The team that everyone had expected in 2016, finally showed up. It only took 22 games. Wacha had a solid performance. Going 7 innings. The Dbacks got the scoring started in the 2 inning. A bloop hit that Diaz and Piscotty could not make a play on. Followed by a bloop home run. Yep, it’s Arizona. In any other ballpark not located in Colorado, it would not have been a homer. That was the ball game.
Matheny actual had the correct thought process when determining who would get to start:
Just as they chocked the lineup with righthanded batters on Wednesday, the Cardinals followed the stats Thursday and laced their lineup with lefthanded batters, including Matt Adams. A year ago, in 32 starts for Arizona, De La Rosa allowed a .315 average to lefthanded batters and a .949 OPS. (For context, National League MVP Bryce Harper had a 1.109 OPS. The Cardinals’ leader, Randal Grichuk, had a .877 OPS.) It didn’t matter what side of the plate the Cardinals tried Thursday against De La Rosa, neither succeeded.
There was at least some logic, that was apparent in Matheny’s lineup choices. It just didn’t work. You could argue the wisdom of having Moss and Adams in the lineup together. Which I would. I would have prefered to see Hazelbaker, replacing Moss or Holliday. But, going up against De La Rosa. Thinking that Moss, Adams and Holliday would run into one, was not a bad option.
However, De La Rosa struck out 10 Cardinals. Once again, when the Cards face a good pitching performance. They have no chance to score. This will continue to happen with the 1-3-6 lineup, now the 1-3-5 lineup and having Moss hit cleanup. That is a station to station offense. Not able to play small ball with that lineup and make something happen.
But, with De La Rosa starting. You should not have needed to play small ball. De La Rosa is as below .500 pitcher. With a career 4.5 FIP and a 1.4 WHIP. Not exactly Cy Young material. De La Rosa just had a good performance.
This will continue to be the problem until Matheny stops having the lineup built around Carpenter in the leadoff spot and Holliday hitting 3rd. There are times when that lineup makes sense. Just not all the time.
Moss and Adams are swing and miss, all or nothing guys. They should be your 7th and 8th hitter in the lineup. Pitchers will still pitch to them and occasionally they will make something happen. This ain’t rocket science.
Matt Adams is now the favorite whipping boy of Cardinal Nation. Adams is hitting .211 this season. It is time to send Matt down to AAA, to get his mojo back. If it ever does return. Then bring him back up.
However, Holliday is hitting .239 and Matheny continues to build the lineup around him. It is just not going to work, when you run up against a good pitching performance.
Does anyone still believe, that Holliday is capable of getting 4 hits on a given night, like Diaz, Piscotty and Hazelbaker have already done this year? Of course not. Holliday has only managed 2 hits in a game, twice this season. Think about that. This nonsense of protecting Diaz and leaving him in the 8th spot is ridiculous. Matheny is protecting Holliday.
Matheny needs to include everyone in the mix of a flexible lineup. Not just the bench guys and the young players. The Cardinals are a team in transition. Matheny needs to embrace it and stop protecting Holliday. But, we all know that won’t happen until the Cardinals, are out of the postseason mix. If and when that happens. It’s just Matheny’s way.
The Cardinals finish the road trip at 4-3. Not good enough.
The good news is that the Dodgers just got swept by the Marlins. The Nationals just got swept by the Phillies. The bad news is that the Mets have won 6 games in a row. The Pirates have won 4 in a row and the Cubs 3 in a row. The Cards are now in 3rd place in the division. Not good.
In order to keep up with the postseason contenders, the Cards are going to have to put together winning streaks.
Other new and notes.
Dee Gordon got busted for PED’s. The new collective bargaining agreement must include a provision that any player in violation of the PED policy can not sign guaranteed contracts ever. A player’s current contract would change to non-guaranteed status. The club could opt out at anytime. And any player caught can never have a contract guarantee going forward.
Also, any player caught will receive a 2 year postseason ban. And a lifetime ban on any postseason awards. This would include any minor league player caught violating the PED policy.
It’s all about the money. As long as the money is guaranteed, it’s going to continue. Crime does pay in baseball.
Carlos Martinez is being sued. TMZ broke the news.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez is ferociously disputing a lawsuit — in which the 24-year-old is accused of giving a woman non-life threatening STDs … after swearing he was clean. The woman behind the suit, filed in district court in Miami, claims she began a romantic relationship with Martinez in 2012 — and the two had an on-and-off relationship for years.According to the suit, the two reconnected last year — and began having sex again on Dec. 16th. Two days later, the woman claims she began to feel ill and later tested positive for multiple STDs. The woman claims she had grilled Martinez about his sexual health before they hooked up and he “swore to God that he was not infected with any sexually transmitted disease.”Soon after the woman informed Martinez about her condition, he allegedly bolted for the Dominican Republic and never called her back. Now, she’s suing him for battery, negligent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, fraud and more … and she’s demanding more than $1.5 million in damages. We spoke with Martinez’s attorney Ruben Scolavino who tells us Carlos adamantly denies the allegations.”I can tell you most assuredly the allegations are 100% false.”
Like I’ve said before, managing talented knuckleheads is never easy.
The Cardinals are now 12-10.
The Nats are up next.