Monday, May 19, 2008

You Just Don't Know, Do You?

This Cardinals team, although very entertaining, is going to drive me crazy over the next 4 months. How do you drop 2 of 3 to the Pirates, then turn around and take 2 of 3 from the best team in the AL? Crazy.

Cardinals flat-out stole one yesterday. Tampa Bay has had, statistically, the best bullpen in the AL this season. To trail 3-0 after 6 and win 5-4 in the ninth against that group is quite the achievement.

There's been a lot of ink spilt discussing the propensity of this team to leave men on all over the place, and rightly so. They stranded 6 on Friday, 16 on Saturday, and another 10 yesterday. The silver lining is they're getting guys on consistently; the hits with men in scoring position will eventually come. I'd be a lot more concerned if they were hitting .800 with men in scoring position and only stranding 2-5 runners a game, because that success rate is not sustainable over the season.

Shore up the bullpen, and get some hits to fall in, and this becomes a VERY dangerous team.

So it's off to the west-coast to complete their swing through California for the season. One of the things I liked about the old schedule (and this goes back to the 12-team NL, when they played 18 games against teams in their division and 12 against the NL West) was they had 2 nine-game road trips through the coast a year, and hit SD, LA, and SF all in the same trip. If you were so inclined, and could get the time off, you could follow the team up the coast. Why they made the trip out to SF in April and then swing through LA/SD now is beyond me. I can see why a lot of folks in the league think this schedule stinks.

For the first time in 10 years I won't be going to see the Cardinals in person. My schedule is too chock-a-block right now to afford taking 4 hours to attend a baseball game. That's a sad state of affairs, but it's reality. Since we're back on Cable TV (having told ATT to shove it with regard to Dish Network), I'll be able to watch all 3 games from the comfort of my own home, so at least I'll get to see them play.

Pitching matchups for the next 3 days:

Wellemeyer vs Ledezma
Piniero vs Maddux
Looper vs Young

Maddux has owned the Cardinals during his career, and Young is very tough at home; I think we'll be fortunate to take 2 of 3 in this series, even though we're playing the Padres, who were anointed the worst team in baseball yesterday by virtue of dropping 2 of 3 to the Mariners. Talk about the Toilet Bowl - a weekend series that pitted the worst AL team against the worst NL team.

Giles is hot, Adrian Gonzalez is tearing the cover off the ball, but the rest of the lineup is scuffling right now for San Diego.

In-depth analysis over the next 3 days for this series. Go Cards!

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