June 15: Astros @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (35-29, -9.5 in NL Central), Astros (31-35, -9.5 in AL West)

First pitch: 6:15 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (2B), Brandon Moss (RF), Matt Holliday (LF), Stephen Piscotty (CF), Matt Adams (1B), Jhonny Peralta (3B), Yadier Molina (C), Aledmys Diaz (SS), Adam Wainwright (RHP)

Astros lineup: George Springer (RF), Danny Worth (3B), Jose Altuve (2B), Carlos Correa (SS), Colby Rasmus (LF), Luis Valbuena (1B), Carlos Gomez (CF), Jason Castro (C), Collin McHugh (RHP)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Yadier Molina maintains his lead at catcher in the latest NL All-Star voting update (link)
  • It’s no longer either/or with Brandon Moss and Matt Adams, as both continue to supply a power punch (link)
  • Could Kolten Wong return to the Majors as a … centerfielder? (link)
  • Adam Wainwright makes his case to compete in the Home Run Derby (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 5-2 loss to the Astros (link)
  • Cardinals reach agreement with first-round Draft pick Dylan Carlson (link)
  • Colby Rasmus homers in his return to St. Louis (link)

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Yeah, last night’s lineup worked so well! Let’s do it again!!
(Sure Diaz not GG)

Wainwright had a solid outing but needed run support. Can anyone understand using Rosenthal in non-save situations given how it has worked out? Too bad Seigrist didn’t hold the lead as in save situations Rosenthal is so much better.

The only thing I can think of Bob is MM wanted to keep Rosenthal working.Other than that it makes no sense to me. Also why can’t we win at home?

Yes, the post-game chatter was about Rosie not getting enuf’ work to stay in a groove. Last year, the Cards won a lot, and thus save situations were constant. All the comments agreed with MM putting him in. Not that I would’ve done it, but…

Still in the running for a wild card – though the opponents would be daunting with Kershaw or Syndegard as single game opponents; add in Cole if the Pirates squeak in.

Of the two you mentioned, I’d take Kershaw. ST.Louis seems to be in his head.

Well, Wong has returned….but is not in the starting line-up tonite. Moss & Adams aren’t starting either. MM has Gyorko at 1B, believe it or not. But that could change come first pitch. C’mon Cards…do yer’ thang! : )

Gonna’ be a tough game this evening. Cole Hammels is no slouch. Let’s hope Wacha has a decent nite. The Rangers by the way….are 42-25 while the Cards are only at 35-30.
Oh, and they officially signed that new draft kid,17 y/o SS Delvin Perez today for $2.2M. I heard him interviewed a few minutes ago…and well, it sounds like his voice hasn’t quite dropped yet. Hehehe.
An FYI? Both Greg Garcia’s dad & gramps played professional baseball. His dad was a 1st round draft pick by the Yankees in 1978, I think…but only played for a year or two. Not sure what happened after that. But grandpa was an minor league manager & scout for many years. Kinda’ interesting, huh?

Can’t seem to win at home anymore.

Well, it finally happened. Grichuk sent down to AAA today and Pham gets called up. Just a matter of time, as I think we all knew. Oh, and Wong gets to start in CF today too. How ’bout it.

I guess we’re all wondering how many times Rosenthal has to load the bases with no outs, before MM decides to change closers?

Time for Mo to start making calls. Win 5 in a row lose 4 in a row is no way to climb in the standings. More home loses. I agree time to use Oh as our closer.

Pre-game, they announced that Maness has been called up to replace Kiekhefer. Also, MM said they’ll have to do something if Rosie can’t get his control back. But Mo said for right now, they’ll probably keep using Rosenthal.
Today, Pham’s starting CF, with Wong on the bench.
And Fryer will be catching Leake this afternoon. As I commented before? Leake prefers to decide himself, what pitches to throw each batter. So it’s more likely than not, that Fryer will do the catching whenever Leake’s on the mound.

O for Texas.

Handed the game away with an intentional walk which the announcers warned against and rookie miscue at shortstop. Not much fun and with Chicago ahead an 8 game losing streak is not impossible.

Good grief: “It marked the first time the Cardinals have been swept on a homestand of at least five games since 1983”. while the manager feels: “The wins will be there if we clean up our game,” Did he acknowledge his error in the intentional walk which turned into the winning run?

A real evaluation of this team and its leadership must now be done. That includes Mo and his inabilty to build a truly competetive team. The more I watch this team, even in spring trainning, the more I see that Hayward was right to leave. They remind me of the Celtics that hung on to aging stars way too long and are still paying the price for it.The youth that was infused hasn’t worked out and may have been overrated: i.e. Wong and Grichuk. I never thought we’d be 12.5 back by Father’s Day. I’ll bet the Pirate fans thought they’d be closer too. Got the feelin’ we’re done:(

Managerial decisions hurt yesterday – Bowman a one inning guy left in too long, intentional walk of go ahead run etc. The announcers called both of those as they happened? Why not Broxton sooner? I don”t always get the sense MM knows what’s up and he seems to go on autopilot at times.

Agree somewhat. First…Mo shouldda’ re-signed Lackey. In so many words he’d said he wanted to stay and finish out his career here. And we didn’t need Heyward. Piscotty’s plenty good out in RF, but he has an even better bat.
I do think the Pirates are done. They lost their best pitcher & catcher. I kinda’ feel for sorry for ’em in a way.
Our pitching is a big issue. Shouldn’t have signed Jaime, for starters. Wanna’ bet he sucks tonite? (I pray I’m wrong.) Lackey as always, will be tough.
I also don’t think Grichuk will get his mojo back while down at AAA. He simply doesn’t know how to have patience at the plate. Way too eager to crush a long-ball.
A little perspective offered up yesterday by one of the talking heads? The Cards were 10 back from 1st place in our division, in Aug of 2011….but ultimately managed to grab a Wild Card slot.
We have the usual line-up tonite…with Moss at 1B & Wong in CF.

Yes there are a couple of young players with great potential notably Piscotty, Martinez and Diaz. Carpenter is a proven contributor. But there are others who have reached their limits including Wong, Grichuk and perhaps Wacha and Adams. Too much of the rest of the roster is older and can only contribute less over time.

Lots will need to be done going forward and unclear if management has a workable vision. Hard to fathom the Wong in CF experiment when he cannot hit at MLB level. Might be better to give Pham a try?

People will look back at this series and say this was the make or break series for the Cards. It might be true, but it was the last Cub series that opened my eyes to our short comings big time.

Well Yadi saved this one even though Rosenthal got credit for a “save”. 2 hits and hit batter so not much better. But its a win which starts them off right and over Lackey and they could have had more runs off him for sure and Heyward as the final out too.

MM needs to use Oh as the closer until Rosenthal figures it out.
Haley refered to this earlier. IF the Cards make the playoffs it’ll be as a WC play in game. Here’s who they’d probably face. If the Dodgers= Kershaw, if the Giants=Bumgarner, If the Mets=Sindigard( however ya spell it), the Nats- Scherzer, AND if Miami-Fernandez. Out of all those who do we have that’s close to any of them? I don’t think we have anyone. Even if we signed Price, his playoff track record is very poor.We don’t have an ace and there’s no one out there to get, unless Miami falls and makes Fernandez available.Management must start to realize pitching AND defense is the way the game is played now. I’d also throw in speed and contact. Striking out 9 times equals 3 innings of baseball…….too much!!!!

Yes, if anything…closing with Oh would prevent a few heart-attacks. Tee-hee.
As for a one-game Wild Card play-off? They’d have to use either Martinez or Waino. I’m still waiting for Reyes to be called up.
Same starting line-up tonite since things went decently last nite.

Yes even Wong swung a little better. Do you know who starts for Cubs tonight? (they are all good of course). League should be tougher on stupid hit batter gamesmanship but expect more of the same from a Madden team.

Cubs have 7-2 Jason Hammel (.226 ERA) vs Waino this evening.

Attack the strike zone. The Cubs K a lot and the team BA isn’t as great as one might think considering their record. What’s to lose?

Moss is coming through a lot lately in key situations.

The Cardiac Cards beat ’em….again! Who wouldda’ thunk. Definitely too much to expect a sweep, tho’. That’d be, well….truly unbelievable. And Rosie actually looked kinda’ sharp tonite. Whewy.
Wong’s been playing OK in CF, doing well with his bat as well. But I don’t think he’s permanent. He doesn’t really have the arm for being an out-fielder.
And yep, Moss has been on a roll. Peralta’s hitting well, too….since coming off the DL.
Then tomorrow afternoon we’ll have Wacha on the mound. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from him. If he doesn’t do a decent job? They may just start thinking seriously, about bringing Reyes up.

Waino won, and that’s great. I do disagree with the story about it being a solid start.
Three runs in 6.67 innings is almost a run every other inning. It was an O.K. start at best. We walk 6 batters and that’s way to many. Wacha had better go after the strike zone hard, because nibbling will get him behind in the count and that will be the end.The offense went after Hammel today and didn’t take a lot of strikes, especially second strikes making them defensive. No matter what happens today going into that brick asylum and winning the series is a step forward. Hope ‘Buddy Holly’ lost sleep last night.

Waino agreed with ya’, Dave. Post-game he said something to the effect that he clearly could’ve done a better job last nite.
As for Arrieta….the last time he was on the mound vs the Birds, 5/25? The Cubs DID win, granted. But beating us 9-8 at least shows the Cards WERE able to hit him.
Like you said too, whatever happens today…winning the series is already a done deal. So maybe that’ll help Wacha relax today. Usually, when he’s tensed up…he’s hesitant to really go after the strike zone ’cause he’s scared he’ll give-up HR’s.
Btw…I’m missing the Buddy Holly reference. Enlighten me, please? : )

Madden’s stupid glasses reminds of Buddy Holly.

Aha! Got it.

Today’s may have been the best game of the year. What a Jekyll and Hyde team alternating good and bad weeks. Too bad the good is usually on the road this year.

Exactly, Bob. That’s why I call ’em the “Cardiac Cards”! Hehehe.

Cubs had three hits. Throw strikes and let them get themselves out.
July Goals:
Get above .500 by ten-twelve games.
Wacha must step up and be the ace.
We still need to cut down on the K’s.
Improve home record ( 16-21 ) vs. Away ( 23-12 ).
Continue to get better defensively.
Straighten out bull pen,even if Oh becomes closer for awhile.
Pick up a quality starter; Sonny Grey?
Line up needs RH power bat, and possibly an outfielder ( CF ) ??

Finally Mo needs to be ( I believe he is ) on the phone with those teams that may run up the white flag soon. We can’t wait for deadline and lose out like years past. We may need to be the one’s that start the ball rolling.

Hard to say what Mo will do by trade-deadline.
You’re points are well-taken, Dave….but don’t they already try as hard as they can to keep improving on the things you mentioned?
Also, wouldn’t ya’ think they’d wanna’ bring up Reyes first to see how HE does…before going after another pitcher?
Plus, maybe the reason they don’t wanna’ give up on Grichuk yet, playing CF? Is because he bats R….which Pham, Wong & Hazelbaker do not.
Incidentally, the Cards committed NO errors during the Cubs series. Not even one.

Defensively is where their biggest improvement has occurred and I think it has a lot to with Peralta at 3B. Reyes doesn’t need that we need you now pressure. Worse case scenerio would be to let him stay where he is for the season. After his fall from grace I’d rather have him have success. Pham is a RH hitter. I’d love to have more speed in the spot which could hit lead off, but if Grichuk gets his act together I’m fine with him. Carp is a perfect number two guy.

I thought Carp’s BA goes down when he doesn’t bat first. Isn’t that what happened before?
And right. Pham bats right. Duh.
Martinez starting tomorrow in Seattle, I think. He won’t like playing with a DH. Hahaha.
Mariners are 36-37, with the Birds currently at 38-33. Wow, according to the “preview” of tomorrow’s game, 4 of their starters injured right now. But? They’re at the top of the Majors in HR’s. The Mariners have 105, but the Cards….94.
Anyway, the good ole’ Cubbies lost again tonite. At least there’s that…

I still think Carp could handle it.
Always good to gain ground while on a plane somewhere, in this case Seattle.
Now, don’t take a step back…………win the series and move on.

Well, I don’t know that it’d be worth messing with the success Carp’s had at lead-off, merely to experiment again. Diaz is another story. He seems to bat pretty good, whether he’s 2nd or 8th in the order.
Good to hear your expectations aren’t too high. Win the series…yes, hopefully. Sweep? The odds probably aren’t there.
AAA report: Grichuk’s hit 2 HR’s in 12 at bats since being sent down. And altho’ no HR’s…Hazelbaker’s gone 8 for 13 so far.
Anyone ever read “Just Play Ball”, by Joe Garagiola, by the way?

Fun-fact? Mariners’ 1B Lee & our “Final Boss” Oh were teammates on the Gold Medal Korean Olympic team in 2008.

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