The Apple Bites Back

Some nights you give up two and the first and it’s no big deal.  Other nights, that’s about all she wrote.  For the second straight night, St. Louis found itself in a 2-0 hole to the Mets.  Unfortunately, this time the bats stayed quiet and no heroics were available to bail out Shelby Miller from his miscues.

I hate to tag Miller with the Goat in this one, since he did stick around and strike out 10 batters over his six innings and with some offense this wouldn’t have been that bad, but four runs (including two home runs) isn’t exactly a dominating performance, especially given what Miller has been doing all year long.  It’s the first time he’s given up four runs, though the lines in his losses are pretty similar–three runs (this time four) in 5.2 innings (this time six).

Offensively, there were some people to choose from as well.  David Freese‘s hitting streak snapped at 20 as he went 0-4.  That line was mirrored by Matt Holliday and Pete Kozma.  Matt Carpenter went 0-2, though he did draw two walks.

While Yadier Molina rapped out three hits and kept his average leading the league, I’m going to give the Hero tag to Allen Craig again, as his home run was the only thing that kept the Cards from being shut out.  It’s a small thing, but it’s still nice to avoid the whitewash.

Even great teams lose at times, so you just chalk that up to one of those 60 or so games every team loses and move on.  Unfortunately, as we’ll talk about in a bit, that puts St. Louis in a tough position to keep their non-losing series streak alive.

The Cardinals aren’t waiting around on their draft picks.  With the new CBA moving up the deadline and with them drafting players fairly amenable to signing quickly, the Redbirds have their top three choices tentatively agreed to terms, with only a physical keeping it from being official.  I was surprised to see how far over the financial slotting guide they went to sign Oscar Mercado.  From what I saw, there were some questions about Mercado’s bat and how it needed to still develop.  The Cards must be fairly confident that it is going to come around and he’s going to be someone involved in that middle infield mix in the coming years.  Hopefully they are correct!

Cards lead Cincinnati by 2.5 and Pittsburgh by three going into play today.  The Reds continue to fatten up by facing the Cubs, whom they’ve beaten 12 straight times at Wrigley Field and nine of 10 overall against them.  I’ll be glad when Cincinnati gets to play a little more strident competition (which won’t be until next week, as they have the Brewers this weekend before facing off against Pittsburgh).

The Cardinals haven’t lost a series since the end of April, when the Pirates took two of three from them at home during UCB Weekend.  Usually, when Adam Wainwright is your scheduled guy, you figure you have a pretty good chance of extending that streak.  However, it’s almost like that curveball in 2006 was a loan against future success against the Mets and he’s been paying it off ever since.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP
David Wright 15 12 3 2 0 0 3 2 3 .250 .333 .417 .750 0 1 0 0
John Buck 12 11 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 .091 .167 .364 .530 0 0 0 1
Marlon Byrd 11 11 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 .273 .273 .364 .636 0 0 0 0
Lucas Duda 9 5 2 1 0 1 6 2 0 .400 .444 1.200 1.644 0 2 0 0
Daniel Murphy 9 9 6 2 1 0 2 0 0 .667 .667 1.111 1.778 0 0 0 0
Omar Quintanilla 9 9 4 2 0 0 0 0 1 .444 .444 .667 1.111 0 0 0 0
Jonathon Niese 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .667 .667 .667 1.333 0 0 0 0
Justin Turner 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .667 1.000 0 0 0 0
Jordany Valdespin 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0
Total 78 70 23 9 1 2 12 4 15 .329 .359 .571 .930 0 3 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/13/2013.

Remember when Yadi went and did some extra video work to help Waino beat the Nats earlier in the year?  I hope he’s spending all day long looking at Mets footage.  Wainwright gave up three earned in six innings to the Mets last month at Busch and received one of his three 2013 losses in that game.

Even so, if it were a typical run-of-the-mill Mets pitcher they were throwing out there, you might think you’d take your chances on Wainwright struggling.  Instead, though, it’s a pair of aces as Matt Harvey goes for the Mets.  Harvey, the one bright spot in New York’s season, has been about as good as anyone, though he has a propensity (which is mainly due to the offense that supports him) for no-decisions.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP
Matt Carpenter 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 .000 .333 .000 .333 0 1 0 0
Allen Craig 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0
David Freese 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Jon Jay 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .667 .500 1.167 0 0 0 1
Yadier Molina 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .667 .500 1.167 0 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 0 0 0 0
Total 20 15 5 0 0 0 2 3 3 .333 .450 .333 .783 0 1 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/13/2013.

The Cardinals faced him last September, before he was really Matt Harvey, and got six hits and three walks as well as three runs off of him in five innings.  That kind of success would be welcome again today, though Harvey is obviously throwing much better and with much more experience than he was last year.

All of this, though, is likely a cow’s opinion.  Heavy rain is expected to hit the New York area today.  In fact, looking at The Weather Channel’s hourly forecast, there’s a 60% chance of thunderstorms starting at 11 AM, then between 80% and 100% chance of heavy rain from 1 PM to 3 AM.  It just might be that Mother Nature takes a hand in extending this streak for the Cardinals, though it’d be disappointing to miss this pitching matchup!

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