t have a very good season, is a horrible baseball player and as a result isn’t worth listening to.
One Boston writer proclaimed that Major League Baseball had refuted Melling’s claims with their statement this morning, which isn’t what happened. Major League Baseball’s statement said that they couldn’t draw any conclusions from the video and that nobody on the field last night complained about it. That’s not refutation, that’s just saying there wasn’t enough information in plain sight to decide one way or the other.
But is there more to this story? There definitely appears to be. Continue reading
I’ve spent quite a bit of time this evening defending Mike Matheny’s decision to let Lance Lynn start this game over Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly. And I don’t usually find myself in the position of defending Matheny, either. In the end, it didn’t work out for the Cardinals as Lynn struggled through the game, allowing 5 earned runs over 4.1 innings of work. The main complaint being that Lynn can’t be relied upon because he isn’t mentally tough and he’s been killed by the Pirates all season.
While I can’t speak to the former, I can understand why it would be an issue, especially when your offense thought it was a night game. The latter is definitely true. Lance Lynn has been killed by the Pirates this season. The Pirates hit .283/.371/.505 against him this season. For a reference, that’s like if every hitter in the Pirates lineup were Matt Adams (.284/.335/.503). And well, that’s certainly not good for a pitcher.
But Miller wasn’t much better. The Pirates hit him with a line of .321/.396/.679 this season. I don’t have a good comparable to that because that slugging percentage is higher than Miguel Cabrera‘s (who led all of baseball in slugging). In fact, if that was a player he would have finished 5th in batting average, 9th in on base percentage, and 1st in slugging percentage. We’d be talking about an MVP candidate. Continue reading
Mike Matheny announced today that Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn will start games one and two, respectively, of the National League Divisional Series. The Cardinals are home in St. Louis where they await the winner of tonight’s NL Wild Card between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. It represents a change in the order of the rotation as we enter the playoffs as Lynn had been scheduled to start on days preceding Wainwright’s turn in the rotation.
There’s been some surprise that the Cardinals announced their starters early, ahead of finding out who they will play in Thursday afternoon’s game one.
Wainwright, 32, finished up the season with a 19-9 record and a 2.94 ERA. He led the league in wins, starts (34), complete games (5), shutouts (2), innings pitched (241.2), and batters faced (856). He is the ace of the Cardinals rotation and they had previously moved him to make his last start on Saturday so that he could start game one on regular rest. Wainwright is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his last five starts. Continue reading