Saturday, October 15, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

The Cardinals are in a little trouble, and things don't appear to be going their way. Over the past two games the Cardinals have faced two pretty tough pitchers, and pretty much gave the game away today. That having been said I still think the Cards are in good shape to take this series back to the Lou ahead 3 games to 2.

The depth of our pitching staff will hopefully be shown tomorrow when Suppan, who was our best pitcher down the stretch, takes the mound against Backe. Then Carpenter goes against Pettitte in game 5.

Of course that don't mean jack unless the offense gets their proverbial head out of their arse. Especially the likes of Edmonds and Walker, who appear to be repeating their choke job from last years World Series. Not to mention Grudzielanek can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag right now. I can't remember the last time he got a hit. The only player doing anything at all is Pujols. I am shocked that the Astros give him anything to hit. Especially since LaRussa, for some reason that I can't figure out, decided to put the 3 biggest culprits in our lack of offense directly behind Pujols in the lineup today.

In my opinion it is time for LaRussa to shake up the lineup. In the regular season you can afford to stick with certain guys when they are struggling, especially when playing the likes of the Reds, and Pirates. However, this is the post season and in a short 7 game series you can't afford to stick with guys that aren't getting the job done.

Now there is something to be said for "dancing with the one you brought to the prom", but if my date for the prom starts dancing with another guy then I say screw her and find me some one else to dance with, and right now Edmonds, Walker, and Grudzielanek are not only not helping the Cardinals, they are hurting us. Think of this stat, in 5 out of Pujols last 7 at bats he has led off the inning. So pretty much that means every at bat but his first, which is in the first inning, he has led off. So in other words he comes up with no one on base and no chance to drive in a run, unless of course he homers like he did in game 2. Absolutley no way can the Cardinals win like that.

For example, Phil Garner, realizing that his hottest bat is Chris Burke, removed Tavares and put Burke in center. Tony LaRussa needs to do the same. I doubt he does because it seems LaRussa has this sick obsessive loyalty to certain players no matter how they are doing. If I was managing the Cards my lineup would look like this tomorrow...

Eckstein SS
Rodriguez LF (excellent fastball hitter so let's put him in front of Pujols where he is sure to get
a few fastballs to hit)
Pujols 1B
Mabry 3B
Molina C (one of the few that is actually hitting)
Taguchi CF
Luna 2B
Gall RF (dead pull hitter, maybe he can get a few of those cheap 300 ft HR's in Houston)
Suppan P


Like I said I doubt LaRussa does anything to his lineup because of his inability to adjust in post season games. Which is one of the reasons his teams fail in the post season. He refuses to make any adjustments with guys that are not getting the job done. Also one of the many reasons I am not a LaRussa fan. He always plays everything by the book, sometimes a manager needs to throw the book out the window and manage with his gut.

Another thing killing the Cards right now is our bullpen. Add Al Reyes, who was by far our best most consistent reliever (Izzy included) to the long list of critical Cardinal injuries before the post season. Remember Vince Coleman getting run over by the tarp in 1987. Mike Matheny about cutting his hand off with a hunting knife he got as birthday gift. Chris Carpenter last year, and now Reyes. Throw in the injury to Sanders, and Nunez today and the Cards have alot to over come. Then again given the way our bench has performed this year, we might have the Astros right where we want them.

Another interesting topic that has been much debated the past few days is instant replay in baseball. I for one am definately in favor of it. Especially after some of the umpiring I have seen in this post season. Everyone knows about the incident in game 2 of the ALCS. The umpiring has sucked in the NLCS as well (and it seems the calls have all gone against the Cardinals), Burke being tagged out at third on his triple in game 2, he was called safe. Grudzielanek clearly fouling the ball off his foot, and yet again the Cardinals were screwed. Molina picked off Burke at first today, and in what might have been the worst call I have seen since the Dink hosed us in 1985 ,was called safe. That call was not even that difficult a play to call. Nunez foul ball as well in today's game. Frankly the umpiring has sucked. These are supposed to be the best of the best and they seem to not even be able to make the simple calls. The stakes in the post season are too high, bring in the replay and get it right.

I think it will never happen because Chris' boy Bud Selig is against it. He said the other day "Instant Replay would certainly affect the games integrity."

Oh yeah now Bud is worried about the games integrity. After sacrificing the games integrity on the altar of the Wild Card, Interleague play, a strike cancelling the World Series, an All Star Game ending in a tie, and juiced up roid freaks hitting 250 foot HR's to win post season games in glorified little league parks, now Bud Selig is worried about the games integrity. Yeah I can see how using available technology to make sure we get calls right would screw the game of it's integrity.