October 2: Cardinals @ Braves

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (100-59, +4.0 in NL Central), Braves (64-95, -25.0 in NL East)

First pitch: 6:35 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Tommy Pham (CF), Greg Garcia (2B), Randal Grichuk (LF), Matt Adams (1B), Mark Reynolds (3B), Brandon Moss (RF), Tony Cruz (C), Pete Kozma (SS), Jaime Garcia (LHP)

Braves lineup: Michael Bourn (LF), Daniel Castro (2B), Nick Markakis (RF), Adonis Garcia (3B), A.J. Pierzynski (C), Cameron Maybin (CF), Nick Swisher (1B), Andrelton Simmons (SS), Julio Teheran (RHP)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Five things that changed the Cardinals’ season (link)
  • Now that the Cardinals are NL Central champs, what’s next? (link)
  • The sights and sounds of the Cardinals’ clubhouse during Wednesday’s champagne celebration (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 11-1 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday that set off a celebration (link)
  • Tyler Lyons epitomizes the “next man up” trend that has carried the Cards through so much this year (link)
  • Stephen Piscotty rejoined the team on Wednesday and is nearing a return to the field (link)
  • Jason Heyward’s dynamic night highlights the team’s 100th win (link)
  • Preview of Friday’s series opener against the Braves (link)

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OK, so MM’s resting Peralta, Heyward, Carpenter & Wong tonite. And if we get far enuf’ ahead? He’ll likely pull Cruz and substitute Tartamella or even Easley. I’m still not clear on how the catcher rotation’s gonna’ work.

Believe it or not….Piscotty could come off the bench tonite, per Jen’s tweet about an hour ago.
Pre-game, MM said he’ll try to get everyone some playing time tonite.

Garcia cracked a bit in the third – doesn’t really matter to the standings of course but would be good to keep firing on all cylinders as much as possible. Good to test Pham and Kozma’s readiness; but should circulate the catching a bit as Tony may have to do a lot of it in the playoffs since we still don’t know how Yadi will be. At least no meaningful game until a week form now so just keep people in tune and prepare mentally as best as possible.

The KMOX guys are complimenting Kozma…in that he’s a great utility player. All infield positions, outfield if necessary, excellent runner…plus a last minute catcher, if need be.
Of course they acknowledged his lower BA. But good ole’ Petey does have the power to hit a HR if he can just manage to square it up.
No reason for MM to put a 3rd catcher on the final 25-roster. Only because if Yadi or Cruz gets injured at some point during the play-offs? He can replace the inured catcher with Tartamella or Easley.
Cruz by the way I think, is hitting over .500 since he replaced Yadi. Or close to that.

Ha…good thing this isn’t a game that counts. Jaime’s having issues.

Pham has not really made his case for inclusion on the roster tonight with 0-4 and 2 LOB; Adams is also 0-4 with 3 LOB; Moss has two hits,but mostly the urgency is missing as to be expected. Kosma has also shown weakly while Bourjos not surprisingly struck out. Garcia settled but MM rotating through pitchers to get work for Belisle, Cishek, etc.

And good ole Choate hit Freemen. Superb as always.

The best thing? Choate hit a batter! They’re talking about this game as a chance for all the players to make a case for being included on the play-off roster. So…way to go, Randy! Hehehe.
But I agree. Nobody’s really show-casing their best stuff tonite. Their performances this game and even tomorrow’s & the next day’s….will give MM valid reasons when he decides who is & isn’t playing in the post-season.
It WAS good to see Waino get in there for an inning. He needs real-time on the mound, to get sharpened up.
The KMOX guys are speculating that during the play-offs, Waino may be Rosie’s set-up guy in the 8th.
Greg Garcia does appear to be a decent hitter. But his defense, is & has been really lacking.

Rest and heal the dings should be the mantra this weekend.

Right, Dave. As you said before? There’s no chance to beat the Cards’ 2004 record, even if we swept the Braves. So…the regulars can take it easy for a few days.
Incidentally, I’ll bet Tartamella thought it was cool he got to catch for Waino. : )

My in-laws have been going to the games in Arlington this weekend as the Rangers try to clinch. I noticed Sam Freeman’s 2015 record:

0-0 3.05 38.1 40 1.43

He missed some time with injury,but performance is better than Choate on strike outs, comparable though higher on WHIP:

1-0 3.95 27.1 22 1.24

Better on ERA too. And younger and more useful down the road? MO and MM make many good personnel calls but this wasn’t one of them.

Well, maybe a valid point. However, it looks like there was reason to trade Freeman March of this year. Here’s an excerpt about the trade:
“The Rangers have announced that they’ve acquired lefty Sam Freeman from the Cardinals for a player to be named later or cash. Freeman, 27, posted a 2.61 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 38 innings with the Cardinals last season while showcasing good velocity from the left side. He was, however, out of options, and the Cardinals had two other bullpen lefties in Kevin Siegrist and Randy Choate. Freeman also struggled with his control this spring, issuing five walks in five innings.”

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