Friday, October 08, 2004

Friday Notes

Game 2

Last night's game was interesting. For a game in which the Cardinals won 8 to 3, it just seemed closer than that didn't it? For me, it was that 4th inning when Marquis gave up two bombs - especially that one to Milton Bradley - followed by Eldred walking the bases loaded. Finley having a 3-0 count should have led to at least one more run there, if not more. But Eldred got the out, and the series is much different today because of it.

You have to give credit to Tony La Russa for his use of the bullpen last night. He wasn't afraid to give Marquis the hook early in the game, and used the pen very wisely, in my opinion. Historically, Tony has been blamed for poor pitching moves in the playoffs. With a bullpen this deep, however, La Russa has much more flexibility to pull starters early, or set up the lefty/righty matchups during a game. As long as the Cardinals can get a 6 or 7 inning start thrown in here and there during the playoffs, they should advance far.

13 out of 16 runs have been scored with 2 outs? That's impressive.

For two straight games, I've called for John Mabry to get the start over Sanders in left field. For two straight games, the Cardinals have scored 8 runs without doing so. Last night it was especially obvious that my suggestion wasn't needed in the least, as Sanders went 3 for 3 with some great base-running.

Game 3

Just like in the first two games, I looked up Jose Lima's split stats. Rather than list all of them, let me just put down some basics.

vs. Left - .277/.329/.495, 824 OPS
vs. Right - .263/.278/.462, 740 OPS

Innings 1 to 3 - 820 OPS
Innings 4 to 6 - 740 OPS
Innings 7 to 9 - 858 OPS

Lima has only walked 9 right handed batters this season over 336 plate appearances. In fact, he doesn't walk many left handed batters, either. His downfall has been giving up home runs. 33 to be specific.

I would suggest that the Cardinals start John Mabry over Reggie Sanders. It would give the Cards a slight edge at the position over Lima, would serve to help keep Mabry sharp, and give Sanders a day off. But considering how well Sanders is hitting in the first 2 games, the fact that Saturday will only be the 3rd Cardinal game over a 6-day span, and that I've been wrong about the "need" for Mabry the last 2 games? Well, I'll leave it alone.

The Rest of the Series

If the Dodgers somehow manage to win the next two games in Los Angeles, they plan on starting Jeff Weaver on 3 day's rest in St. Louis. I have to say - if I were a fan of the Dodgers, I probably wouldn't be very optimistic this morning.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

I actually felt like the game was "in the bag" when Finley failed to get a run in with the 3-0 count. Even at that point, I wasn't real worried. The Cards have been racking up runs, even without Rolen and Edmonds doing much. I still think that Pujols has another gear that he can kick into, also.

Marquis was a big-time disappointment, though. I wonder if he's got a bit of a dead arm, at this point. I'd ALMOST feel better if Suppan or Haren was getting that third starting slot, instead of Marquis.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

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At 1:29 PM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

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At 1:41 PM, Blogger Socnorb11 said...

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At 3:27 PM, Blogger Robb said...

I cleaned up those double posts, Socnorb. Of course, it makes it look sinister...

Marquis has me a bit concerned as well, but I'm not ready to give Haren is starting slot. I'm afraid Morris is going to need to be removed more than Marquis.

Interesting that a rotation that gave me so much confidence all season is now so suspect. Maybe they should just go into Morris/Marquis starts and tell them they're only going to pitch 3 innings - give it all you've got. I'd like to think that the bullpen could work extra hard with the extra days off in the post-season if it came to that.


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