If a team can’t get quality starting pitching. There really is not much that can be done. Matheny tried to save Wacha from himself. Actually, had Tyler Lyons warming up in the first inning. But, in typical Matheny fashion, not quite quick enough. Grichuk failed to make a catch that would have bailed Wacha out. Six runs later. Game over.
The Cardinal brain trust seems to be more concerned, with not over reacting. There will be no bold and sudden moves this year. No sense of urgency. Mozeliak deferring to Matheny.
Seth Maness was the first example. Seth did not have a stellar 2015. Showed nothing in spring training that would lead to any conclusion that turnaround was about to happen. Yet, Seth made the club. Nothing changed. Lasted 6 weeks before being sent down.
It’s the same scenario with Michael Wacha. Michael limped across the finish line last season. Had a so-so spring. Now Wacha can’t go 4 innings with the game still being winnable. He will just have to grind it out.
The correct approach would have been to basically have Lyons and Wacha warming up together for the start. It was a big game. Arrieta is pitching today. What? Show such little faith? It could be psychologically damaging to a young player. What nonsense.
Young players are now rushed to the big leagues. It should be expected and planned for that they will hit rough patches. It should also be communicated that they will be sent back down to AAA, to fix what has been exposed as a weakness at the major league level. It should be the communicated plan that this will eventually happen. Not a demotion, a part of the growth and development cycle. Make it no big deal.
The Cardinals had no concerns about Greg Garcia’s psyche when they sent him down. Greg had performed at an all-star level. Got sent down. Due to Mozeliak taking a conservative approach and keeping Tejada. This is what is demoralizing to a player’s psyche. Garcia has been very average at AAA, since being sent down.
I am convinced that the first team to adopt a revolving door approach with its AAA team, will exploit more wins. The paradigm of we don’t want to send him back down. Should be a thing of the past. Players should be brought up and sent back down as part of the learning process.
Wacha has not won a game since April 23. What do you think is more psychologically damaging? That fact or having Tyler Lyons ready to go in the first inning?
Another example is Matheny’s handling of Diaz. Matheny was slow to react moving Diaz up in the lineup. Said time after time, he did not want to put too much pressure on Aledmys. Matheny made it into a thing. Guess what? It now a thing. Diaz is hitless in his last 5 games. If you make it a thing. It becomes a thing.
All Matheny had to do is come out and say flexibility will be the key. Everything will be determined on a day-to-day basis. However, that is not what Matheny does. He always manages to an agenda. It’s just the way it is. Grind it out. Have faith.
Matheny stated after the game, he liked that Wacha was able to right the ship and pitch an entire 3 innings without giving up another run. Grind it out. Look for Wacha to make his next start. Have faith.
Arrieta pitching against Martinez. Look for the top 4 in the lineup to be the same. Have faith that the baseball gods will intervene, just like game 1, of this series.
It could happen. All you need is a little faith.
The Cards are now 24-22.
Only 7 games behind the Cubs.