Of course, you can hope to do so. And when playing the Cubs, with the chance to sweep, one can't be faulted for really really wanting the win. But I'll take 2 of 3 every time. Do that, you will win 100 games.
Cubs bats woke up in this one, winning 10-3. At some level, we all knew this was going to happen today. Todd Wellemeyer isn't right, and hasn't been all season (so far). He's made it out of the fifth once. He's allowed 40 baserunners in 4 starts (for a WHIP of 1.82). Is this just an aberration or is there something wrong?
I think there's something wrong. Through his first 4 starts last season, he'd thrown 3 more innings, but here's the rub: he'd allowed 13 fewer baserunners (27 to 40), and had struck out twice as many guys (26 to 13). Part of the frustration of living on the West Coast is I don't get a chance to see the game live, and my days are too busy to allow sitting in front of a computer and watching the game on MLB TV. So I don't know if his pitches are more up this season than last, or have less break on them this season, or what. But what is true, and I can glean this from the statistics, is he isn't missing bats anywhere near as well as he did last year.
His pitch to contact has resulted in more baserunners, and giving up more runs (this year's ERA is 6.14, last year through 4 starts it was 3.24). Cardinals already have Carpenter on the shelf. Although we can't afford another starter to go down, I'd certainly like to find out what's wrong with Wellemeyer, because we need him over the long haul.
Interestingly, through 4 starts last year he'd given up 5 home runs. He hasn't given up any this season. I wonder if a change in his pitching philosophy, to not give up as many HR this year, has led to some unintended consequences regarding his effectiveness. Realize, though, that's just wild speculation on my part.
One more item from Sunday's game. The Cubs decided they wouldn't let AP beat them (smart move), walking him his first two times up. Then, with the score 6-2 Chicago and two outs in the fifth, they hit him. Now, in the top of the second Wellemeyer had drilled Soriano high with a pitch; the score was already 3-0, there was a guy on, Soriano was hitting third, so I don't think Wellemeyer was trying to intimidate anyone. And I don't know if Harden took it upon himself to protect his guys by throwing at Pujols.
But it seemed suspicious. Especially since AP had really hurt Chicago in this series. Was it a purpose pitch? A message to AP and the Cardinals for the rest of the season? Only Harden, Soto, and Piniella really know for sure.
Of all the guys to try and intimidate, I don't think I'd pick on Albert Pujols.
3 hours ago