Oh. Hello. It’s been a while. Hope you’ve been well.
The Cardinals are on a swing through San Diego, meaning it’s time for an annual trip to Petco. Which contained more than the usual foreboding while watching St Louis on the west coast. For some reason, the Cardinals have had lots of trouble handling the lowly Padres. That, combined with an usually ugly start to the season, meant it could be a painful series to watch.
Andrew Cashner had been awful so far in 2016, but his awfulness was more than matched by Adam Wainwright’s crummy start to the season. Which formerly good but suddenly mediocre starter would prevail?
Turned out it was Cashner.
Random thoughts on last night’s game:
- St Louis put two on in the first, with one out, but Matt Adams struck out swinging. This became a theme. With two on and one out in the fifth – on second and third this time – Matt Carpenter struck out looking. Hey at least Adams swung the bat. Carp looked like he was guessing something other than a fastball on the 3-2 pitch. St Louis didn’t have a hit with RISP.
- Reuben Tejada has an interesting warm-up routine in the first inning. He takes the throw from first, then writes something in the dirt behind short (at the lip of the OF grass), taps his thigh with his glove, and finally throws the ball back to first. Not making fun of it; just have never seen something like that before.
- Apparently opposing hitters are crushing Wainwright’s first pitch of the AB.
- As if proving the point, Wil Myers took an 88-MPH fastball and drove it out to RC for a home run in the bottom of the first. It was apparent the first time through the order Padre hitters were sitting on Waino’s opening pitch. Then it became apparent the Padres were not only sitting on the first pitch, but Waino’s fastball. He threw a lot of carly count curveballs in this game.
- Wainwright never retired the side in order. He did only face 3 hitters in the sixth, but walked the second man and was rescued by a great grab/tag/throw from Kolten Wong on Adam Rosales’ slow chopper.
- Tejada didn’t look like he was a very fast runner in his first AB. That said, the Padres grounds crew waters the crap out of the infield (which may include the first base line). And, a couple of other Cardinal hitters didn’t look that mobile either (Matt Holliday for one).
- Adams tried to bunt to beat the shift. Good thought; sadly he fouled the ball off.
- Cashner bunted for a hit, then Jon Jay hit one juuust out of Matt Adams reach (but close enough for Matt to get the top of his glove on it) that kicked into short RF. Went for a single and sent Cashner around to third. He eventually scored on Wil Myers’ line drive sac fly to deep RF.
- I don’t understand why the Padres had Jay bunt with a man on second and no outs in the seventh. Yadier Molina got the runner easily at third. Thanks for the out, Padres.
- St Louis also caught a break when Wainwright popped up a bunt in the fifth that landed, but Cashner never looked at third base. He had Wong dead to rights, because Wong had to hold up just in case Cashner caught it. Again, thanks, Padres. Sadly Wong didn’t score.
- Don’t fault Aldemys Diaz for getting cut down at home. First, Matt Kemp threw wildly to second, and Diaz aggressively broke for the plate. Give Rosales credit for alertly pouncing on the ball and firing a strike to the plate.
- I saw someone steal third on Molina. I don’t think I’d ever seen that live; not sure I’ve ever seen someone successfully do it (although I’m sure it’s happened).
- Wong had 2 good swings, flying out to deep RF an lining a single to right, but Matheny pinch-hit for him in the seventh anyway. Seemed odd. Diaz was the pinch-hitter and was replaced by the new pitcher. Jedd Gyorko pinch-hit later in the same inning but stayed in to play second. In the ninth he pinch-hit for Tejada. I was hoping the Cardinals would tie it just to see who was going to play shortstop, because all their middle infielder options had been used already. Maybe Oh can play short.
The Cardinals really didn’t threaten that much, but they had their opportunities. They didn’t produce anything with runners in scoring position and that killed them. Wainwright settled down and pitched OK in the end. Seth Maness got hit pretty good in his first inning of work but got the ground balls working in his second inning. All told it added up to a 4-1 loss. This was a winnable game but it didn’t happen.
Thanks for reading –
Post slightly delayed due to sleep needs and Little League responsibilities.