April 6: Cardinals @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (0-2, -2.0 in NL Central), Pirates (2-0, E in NL Central)

First pitch: 6:05 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Stephen Piscotty (RF), Matt Holliday (LF), Brandon Moss (1B), Yadier Molina (C), Kolten Wong (2B), Jedd Gyorko (SS), Jeremy Hazelbaker (CF), Mike Leake (RHP)

Pirates lineup: John Jaso (1B), Andrew McCutchen (CF), David Freese (3B), Starling Marte (LF), Francisco Cervelli (C), Gregory Polanco (RF), Josh Harrison (2B), Jordy Mercer (SS), Juan Nicasio (RHP)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Aledmys Diaz’s Major League debut soured by a critical defensive miscue (link)
  • Costly mistakes catch up with the Cardinals (link)
  • Marco Gonzales, sidelined with an elbow injury, awaits a second opinion (link)
  • Brayan Pena undergoes knee surgery, will likely miss a month (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 6-5 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday (link)
  • What’s behind the Cardinals’ decision to start Matt Holliday in left field, Brandon Moss at first base, instead of visa versa? (link)
  • Paul McCartney is coming to Busch Stadium (link)

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Rats. Pena will be out longer than expected. That’s a tough one to compensate for.
I personally think Holliday should stay at 1B the more I think about it. There was another hit near the track yesterday, that Holliday couldn’t get to in time. One of the younger OF’s surely would’ve had a much better shot at catching it for the out.

Yes Pham’s absence will be felt defensively as well as at the plate. Is Moss more mobile in the field than Holliday? Fryer is untested but they will have to get him into games or the toll on Yadi will be too great.

Add Gonzales to the injury list too. 2016 is not starting out well for us.

As I wrote on one of the other pages, somewhere? I don’t think Gonzales’ injury will be of much consequence, quite frankly. He got a bit beaten up during his most recent outings…thus, he wasn’t a consideration to make the final cut for 2016.
But not only that, I’m not so sure he would’ve been the first choice as a minor-league call up, anyway….if the occasion would’ve presented itself.

Well, I’m sure if Pham was playing right now? Either he or Hazelbaker (and maybe even Moss) would have the legs to successfully chase outfield hits a whole lot faster than Holliday can.
Also, considering today’s news about Pena going under the knife? My guess is that they’ll switch things around somehow, and bring up Ohlman pretty soon. Shopping around for a catcher at this particular point, may not be the best thing to pursue?

Was hoping Leake would be the stopper tonight but he cracked and the parade of strikeouts continues. Also MLB TV now annoyingly skips into the middle of innings when I try to return from pauses or interruptions. So much for the “improvements” over last year when that didn’t happen. Not a happy camper tonight.

Sorry to hear about those dumb skips, Bob. Lyons now in…so walks will continue. OR…he’ll give up a coupla’ HR’s. That’s unfortunately, what he does.
Leake can regroup. Probably nerves on his very first appearance. Must be a lotta’ pressure to live up to a contract like that.

Here is their ridiculous article praising the improved MLB TV: more gltichy than ever as far as I can see.


As to the team could this be setting up for an historic decline from top of MLB to the lower half of the standings? This is an appalling number of strikeouts on bad pitches or close takes. It is also not good that middle infield defense is so spotty on a team of ground ball pitchers.

Well, sure…MLB needs to hype their service to get more subscriptions, I guess….whether it’s legit or not.
At least, Hazelbaker’s doing surprisingly well. Bowman pitched well too. But 2 errors on Wong. Tsk tsk, Kolten.
The other error should’ve been charged to Moss for missing the catch. Not Leake for an errant throw to 1B.
And you might be right. The Cards have just had too many early injuries to be able to compete decently. Ah well, so it goes, eh?
Mike Shannon says it’s difficult for the new players to get in sync, with all the shuffling that’s gone on. But maybe they’ll begin to click soon.
Of course he’s trying to be positive, as you’d expect.

Tonite, I think I noticed that Leake didn’t always exactly pitch down & out, after Yadi gave him the sign to do so.
In my opinion, Yadi occasionally sets up in an overly exaggerated way, not even close to framing the upcoming pitch in the strike zone…which of course, wastes a pitch. He leans too far out, I mean.
Instead, Leake still tried throwing a low, outside corner strike, unlike other pitchers who’ll follow Yadi’s instruction to the tee.
Obviously, wasting a pitch is fine, if the count’s 0-2. Then, duh.
A post-game comment was that Leake’s been his own pitcher up til now. So Mike isn’t evidently used to having a catcher call pitches for him.
Also post-game…it was kinda’ funny that Matt Bowman told an interviewer that he wouldn’t/didn’t look up during the game tonite. He said he looked up once to wave to his mom, but never raised his eyes again during the entire time he pitched. His reason? “Makes me less nervous, so I don’t see how many people are in the stands & watching me.”
But then, he IS only 24…and this was his first time in the majors. Understandable. : )

Poor defense, too many strikes, and lack of hitting = sweep every time.The Pirates looked so much more ready to play than the Cards. I said it before that the Cardinals looked unprepared for the start of the season and the 0-3 start proves it. Holiday and Molina both look like they aged 5 yrs. over the winter. Yadi we need, but Holiday should have been replaced during the off season but Mo did nothing. Now we’ll fire/blame a hitting coach, then the manager will be on the hot seat, but the root cause of the issue, Mo, won’t be blamed at all. He did nothing to address the obvious needs of this team,offense/power. 3rd place and 84 wins.

Averaging 12 k’s of 27 outs per game is not sustainable. It would be OK to accept an off year of tweaking as playoffs every year is not realistic. However, the junior ranks are not strong enough to give hope for the near future. With Cubs willing to spend big this could become a 1970s style hiatus from competitiveness in the division. But there is a long way to go yet.

The Cubs and Astros struke out alot last year,but they also scored a ton of runs because of power. We’re not even close to their run totals

It’d seem that most of the blame should be on Mo’s shoulders as the Cards’ Sr VP & GM. And I’m pretty sure the majority of people see it that way. Managers & coaches can only work with the players their given, right?
But I’ve always wondered how much input the manager actually has in trades, contracts offered, etc. Especially MM vs LaRussa. And if MM HAS had some input? Exactly how much have his opinions counted? Front office politics are surely a curious thing.
And yes, there IS a long way to go yet….

I think MM is more a team/party line guy,while LaRussa had previous sucesses behind him that gave his imput more credibility. That said, it still comes down to the players performing to their abilities.

Over/Under on HRs: Holiday- 17….Molina- 8… Piscotty- 17…Grichuk- 24…Moss- 12
Adams- 9… Wong- 11…Carp- 15 = 115….rest of team 15 = 130. Last year I think we hit 140 as a team. We may be lower than that this season. A trade could up that total, but by how much?

Yer’ too funny, Dave! Oh, wait…how ’bout the o/u for Gyorko? I’ll go 11 for him. Under on Holliday (being he’s mostly a line-drive hitter), under on Grichuk (whiff-city)….over on Carp & Piscotty. The rest? I dunno’…’cept I think Hazelbaker will surprise everyone.

Agree with Haley on Grichuk who will fall short. A healthy Adams might do a bit better. Most of the rest look like reasonable guesses.

Forgot him, Gyorko 13. So that brings the total to 143. It’ll still be at the bottom of the league.

Flight today at noon. Not sure when I’ll be back. Don’t miss me too much. Go Cards!!!! : )

Cubs’ Schwarber out with sprained ankle. Awwww….

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