Thursday night tactics

You make the call:

Eighth inning, two outs. Berkman up, runner on second, Cards lead by one. Lefties Luke Scott and Aubrey Huff on deck. Flores up in the bullpen. But I’ll even let you step back in time a few minutes and warm up any reliever you want.

Here are your choices:

1. Do what they did. Leave Carp in, tell him to pitch him tough but don’t actually put him on.

2. Put Berkman on and take your chances with Scott. If you do this, who do you have face Scott, a hot-hitting lefty?

3. Pull Carp then and there. If so, for whom?

Personally, I didn’t have any problem with leaving Carp in there, but I can at least see the logic of walking him.



that’s two situations now in this game I thought that someone should have been walked…earlier in the game…I’m not sure who was batting…but there was one out and two on, with first base open. I was like…please walk him, you can get the DP out of the next guy…and of course, they pitched to him, and he ended up with an RBI single…well guess what – Next guy hit into the DP. I think Carp had the ability to get Berkman out, but he was just tired and shouldn’t have been in at that time anyway. I blame management here for the loss, not the team.


In the Cards

This is a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. If TLR had gone to the lefty and Berkman had hit a bomb off him, he’d be getting pilloried for pulling his ace. However, I still think it would have been — barely — the right thing to do, because Berkman has much less power batting right handed than left. To me the risks associated with going with a lesser pitcher are slightly less than those of allowing yourself to be beaten by a single swing, which is what happened. However, I certainly don’t want to criticize TLR for making the decision as he did; this one is really close.

Incidentally, we see here the tactical advantages that result from having a switch-hitter with some power in the lineup. Do the Cardinals have any switchers making their way through the minors? I’m not aware of any. Ted Simmons, where are you when we need you?…

That’s a great point, and one I thought about a lot as I hashed it all out. It’s not like you’re simply dealing with a LHH. The problem if you go to Flores or Johnson is you still have a L-R matchup. A real switch-hitter is a great asset.

I think one entirely viable option, if you didn’t want to put him on and didn’t want to leave Carp in, would have been Hancock. I’d like to see him more against LHH at times over the season’s final 10 days, because I think it’s a way he has real value.


Walk him. How many times are we going to give up game winning hits or HR’s to Berkman? If you don’t want Carp to face the lefty, bring in Hancock. For that matter, bring in TJ to face a lefty, before you pitch to LB in that situation. It’d be like letting O. Perez pitch to Albert in the ninth of game 7….. I would never do it. Granted, Berkman isn’t and won’t ever be Albert, but he has had a kack for beating us. Especially in that crummy little park down on the gulf.

Walk him. i don’t care who’s pitching to Berkman; walk him. He might not have the gaudy numbers of Pujols or Howard, but the numbers are good, and it seems theyre even better against us. he’s a Cardinal killer, and I fear him just as much as any other hitter out there. He knows how to beat us, from either side, especially in Houston. Any other hitter in that lineup you go after. not berkman.

Walk Berkman. He’s the Astros best hitter. Why allow him even the chance at beating you? Walk him and bring in Flores to face Scott. By the way,Scott Who??? ,or Who Scott??? We all know what Berkman can do. But I like our chances against anybody in the Astros lineup as oppposed to Berkamn.Another dumb move by LaRussa. Huh, huh,ho! Fiction can be fun…But I find the reference section much more enlightening.For example if you were to look up baseball’s all-time BONEHEAD moves, you might read about a manager in St.Louis during the early 2000s….

When my brother told me about this, I told him I couldn’t wait to hear TLR’s excuse this time.
Luke Scott is his excuse for pitching to Berkman with the game on the line??? What a dufus. What about that little book he and Duncan are so proud of??? What is Berkman’s lifetime record against Carp? And what is Luke Scott’s? Which guy was jacking the ball all over the park in this game and which one was hitless?

This was a no brainer and TLR choked again.

Look, folks…

I really appreciate everybody’s comments. You guys help make this space what it is. I enjoy the back-and-forth. I enjoy asking and answering questions.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t want name-calling here. I don’t want angry rants. If you don’t wish to keep things civil and reasonable, I’d rather you take it somewhere else.

If you disagree with me, great. Let’s discuss it. If you think the manager made a wrong move, great. I love talking tactics.

But “this guy is an idiot,” “that guy is a useless player,” “you don’t know what you’re talking about,” etc etc etc — I’d rather it not be on this blog.

Thank you.


So is the Ace Ventura reference too mean? Can I not say that was a bonehead move or a dumb move? Is dufus too harsh too? I’m just asking cause I don’t see anything in these that is terribly un-civil.

The point is talk about the move or the comment or the decision, not the person. Whether it’s me, whether it’s each other, whether it’s a player, whether it’s the manager.

This is OK, and in fact invited: “I would have put Berkman on and pitched to Luke Scott. Luke Scott is not the kind of player who should dictate decisions about Lance Berkman.” That’s cool. That’s fine. That’s what I want, is discussion and debate.

These are the kinds of things I don’t want here, because they don’t advance the discussion:

“if you were to look up baseball’s all-time BONEHEAD moves, you might read about a manager in St.Louis during the early 2000s”


“What a dufus. What about that little book he and Duncan are so proud of??? ”

Shaun, you in particular have been posting for a while, and I definitely enjoy reading what you have to say. But for everybody, there’s a difference between honest disagreement and name-calling. I don’t want name-calling here.

Thanks much.


OK M. I understand what you are saying. I just want you to know it was just a joke. You know,a movie reference. I thought it was funny. I certainly wouldn’t write that in a column or say it on the air. But this is a blog. I was just trying to have fun and be critical. And I guarentee you I along with the majority of other posters will be singing TLR’s praises if he ever brings us a championship.I,along with ALL of LaRussa’s critics,will be quieted by the achievement of the ultimate goal.It just won’t be this year.

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