August 6: Cardinals @ Reds

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (68-39, +5.5 in NL Central), Reds (48-57, -19.0 in NL Central)

First pitch: 11:35 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Randal Grichuk (CF), Kolten Wong (2B), Brandon Moss (1B), Tony Cruz (C), Greg Garcia (SS), Michael Wacha (RHP)

Reds lineup: Brandon Phillips (2B), Jason Bourgeois (CF), Joey Votto (1B), Todd Frazier (3B), Jay Bruce (RF), Marlon Byrd (LF), Eduardo Suarez (SS), Tucker Barnhart (C), Michael Lorenzen (RHP)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Randal Grichuk didn’t get the game-tying homer he wanted, but he did even better in the 13th (link)
  • The Cardinals received eight scoreless innings from six relievers to set up Wednesday’s win (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 4-3 win over the Reds on Wednesday (link)
  • Manager Mike Matheny continues to search for an optimal lineup (link)
  • Former first-round pick Luke Weaver continues to dominate in high-A (link)
  • Preview for Thursday’s series finale in Cincinnati (link)

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Won the series, 30 games over 500 and picked up a half game on the Pirates.Plus Wacha seems to be back to his old self. All is right in the world for today. AND the big news; Choate pitched and didn’t give up any runs!!!!

Yup, all is good. But have you noticed how many of the Cards have been taking first pitches lately…which puts ’em in the hole, immediately? Yesterday…it was like every one of our batters were doing it.
And MM’s right. The league needs to clarify the “neighborhood” rule thing. As it stands….apparently a player doesn’t actually have to tag 2B with his foot, before throwing to 1st for a double-play. But how close SHOULD the player’s foot be? What’s too far away…the primary question.
As for Choate? I swear…I have to leave the room while he’s pitching. He scares the crap outta’ me! Hehehe. Altho’ he did do his job well today. Unfortunately, it’s more the exception than the rule. : )

I understand the evolution of the “neighborhood” play at 2nd base.Players use to have metal spikes and many players used them to intimedate infielders.Like the collisions at the plate,players are concerned about their safety.Umpires have bought into it and I don’t think they’ll ever remove the play.

Sure, I get it. But since times have changed? The rule needs to be changed too, and deemed reviewable by the league. A determining factor regarding the foot’s proximity to 2B, is whether the player pulls his foot away to make way for a sliding opponent….OR….if the throw to 2B was errant enuf’ to PULL the player off of 2B.
That’s a difficult call for the ump to make while keeping his eye focused solely on the ball. The reason a player’s foot doesn’t tag the base is more on the subjective side, and ultimately, could be better determined if reviewed.
More than once, MM has asked the league to clarify not only the “neighborhood” rule, but to also clarify the rules surrounding “collisions” & “blocking” at the plate. MM (as much or more than anyone else) is aware of what collisions can do, considering one too many run-ins at the plate resulted in an untimely end to his own playing career.

If more reviews for the neighborhood play begin to happen,then as a manager I’d want more reviews of slides away from the bag.I say let it go,the last thing I want to see are more reviews.Play the game,if things get out of hand the players on the field can deal with it as they have done before. A slide deemed to rough = a very rough next at bat.Umpires and players are aware of the “unwritten” rules of the game.

We’ve played 108 games,with 54 to go.Of the 108 we’ve won 69,so if we play 500 ball from here on out we’ll get 27 more wins which will give us 96 wins. Is that enough
considering how close the Pirates are?

Well, here’s an excerpt from SI on Aug 4: “At 61–43, the Pirates have a four-game cushion for the top wild card spot, but without further fortification to the rotation—to say nothing of an infield that’s likely going to be without Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer into early September—they can hardly feel secure.”
That’s not to mention RHP A.J. Burnett is out for a few weeks, with a flexor strain.

Watch for the Pirates to make a deal off the wavier wire by the end of the month,
especially with pitching.They have a good minor league system and will probably look for some offense from there before going after a bat.Heck, that’s what I’d do at least for a couple of weeks to see if one of them could handle it.The Cards do that and it seems to work.

I’m sure you’re right, Dave. The Bucco’s are just too close NOT to try bolstering their active roster, some way, somehow.

Lynn needs a good outing tonight.Wacha seems to be back, now we need Lance to follow suit.

Yep, Lynn can be inconsistent on occasion. He primarily relies on his fourseam fastball (93mph avg). But he probably needs to mix in his sinker (91mph avg) and his cutter (87mph) a little more often than he usually does…so he can keep batters off-balance. Let’s hope he’s in good form tonite…both mentally and physically.


It is hard to believe the Cards are doing so well Aside from starters, they often appear vulnerable. But they really do need only .500 play for a Wild Card and possible division, though will be good for playoff sharpness if the Pirates do keep them on their toes. Hope they can win most this weekend.

There is a very interesting series between Jays-Yankees this weekend; Jays are stocked and stoked so will see if they can close the gap, having already taken a Wild Card spot; the rivalry of Jays and Royals is already testy and they haven’t met in a playoff yet.

I suppose it is a little surprising the Cards are where they are. But as Dave’s often pointed out? Besides pitching…..It’s the “next man up” thing, that’s helped get us thru. For example…Lynn & Wacha have managed to get on base a coupla’ times, Cruz & Kozma have had some valuable at bats, etc. Unexpected plays by players the Birds don’t regularly count on. Ya’ just never know who’s gonna’ make that critical play.
And sure, the Jays & Royals games will be interesting to watch.

Go Dodgers this weekend. A sweep of the Pirates or two of three coupled with a sweep or two of three from the Brewers would give us a 8 or 9 game lead going into the home series vs. the Pirates. IF we can then win that series the Pirates might just start thinking WC only. Fasten your seatbelts gang!!!

Did you notice Jen’s tweet up on the right-hand side of the page?
LHP Tyler Lyons was called up again and Greg Garcia was sent back down. Tyler seems like a nice kid, but he’s always had a problem settling in & finding his groove.
IMHO…Socolovich or Cooney would be a better choice as a “just in case” 6th starter.
Or heck, go crazy and let Harris or Tuivailala have a crack at starting.
Guess Greg Garcia didn’t swing a hot enuf’ bat in his most recent but short stint with the team. Looks like Kozma remains the Cards’ infield back-up.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the options part of MLB Players Union contracts,where you can only bring someone up and send them down so many times? OR I’m totally wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about, which is common
occurence in my house.

I think you are right about their having to manage options re Lyons and the others, as they had to deal Freeman for that reason and cannot send Kozma down,which explains his presence despite very little contribution.

This outlook on MLB site was a bit encouraging for the remaining weeks:

NL Central
The Cardinals not only hold a six-game lead in the NL Central, but they also have a slightly more favorable remaining schedule than either the Pirates or Cubs. St. Louis’ remaining opponents have a .495 combined winning percentage, while Pittsburgh’s opponents sport a .509 winning percentage and Chicago’s check in at .503. More importantly, however, is the fact that six of the nine remaining head-to-head meetings between the Cards and Bucs will be played at Busch Stadium.

I’m always in favor of crazy.Hey I’ve been listening to a band called ‘Boy and Bear’.They from Austrailia and I like their sound…..check them out on U-Tube.While you’re at it try ‘Barefoot Truth’ they play around New England alot too.

Took a listen to both. Pretty good music actually. ; ) Time for the pre-game show….

Oh, Kozma has to stay, can’t be sent back down? How does that deal work??? I’m not so good with that kinda’ stuff…like options, etc,

If he is sent down he has to clear waivers and can be claimed for a waiver fee; it is built into the contract structure. I also find it very confusing overall. And how can Braves still make a trade with Cleveland after the so-called deadline? I think those players also have to clear waivers but am not sure.

I beleive waviers had to be cleared AND I beleive each team has to take the remaining money on the contracts. Its like a messy divorce,but ya get to keep the dog.

Why do they ever let Wong run? What is his success rate? Very low.

I guess they were not willing to pay a high enough price for Lind – great average and power from the left side.

Lynn’s pitch count is already not great again tonight. Hope he doesn’t tire again.

Looks like you might be right, Bob. Lynn’s off tonite. Pirates lead LAD 4-3 top of the 6th, darn it.

Lynn’s been off for awhile now. Last night he threw 109 pitches, 67 for strikes.That’s only 61%.He’s getting behind too much and going to deep into the count.He’s pitching like Anthony Reyes did years ago nibble, nibble, nibble..Its too bad,he has the stuff, but doesn’t seem to trust it or himself

Well, post-game, Lynn did acknowledge his high pitch-count. But he dismissed the problems, pointing out that he ultimately posted zeros.
In so many words, Lynn said, “Got a little behind, got in some trouble…but I pitched out of it. Just what we pitchers do.”
I wasn’t exactly paying the attention to the types of pitches Lynn threw last nite. But according to what MM’s said in the past? Lynn more often than not, relies too heavily on his fastball.

I heard only yesterday I think, that MM continues urging his players to steal. After Wong was caught, Mike Shannon said it’s a “talent”….and some players are simply better at it than others. Matheny must want everybody to keep practicing, I suppose…irrespective of the outcomes.

Lynn and Villanueva pitch a shutout after all with one big inning enough for the win. Dodgers blew it in extras with their ace Kershaw losing his scoreless streak early. Maybe its his payback for how the Cards beat up on him the past two post-seasons.

And that’s a winner! Right about Kershaw. We haven’t had much of a problem hitting him in the past.
Anyway, we play the Pirates right after we’re done with the Brewers. They’ll be tough. Just glad we’re playing ’em here.

The Dodgers better watch out or the Giants will blow by them.Then the Mets will be in their rear view mirror.Speaking of the Mets, how do you think they look for the next few years.I think REAL good.If they add an off season bat or two,watchout especially with that pitching staff.

Could happen. The LAD are only 3 games ahead of both the Giants and the Mets. On the MLB channel, I think I heard a coupla’ guys go on about DeGrom (96mph) & Syndergaard (98mph)….as 2 of THE hardest throwing starting pitchers around. Hard to believe that Syndergaard’s only 22. They added that Syndergaard’s control of his fastballs, has been very impressive.
I’m a bit concerned about the Cards next season. Will they resign Heyward and Lackey? Heyward’s relatively young and his bat’s improved, so his asking price will certainly be more than the $13M he got for the last 2 years.
Granted, Lackey’s 36…but his consistency, and maybe more importantly, his kick-butt attitude….is something that’s already served the Cards well. Guess I’m afraid that Wainwright won’t come back 100%.

Weird fact for the Mets. All their starters have had Tommy John surgery,so that 8 month recovery period is behind them all AND they gotten through the “did it work” period. That staff seems to be set for quite some time, provided they can afford them all. However, it is N.Y. so $$$$ won’t as big a problem as it is elsewhere.

Can’t remember if it was the Mets or not. But one broadcaster recently stated, “The team has a dead-salary amount of $80M”….meaning it’s money owed from past deals. I guess for players no longer with the team?

Haley you are correct about the Cardinals going forword from here. Next yr. we are fine,but after that with our age and the Cubs coming hard Mo and DeWitt better start getting serious and creative about our long term future.Start with maybe moving Yadi to 1st base for example, and trading Adams. Just an idea for the future.

I kind of agree with ya’ about Adams, which Mo apparently does not. Matt’s capable of hitting the long-ball alright. But his hitting has been inconsistent in the past. Slump, no slump…slump, no slump. Regularly inconsistent, I mean. (An oxymoron?) Hahaha.
And yeah, that’s a good idea. Yadi would physically last longer if he’d alternate catching with 1B. Thus, we’d need someone like Pierzynski to platoon with Yadi.
Also, I’m baffled by criteria with which pitchers are chosen to be starters and which are chosen for the bullpen. Maybe a good idea to switch that up? I really can’t figure out the logic there.
Tuivailala’s young like Martinez. Still needs to work on his control, OK. But it seemed like he’s got some good “movement” on his ball. Plus, he can throw 98 mph fastballs with no problem. So, I don’t see any reason not to groom him as a starter. Just not throwing 98 mph all the time.

I totally agree with you about Tulvailala.And if he does become the arm we can use could it make someone like Marinez available via trade for a big bat we need to replace Holiday????? Our future in the division will be against the Cubs.Pittsburgh doesn’t have the do-ray-me to hang year in and year out.Neither does Cinn. or Mil.That just leaves Chicago. Wonder who is available, offensively speaking, for next year in the outfield?

Right on. The next big trade does need to be finding a big-bat. Mo did good with the Peralta trade. He’s turned out to be a terrific, reliable hitter. So maybe Mozeliak can do a repeat???
Holliday’s probably gonna’ have problems from now on, trying to be an everyday player. That quad-strain’s liable to act up from time to time. Besides, he’s 35, not a viable option for 1B and his contract’s up after next year.
Speaking of big-bats? I just re-watched some of McGwire’s old at-bat videos. He was an animal. He’d stand there sometimes, with the end of the bat resting on home plate….like he’s taking a leisurely BP. Then as relaxed as could be, he’d raise up his bat just seconds before the pitch and smack it outta’ the park. He was sumpin’.
I’ve always thought that the hand-eye coordination that some great batters have? Wouldn’t be affected by steriods. Muscle mass, of course which has more to do with how far the ball will travel.
But that’s just me. ; )

I can’t past any player that used PEDs.There is no place for it in any game.Cheating is cheating and the everyone else is doing it is not a reason to me.I watched Aaron, Robinson, Mays,Killebrew, Mantle and others do great things without PEDs.Maybe if they were available at the time they would have used,but they weren’t so PEDs are NOT the reason for their numbers……….talent was and that is what makes a player great.Not talent plus PEDs like Bonds,Sossa and McGwire.They get no respect from me. Its just the way I feel. Stan wouldn’t have used and to me he’s the GOLD standard in this game, like his rival Ernie Banks.
Also, what’s up with those dang Dodgers?!?! No help at all. Hope the Giants and the D-Backs pass them by.

Kinda’ figured you might not agree. You seem to be a purist, which is probably the best & most respectable way to view baseball (or any sport for that matter). So, OK. Bottom line, McGwire “fudged”. : (
It’s just that he wouldda’ been great even if he hadn’t used. A shame, really..that Mark felt he had to do what he did. Wasn’t necessary.
And absolutely! “Stan the Man” certainly would never have condoned it. ; )

From another perspective? I was thinking it may also not be fair to compare the older players’ records to the newer guys’, for another yet somewhat similar reason.
Stan, Aaron, Mays, etc….never had the high-tech gyms available for working out. Back then, ya’ were what ya’ were. No work outs, no surgeries, no nuttin’ in an attempt improve.
Gibson used to be a customer o’ mine. (He’s quite the character, btw.) He told me you just played ’til you couldn’t play anymore. No other option at that time. What cha’ think??? Or maybe that isn’t quite the same thing. I dunno’. Merely postulating…

Yeah really. What IS up with those danged Dodgers??? Hahaha. I kinda feel a little sorry for Kershaw, to be honest. Must be pretty difficult to be called the best pitcher in the league (on occasion)….and then to rack up those losses. Tough on the mental, don’t cha’ know.

Well you are right I am more purist, but when you talk about gyms and workouts ya kinda prove the point I was trying to make.The players I mentioned like Aaron did it on pure talent. No PEDs, no gyms, no workout guru, just talent.
What do you do that Gibby would be your customer? Meeting him would be right up there with Stan for me.With Stan gone Gibby moves to number one. Another player I’d like to meet, Willie McGee.
Gibson to me was a throw back pitcher.He reminds me of the guys from the Grover Cleveland era.Bob would have fit in fine then,but I would have missed his 1967 performance.Bumgarner was close last year the way he pitched. He also reminds me a little of Gibby, but from the left side. Don Drysdale was another player I enjoyed watching do his majic.
Haley have you ever been to Cooperstown?

Yessir, Mr. Dave. I WAS agreeing with you. : )
The old players WERE pure, raw talent. I was simply suggesting that maybe in one way of thinking? PED’s could be put in the same category as corrective surgeries, advanced weight-training regimens, etc. If one of today’s All-Stars breaks a record? He’s done it with a clear advantage over the veteran players of years ago. Apples & oranges.
As for meeting Gibby? I used to sell men’s suits/clothing. Really high-end stuff! Hehehe. So if say, Bob came in to buy himself an expensive leather jacket? He’d laugh, roll his eyes….and tell me he’d have to stop by Neiman-Marcus before he went home, to buy the ole’ wifey something too. Jewelry usually worked best, he added.
Naw….your posts haven’t be messed up.
And my brain sometimes does that as well, by the way. ; )

OK, this is weird. The posts have suddently been reformatted, right? Anybody else notice that paragraphs are now indented & separated differently??? Nice change, if it’s permanent. ; )

OK, never mind. After my last post posted? Everything went back to normal….

The reason my posts are messed up at times is my brain goes faster than my fingers.

The big news on MLB is the 36 innings of shutout baseball the staff has turned in thus far.Talk about the”kiss of death”. I’m just interested in wins. We are now over the 30 wins above 500 mark and lets keep it there.
Some of the talk over on the Pirate blog is they are very unhappy with the acquisitions
they made with Happ and Ramirez( 4 for 34 thus far ). They seem to think that this is the year, because Chicago and ST.Louis aren’t going away in the future.I tend to agree with them.

Boy, you definitely called it. The “kiss of death” for sure. : (

Well, you can always count on good ole’ “Choke”, can’t cha’??? Ugh.

Too bad about the loss. Broxton had looked good so far but we can expect perfection at this stage of his career. Carpenter has been carrying too much of the offensive load so hope the rest can take off after the off day.

You’re not kidding. Carp has practically won the last few games by himself. But then, I’m sure if Holliday were playing? He’d be scoring runs too. He’s been an integral part of the Cards’ offense. So, we’re somewhat crippled in the bat dept.
Wacha faces Cole on Wed. I think. Some are comparing Cole to Kershaw. It will be a tough series with Pittsburgh so we’ll surely need some luck this week.
Rumor is that Adams will be back this season. Who knows what the situation with Jay is. He WAS swinging a white-hot bat just prior to going on the DL.

can’t expect perfection…sorry

Just heard a local guy interview Mozeliak about now & next year. Pretty interesting. If they post it online & I can find the audio link? Will post it.

For cryin’ out loud the Dodgers were up 5-1 and blew it.Pirates pick up a game.Now more than ever I hope dah bums don’t make the playoffs. All they had to do was win ONE game and couldn’t do it. Very interested it what Mo has to say Bob.As I told Haley, I feel good about next year,but after that age becomes an issue and the Cubs are coming hard. 2017 could be a real tough year for us and I don’t count 2016 in the bag either

Gosh, that was some game, wasn’t it? Whoa baby…the Pirates came back and blew the Dodgers outta’ the water! Makes me worry about the series come Tuesday. I both emailed & texted our local sports guy to ask if & when he’d post the Mo interview…but no reply yet.

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