It’s rough being a Cardinals fan today.
Sure, they’ve won five of six. Sure, they are second in the division and are just 2.5 games behind the leader. Still, yesterday was such an embarrassment, it might take a while to live it down.
It’s not that Bartolo Colon pitched well and shut down the bats. That’s not an issue at all. Colon’s done that to St. Louis before and to many other teams as well. There was a reason he got a big contract in the offseason, even though he was getting up there in age.
However, when you let Colon get his first double ever and score his first run since 2002, you should probably hide your face for a while. I mean, that’s the sort of thing that everyone’s going to notice and no one is going to not find funny. It’s bad enough when that happens in a game where St. Louis wins and it’s an incidental footnote. Instead, he scores the tying run and the Mets are in business.
I mean, that’s the kind of thing that could get Lance Lynn the Goat just on principle. It won’t, though, because Lynn pitched a pretty solid game except for that. He had issues with Curtis Granderson, walking him three times, and Eric Young burned him twice with RBI doubles, but three runs in six innings should keep your team in the game. It wasn’t a bad outing, but it needed to be just a little better.
Unfortunately, that Colonoscopy didn’t turn up the Cardinal bats. While they’ve been swinging them pretty well in the last week or so, they were back in storage yesterday. Matt Carpenter, who gets the Hero, hit a home run, but that was the only thing the Cards got until the ninth, when a late attempt at a rally fell a run short. Carpenter had two hits and scored both runs, so the day off Tuesday must have done him some good.
The Goat has to be Matt Holliday, I think. Sure, there were a number of other hitters that didn’t get a knock yesterday, but Holliday came up with two on and nobody out in the ninth and promptly rapped into a double play, pretty much ruining any comeback ideas. Allen Craig did his part by singling in that last run, but the double play took a lot out of their possibilities of scoring at least two.
Really, there’s not much else to say about that game. If the Cards can consistently take five of six, I like their chances. They ran into a strong pitcher and those kind of days are going to be tough on folks. Ask the Rockies about that!
Let’s move on, then. Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen before yesterday’s game and seems to be good to go on Saturday, which is what we all wanted to hear. Unfortunately, Kevin Siegrist is having a nerve issue (and, honestly, between Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse, I think we’ve heard more than enough about nerve issues over the past few years and it’s rarely good) and won’t be going out on that rehab assignment soon after all. As we say, baseball tends to find a way to solve roster dilemmas. It’s just not usually a good way. Here’s hoping that the issue resolves and that Siegrist can be back on the path to returning shortly.
Mike Matheny commented on that Jonathan Lucroy All-Star ad that everyone’s talking about. I’m not sure how excited he was about it and that brings up an interesting point. Is it wise to upset a Wookiee? Oh, wait, sorry, that’s a different interesting point. I mean, is it wise to upset the guy that makes out the roster? I mean, I’m not sure who else is in the running at catcher, but I could almost see Matheny saying, “You know, Yadier Molina got elected by the fans and he’s the kind of guy that goes the distance, so I’m just going to bring Tony Cruz because Molina’s playing the entire game.” He won’t do that, but it’s fun to imagine the reaction if he did.
Cards open up a four-game set with the Phillies tonight. The Phillies are actually playing pretty well, winning seven of their last ten, but they are just one game ahead of the Mets in the NL East. David Buchanan goes for the Philadelphia squad tonight to start things off. Buchanan is a rookie, making only his sixth start of his career. His ERA is approaching six, but a lot of that is an artifact of allowing seven in six innings to the Nationals. Last time out, he gave up three in five to the Cubs. The Redbirds should be able to put up some hits and runs against him, especially if the recent offensive stirrings are legitimate.
Shelby Miller goes for St. Louis, coming off two strong starts against Toronto and Washington. Save for last game, Miller has been controlling his walks better over the past few games and his strikeouts are creeping up as well. We’ll see if those trends continue tonight.
Miller has done pretty well against the Phils in his career, though of course in limited exposure. We’ll also get to hear about St. Louis native Ryan Howard, who has always been one of the top Cardinal killers. He’s hit .368/.475/.703 against the Redbirds and just been slightly more effective (.368/.512/.695) in Busch Stadium. I know Howard isn’t what he used to be, but I sure hope they’ve figured out a new plan of attack for him. Then again, Howard hasn’t played in Busch since 2011 and even that year he was more mortal with a .943 OPS. So maybe it won’t be as bad as we fear. Just have to wait and see!
By the way, if you are interested I was on with Anthony Wayne last night. His show, Mets Public Record, is always a fun conversation and I enjoy talking with him and his co-host. If you’ve got some time today, give it a listen. I come in probably 20 minutes or so into the show, but it’s fun to hear what the other side is saying!