Just get there

As you may or may not have noticed, I didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee, so I’m following from a distance like many of you for these three days. Back on the horse at Minute Maid Park. In the meantime, I’m reading the coverage.

And in Joe Strauss’ game story, he tangentially touched on something I’ve thought about a good bit regarding the postseason. Aside from Carpenter and Suppan, I think TLR/Dunc should plan to have an exceedingly quick hook with the starters in the playoffs. Whoever gets the remaining starts in the DS or a potential LCS or World Series, get ‘em out quick if there’s any trouble at all.

The reason this came to mind was the acknowledgement by the staff that it’s not necessarily a negative if Anthony Reyes is a 5-6 inning guy in the playoffs. Personally, I think Marquis and Weaver should be 5-6 inning guys if it comes to that. If they’re rolling, and can get you into the 7th or 8th, great. But if not, don’t hesitate. If any of those three pitchers gets you through five, get him out and go to the pen at the first sign of trouble.

This bullpen has three very competent right-handers in Wainwright, Looper and Hancock, and maybe Brad Thompson as well. You have plenty of days off in the playoffs. Use those guys aggressively. I think handing tight games to the pen from as early as the sixth will be one key to this team going a long way in October.

Your thoughts?

-M.

12 Comments

I like the plan as you stated it. The key is to pull out the starting pitcher at the FIRST sign of trouble. In Marquis’ case, we know we can tell almost from the first pitch if he has “it” or not for a particular game. It takes a little longer to diagnose if Weaver has “it” or not. Please, TLR.DD, don’t wait until we are buried by five runs before you make changes. Now, the hitters are going to have to come through for us no matter who is pitching. I’m praying for full power for everyone. In addition, I want to ask about Edmonds. How is he doing? We hear talk about Eckstein, Izzy, and Mulder, but no one talks much about Edmonds. We sure could use his bat in the play-offs (assuming he can get his timing back, of course).

I have thought about this same option this year. We have a good (maybe great) pen that may have saved a few games Marquis, Weaver, and Reyes let get away. Granted I am glad TL did not make this move because our pen would be burnt up, but in the playoffs, I say go for it.

How does this comment from Joe Strauss’ article make you feel:
“Reyes remains strident that he is more comfortable pitching away from contact than trying to induce it. He is at core a strikeout pitcher.

‘Coming up through the minor leagues, it’s the way I’ve been. I don’t see any way to change my mentality,’ he said. ‘If I keep that the same approach, I’m going to get strikeouts when I need them and get the other outs when I need them.'”

Is Reyes butting heads with LaRussa and Duncan on this topic? Does he really have the pitches to blow guys away, in the long run? I just don’t want to see another Garrett Stephenson (i.e. someone who thinks he is a power pitcher and isn’t) or a Kerry Wood (i.e. someone who is a power pitcher and blows his arm out). Will major league hitters have Reyes’s stuff figured out next year, or can he continue to work up in the zone? Lots of questions, what do you all think?

You stated a few days ago that Tony should start the bullpen for a playoff game and I agree. The leash on anybody not named Carpenter or Suppan should be quite short. The Cards could sure use Al Reyes right now. Will he ever pitch for the birds again?

I think you’re confusing me with someone else — I’m fairly sure I never wrote or said they should pitch a bullpen game in the postseason. Bernie Miklasz, I believe, wrote that.

As for Al Reyes, he signed with the Devil Rays several months ago.

-M.

I wouldn’t be at all opposed to the bullpen doing one game.

I agree a short leash on anyone who isn’t named Carpenter or Suppan. In the playoffs they need to get ahead and stay ahead.

You are right. that was Bernie Miklasz that wrote that. Sorry. I would be more comfortable with the bullpen starting over Marquis. He has had one of the worst 2nd halfs of anyone the Cardinals have ever had.

Matthew:

Recently I heard, I think, one of the TV sportscasters talking about the post-concussion syndrome. He mentioned several players including Eckstein, Molina and said the worse case is Mike Matheny. Nothing was said about Jim Edmonds! Will you please update us on Jim’s condition.

I hope a healthy Jim re-joins the team before much longer. He’s needed!

There’s just nothing new to say about Edmonds right now. He’s not on the road trip.

But the fact is, it’s not really going away. It’s slowly getting better, it sounds like, but only slowly. It’s a serious issue, and no one should just expect Jim to wake up tomorrow feeling fine. I hope people understand that this isn’t a case of somebody wanting to play or not wanting to play. It’s a significant medical condition that needs to be cleared up before he can try to get out there.

-M.

Kudos to those who try to put a positive spin on Cardinal losses, whether it be in the manager’s postgame press onference or the articles on the Cardinal website. However someone needs to step up and say “the emporer has no clothes”. The truth is they are playing their worst baseball of the year. This is quite similar to the last two seasons where they saved their worst for last and literally limped into the playoffs playing very poorly. I am not convinced they will even make the playoffs this time (which might actually save them some embarrassment). The franchise is headed in the wrong direction. Forget the injuries, everybody has them. The difference is that winning teams have pitching. Ours cannot compete consistently at the major league level.

timphd is right. If you look at the Sept. schedule, this should have been a relatively easy month, but TLR’s squad has been sleep-walking and he has provided absolutely no leadership.

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