Wow that game was in a word “ugly”, but hey it’s a WIN and I’ll take it. Cardinals taking the 2nd game of the four game series with Florida was huge, considering how they were outplayed for most of the game.
Defense is still a problem, I mean even though they didn’t technically have any errors in the scorebook, I think we’ve established that it was still pretty shoddy. Yadi can’t seem to control those low pitches in the dirt like before, Allen Craig looked kind of out of place at third base, McClellan on that bunt made a poor decision throwing to second when there was nobody really covering and Theriot’s throw to first was off as well. Still none of those were charged as errors but officially were listed as “fielder’s choice”. Ummm I’m sorry those were all errors in my mind.
Tonight the home plate umpire had what I would call a “bad ” strike zone, and it was costly throughout the game, but the moment that stuck out was when Salas was in to pitch the 7th it seemed his money pitch was not being called strikes and then he left a pitch up over the plate and Gaby Sanchez made him pay with a single that could have been a double had it not been for an outstanding play by Matt Holliday to keep that hit to a single. Sanchez has had an outstanding series, and this young Marlin team is not a fluke and I think will be around most of the season. But my point is, if the umpire is going to shrink the strike zone and squeeze pitchers, what else are they supposed to do.
Other problems I saw tonight, and don’t tell me that Albert does not have the new contract on his mind. Albert came up tonight 5 times and it seemed that there were runners on every time and he went for the big 0-fer. I think there is something wrong with Albert’s swing, whether he’s late getting around on pitches or what, I don’t know what exactly as I’m no guru. But this much is clear, Albert is struggling and again don’t tell me he’s not thinking too much about the contract situation. The Cardinals bats though still put up the “crooked numbers”, with Holliday and Descalso going yard. The latter being Mr Descalso’s first big league HR. To me he looks like a player that can handle third base more than occasionally, and he brings an exciting bat to the lineup. No he’s not a power hitter per say, but who cares. The guy plays hard both at the plate and in the field, and for my money should play every day, and most of those days at third base. I know it’s not comforting when it comes to David Freese’s injury but wow talk about a who’s who of NL Third Baseman that are down (Pablo Sandoval, Freese, Casey Blake, Scott Rolen and Ryan Zimmerman), so the Cardinals are not alone although Freese’s injury has the longest recovery time. Now I was a bit worried because the Cardinals squandered several opportunities, it was pointed out that in 4 bases loaded situations the Cardinals managed a measley ONE RUN! So that alarms me a bit, but again it was ugly and I’ll take it. One other thing, the Cardinals absolutely NEED to stop making the dumb mistakes on the bases. It’s getting kind of ridiculous to see.
So tomorrow it’s Javier Vasquez with his 2-2 record and 6 plus ERA vs Chris Carpenter who is still trying to get his first win of the season. I’m hoping that tomorrow is the night that Carp gets off the schnide, and gets the run support and produces that must needed win. I hate to say this but I think tomorrow is super important in a few ways, but the main reason is the pitching matchup on Thursday with Marlins ace Josh Johnson going against Jake Westbrook…that matchup scares me so tomorrow I believe is pivotal in the sense that the Cardinals have not lost a series since the SF series and this could be bad if they can’t win tomorrow. So I say go out there, get the win for Carpenter, and take our chances Thursday vs Josh Johnson. I have faith, but the defense needs to step it up, and I mean now….