Series Thread: HOU @ STL

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Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Tue May 27, 2008 12:19 pm

Tuesday: Shawn Chacon, RHP (1-0, 4.11) vs. Braden Looper, RHP (6-3, 4.34), 7:15
Wednesday: Wandy Rodriguez, LHP (1-0, 2.31) vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP (4-2, 3.06), 7:15
Thursday: Roy Oswalt, RHP (4-4, 5.61) vs. Kyle Lohse, RHP (4-2, 4.26), 7:15

Already up 4-2 in this season series. All but 1 game has been decided by 2 runs or less. Gonna need the pitching to continue keeping the scores down with the Astros staff pitching well also. It's kinda crazy when the Cards should be looking forward to seeing Roy Oswalt.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Tue May 27, 2008 9:21 pm

Now comes the questions:

1) What is the Cardinals record this season with Duncan batting second? This is important since Pujols when 4-for-4 but no one got on base ahead of him. (IMO, it's more Duncan than Schumaker who seems to play better when Miles is hitting near him as well)
2) What is the Cardinals record with and without Ludwick? So Ludwick had an off-game in LA. He's still 2nd in the league in slugging percentage which should be worth something over Duncan.
3) What is the Cardinals record with Kennedy at second in comparison with Miles?

And finally, one related to tonight's game:

4) Why in the heck didn't the bullpen come in earlier after it had been barely used last week? Aren't Parisi and Villone supposed to be guys to fill in long innings when the starter is struggling?? Why wait until the game is 7-1 when it's pretty darn clear Looper couldn't keep the ball down?? And the bullpen did just fine once they finally were used. It's not like Wainwright and Lohse have needed a ton of bullpen support, which makes the idea of "saving them" seem ludicrous.

That's all.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby dmiles2186 » Wed May 28, 2008 12:10 am

Tonight is the epitome of Looper at his worst. Looper is a sink or swim guy and you can usually tell if he's going to suck in the first few innings. When he's not on, the opposition is smacking the crap out of the ball early on.

I went to a game earlier this year against the Giants. Looper retired the first six batters he faced, but each one of them popped out deep in the outfield and a few of them ripped foul balls that could have been homers. Looper imploded in the 3rd inning that game, giving up 6 runs, and then left the game with two men on base in the 6th who later scored. They lost the game 8-2.

Sound familiar? :grin:
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Wed May 28, 2008 6:26 am

Of course that's familiar. Which makes one wonder why TLR didn't go to a "rested" bullpen sooner.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby stinkdified » Wed May 28, 2008 1:03 pm

dmiles2186 wrote:Tonight is the epitome of Looper at his worst. Looper is a sink or swim guy and you can usually tell if he's going to suck in the first few innings. When he's not on, the opposition is smacking the crap out of the ball early on.

I went to a game earlier this year against the Giants. Looper retired the first six batters he faced, but each one of them popped out deep in the outfield and a few of them ripped foul balls that could have been homers. Looper imploded in the 3rd inning that game, giving up 6 runs, and then left the game with two men on base in the 6th who later scored. They lost the game 8-2.

Sound familiar? :grin:

I must have forgot...wait, that game was on 4/20...coincidence?
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Wed May 28, 2008 11:13 pm

What's this...

all the players who've hit well this season are in the lineup at once and the Cardinals score 3 in the first inning???

Total reversal from last night.

Barton's 2 hits to Duncan's none in this series should at least earn Barton platoon time with Schumaker while relegating Duncan to the bench. Ryan was excellent leading off as well, lending more credence to the idea of having the over-paid Kennedy sit more.

Still stunned by TLR trying to use Duncan as a pinch hitter in tonight's game when Schumaker and Miles are on the bench and hitting better than Duncan. Heck, 1 out and 1 on... do you want the struggling .250 hitter who hasn't gotten a hit in awhile, or the .320 hitter whose done a good job of at least advancing runners. Miles should've pinch hit, IMO.

TLR has some kinda man-love for Duncan that none of us meager born and bred Cardinals fans understand.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby BoxCar » Thu May 29, 2008 8:15 am

So what do we think about trading from our plethora of good outfielders for some help near the deadline? I think Duncan's defense would improve if he were playing his natural position (first), and hopefully other teams see that. His hitting potential is still fantastic, but I think he'd be better suited in the AL surrounded by hitters like himself. We have atm Duncan, Ankiel, Schumaker, Ludwick, Barton and Rasmus. Maybe try to get a young reliever to go along with McClellan, Perez, Parisi and co?

I don't get how people think that the success the Birds have had thus far means anything bad for our rebuilding process. All this means is our young talent is coming along very well. I don't think Isturis is long for this team with Ryan stating that SS is his preference. Miles is a sufficient 2nd baseman, but I have liked how Kennedy was (key: was) swinging earlier in the year and his defense is very good. My ideal lineup would be this:

1: Schumaker LF
2: Ryan SS
3: Pujols 1B
4: Ludwick RF
5: Ankiel CF
6: Glaus 3B
7: Molina C
8: Pitcher
9: Kennedy (Miles vs lefties) 2B
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Thu May 29, 2008 8:49 am

Duncan and Barton are basically untradeable right now.

Duncan isn't hitting and can't field which makes his trade value complete squat. This is the big reason he needs to go down, play 1st base at Memphis and work on his swing there. Then he might have some trade value if the swing comes around.

With Barton being a Rule 5 guy, the Cardinals have to keep him on their roster for some specific amount of time or Cleveland gets his rights back. (at least, that's what I've read). Which makes trading Barton problematic, since I don't even know if they can trade a Rule 5 player. If they could, the other team would have to keep Barton as well for however long, or it's back to Cleveland he goes.

IMO, Barton is a fine bench player and perfectly capable of the occasional start when someone does need a night off.

What gives the Cardinals trade depth is the pitching and OF prospects moving right along in the minors. The question is what do the Cardinals need?

Pitching = There are plenty of relief guys available considering how well our middle relievers turned starters have done this season. If Carpenter gets back, Wainwright, Carpenter, Wellemeyer, and Lohse are a reasonable starting 4. The question is whose the 5th starter. It's looking like Mulder might not make it back so he's out. Pineiro is having a leg issue. Looper needs to go back to the middle relief role when Carp gets back. Perez/Franklin closing/setup working out just fine. Heck, we're looking good at pitching.

OF - we're set.
C - could use a better bat than LaRue as the backup catcher. Supposedly good prospect at Memphis who is close
1B - Is there any point in commenting?
2B - Kennedy has got to find his bat. He's not worth the dineros if he's not hitting. Miles is doing just fine filling in there.
SS - Izturis is solid defensively. The question mark is his bat. But he is hitting as well as Duncan right now :) So, yes, Ryan at SS for the future.
3B - Glaus needs to find his bat at home. If that comes around, 3B should be alright as well.

So what should the Cardinals trade for with all that OF depth?? 2B?? C??

It just doesn't seem like the Cardinals should worry about making a trade unless it's for starting pitching if the hurt guys can't make it back. Thing is - whose gonna give up a decent starter. Of course, Duncan is darn good at making sub-par guys look like All-Stars again, so maybe they could find another career to salvage. But then, the Cardinals wouldn't need to give up those quality OFers and could keep them from the rest of the league.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby OS » Thu May 29, 2008 9:13 am

The only real need the Cardinals have right now is a big bat in the middle infield. Problem is, teams aren't exactly throwing those away.
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Re: Series Thread: HOU @ STL

Postby theohall » Fri May 30, 2008 8:25 am

When the game started last night and I saw Kennedy, Duncan and LaRue in the lineup, my first thought and comment to the other folks in the bar was "The Cards will be lucky to score 3 runs with this offensively challenged lineup" followed by "They'll only win if Lohse pitches like an ace"

Result: Cards win only scoring 3 runs with Lohse pitching like an ace. Duncan had that one great at-bat in the first. He needs to have more of those at-bats, but not from the #2, 4, or 5 slot in the order and not at the expense of playing time for Ludwick. If Duncan plays, he hits in the 6 or 7 slot (like last night) simply because until his batting average improves, he doesn't deserve to be hitting in high OPS slots in the order.

Meanwhile, the star of that game was clearly Lohse. What can one say about him only allowing 3 earned runs in his last 18 innings and that's against Tampa Bay, the Dodgers, and the Astros who were all hitting well coming into their respective series against the Cardinals.

I'm amazed the Astros only scored 4 runs in the last 2 games of this series.

And Franklin is rounding into a darn good closer, even if we all want to see Perez in the role already. 4 saves in 4 opportunities in May. And Perez works out real well throwing his heat as the setup guy to Franklin's mixed bag of pitches. Of course, this would work just as well if they flip-flopped :)

Another series win! :grin: Bring on the Pirates!
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