Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the release of Field of Dreams. I still remember seeing that movie in the theater and how much I enjoyed it. It was the first movie I ever received on VHS, a Christmas present the next year. For the longest time–and, honestly, most likely still today–it along with Casablanca and Star Wars ranked at the top of my personal movie list.
So, in honor of that milestone–one that actually makes me feel fairly old, but let’s not dwell on that at the moment–let’s look at yesterday’s Cardinals/Mets game through the prism of Field of Dreams quotes. I have no idea if this will work, but I’m sure we can force it if it doesn’t quite click.
“Out! Back to the sixties! Back! There’s no place for you here in the future! Get back while you still can!”–Terrance Mann’s first interaction with Ray Kinsella could be applied to the Cardinal offense, as they mustered an attack last night that would have fit in quite well with most any team in 1968, the year of the pitcher. Six hits, only one that went for extra bases, and only one when there was actually someone on base. The Cards scored eight runs for Adam Wainwright Thursday in Washington. In the four games since then, they’ve mustered a total of seven.
“It’s not my fault you wouldn’t play catch with your father.”–While Mann disclaims responsibility for Kinsella’s relationship with his dad, it’s also true that Tyler Lyons, Patron Pitcher of the Blog, didn’t carry the blame for last night’s defeat. Lyons went six strong innings–well, five strong, the sixth was a little more dicey–and allowed just the two runs. He did put 12 runners on, but five of them came in the fifth and three came in the third, the two innings the Mets scored. Lyons struck out seven and, all in all, had a solid outing. It’s not really Hero-worthy, even with the limited offense, but it was in the running.
“See if you can hit my curve. Yeah, yeah, you can hit the curve ball.”–While Jenrry Mejia didn’t necessarily have a curve ball that the Cards were baffled by, most everything else he threw got to them. The six hits off of Mejia and company were evenly distributed between three players–Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, and our Hero Yadier Molina–and too often any threat was snuffed out by a double play, including two stellar ones started by Ruben Tejada, who was supposed to be a liability at shortstop. Apparently nobody told him that.
“Hey, rookie! You were good.”–While Jorge Rondon right now still has that Moonlight Graham thing going, Eric Fornataro made his major league debut last night, so his name will always be listed in the Baseball Encyclopedia. (Well, I guess these days it’d be Baseball-Reference or Fangraphs, huh? I still have a couple of copies of the old Encyclopedia, one right within visual range.) It was nice to see Mike Matheny go to the rookie, especially given the circumstances. It wasn’t a game out of reach, though the odds of the Cards rallying for two in the ninth were a little slim given their lack of production. Fornataro got the Mets 1-2-3 throwing nothing but fastballs in the low to mid-90s. We’ll see if he gets any more chances in the coming days. However, that did mean a day off for both Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist, so that’s a good thing.
“I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, to write again, to be a leader.”–Unfortunately for Matt Holliday, last night’s Goat, that’s not likely going to happen even when he puts up 0-4 days. You could flip a coin between him and Matt Adams, since they both were hitless, struck out twice, and left three men on, but Holliday “wins” the title on the tiebreaker of popping out on the first pitch when there were runners on first and third and just one out. Even a medium fly ball probably ties up the game there, but Holliday couldn’t get the job done.
“I never got to bat in the major leagues. I would have liked that chance. Just once.”—Joey Butler has had a brief taste of the big leagues, but you figure he’s hungry for more and wondering what he has to do to make the big league bench. With two on and two out in the seventh yesterday, needing two runs to tie, Mike Matheny pinch-hit Daniel Descalso and, when the Mets countered with a pitching change, sent up Shane Robinson. Neither of which were very realistic options for success, but it’s not like he had much to choose from on the bench. Perhaps he could have gone with Peter Bourjos, who was sitting last night, but Bourjos hasn’t hit much lately either and, if he had a better chance of coming through, it was very slight. When there is such a lack of offense coming from the lineup, it would be good to have someone on the bench that at least has a chance of being able to cash in the chips that are on the table. Can Butler do that? I don’t know. However, his minor league career shows more pop than Descalso and Robinson combined and he has two doubles in his 12 major league at-bats. Right now, it really couldn’t hurt.
“Hey, ump, how about a warning?”–You think Kolten Wong might be thinking that? Ever since Mark Ellis came off the disabled list, Wong has been, if not relegated to the corner, at least not as front-and-center as he was previously. Of course, that’s related to his hitting slump for the most part, something he acknowledges as a timing/swing issue. I don’t think we can start saying that Matheny is burying Wong by any means, but it does worry me when he says things about Mark Ellis being “a known quantity”. I expect that’s the same rationale that factors into Jon Jay starting more often over Bourjos. That’s true, you do know what you are going to get with those guys, at least to some extent, but you can’t let that override what you could get from Wong and Bourjos if you’d let them play and attain those ceilings. It’s a fine line/high-wire balancing act and one of the reasons Matheny makes the money he does. I just hope he realizes that “known quantity” doesn’t necessarily mean that what is known is good–see Descalso and Robinson.
“America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again.”–That’s got to be one of the best speeches ever in a movie, doesn’t it?
Who knew Darth Vader could be so sentimental? Anyway, the Cards look to erase any thoughts of last night’s game or their recent struggles by sending out their ace to the mound.
Wainwright has struggled in the past against the Mets, but last year Molina did some extra homework, they came up with a game plan, and his last time against the New York club he threw seven innings of shutout, four-hit ball. Given the way Waino’s throwing right now, I feel better about that than the historical numbers.
Dillon Gee will go for the Metropolitans, coming off his best start of the season. He allowed no runs in seven innings against the Diamondbacks, which was a significant departure from his earlier three starts, where he gave up at least three runs in each.
St. Louis hasn’t seen Gee much. When he saw them last June, though, he went 6.2 innings and allowed just one run and struck out seven. Given the current state of the offense, well, tonight might just be a taut pitching duel.
“Back then I thought, ‘Well, there’ll be other days.’ I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”–You only get one shot at today, so make it count. It’s Wainwright day, which has to give you a spring in your step!