In Monday night’s game, oh so many things didn’t go in favor of the Cardinals. We tied the game, only to lose it in late innings. Our closer, Seung-hwan Oh, gave up a 3 run homer and as it turns out, that would seal our fate.
In this game, as in many games so far this season, many things could be the culprit for the loss. We again did not bring runners in scoring position home. We had 13 hits with 17 runners left on base. Four of our 5 runs were solo homers. Wacha did not look as sharp as he so far this season, allowing 4 runs before his exit.
Again a familiar sight, there was a baserunning blunder and an error. We have few games without those. Unfortunately in this game, they were both done by one player…Kolten Wong. And if you did not see Twitter Monday night or Tuesday morning, consider yourself lucky. Kolten was the center of a pure firestorm.
Was his baserunning blunder a welcome sight? Absolutely not. However, after seeing the replay multiple times and reading what others had to say, the fault isn’t 100% on Kolten. He was being waved home far down the third base line until he all of a sudden was being shown a stop sign, far too late to stop all that momentum. Kolten flat out flies around the bases. Most likely, he was thinking he had to score on this opportunity. And aggressive baserunning is preached in our organization, often to the detriment of the players and the box score.
Was the error made at an opportune time? No. There’s never a great time for an error to occur and often in this season, the errors have resulted in runs scored. This particular error paved the way for 2 people to be on base when Shaw came to the plate, and he then hit a 3 run shot off Oh. 7-5 would be the final score of the game.
As often happens, in Tuesday night’s game, Kolten ended up as the Player of The Game, making spectacular plays and providing the game winning RBI.
The Cardinals played a very 2017 Cardinals game again on Tuesday night. Nowhere near enough offense to keep anyone comfortable and almost not enough to back up stellar pitching. We also had an error. Baserunning went smoothly, but there were few opportunities on the base paths, so luck was in our favor there.
Baseball is a team sport. No loss is ever on one player. Batters have to get hits, preferably of the timely variety. Runs have to be put on the board. Pitchers have to get the outs. Plays have to be made. When on base, baserunners have to be smart and fast. Management and coaching staff have to make the right decisions. In losses, all of these things can be pointed to at least once.
In wins, it’s a warm fuzzy feeling to be able to point to a team effort…multiple positives existing in one game.
Monday’s loss was not all on Kolten Wong. No one player ever decides a loss in its entirety.
Tuesday’s win was not all on Kolten Wong. No one player ever decides a win in its entirety.
It takes a village.