Pouring — GAME CALLED

UPDATE — Tonight’s game has been postponed. They will play at 7:19 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

-M.

For those of you not in STL, it’s been pouring all day, since before I got up for sure. Still no word on whether we’re playing tonight, but it’s hard to see playing a baseball game in conditions like this or soon after. I’ll keep y’all posted, but put it this way — if you are pondering whether or not to go out to dinner or something like that tonight, you might want to go ahead and make plans.

-M.

16 Comments

Does that help Glavine more? Seems like Weaver could pitch on three days. I guess it wouldn’t hurt out pullpen to regroup.
What are your thoughts Matt.

Also, what would happen if both today and tomorrow were rained out; would be playing game 5 on Wed. in St.Louis?

BTW; Best debut album…The Band ” Music from the Big Pink”…. or possibly Allman Bros. first.

They Mets were spared!!!!!!!
I wonder what everyone else thinks about Encarnation, Big hit but call me crazy I’d just soon see Preston.

Anybody hear LaRussa’s defense of his moronic decision to yank Reyes in the 4th inning of a 2-2 game for Duncan,a lefty, against Perez,a lefty? I didn’t hear it, and I was just wondering how he tried to defend it. Can we please get Girardi in St.Louis? Piniella? Big Bird?? Anybody but LaRussa?? Sorry M, but I’m through with being nice to LaRussa. And yes, I’ll take it somewhere else.

I’ll defend LaRussa here. He’s made some gutsy decisions this postseason (ref: Taguchi, Speizio in place of Rolen, not bumping Carp to a game 1 start, etc), and pulling Reyes was one of them. I believe he did it for two reasons: the heart of the mets lineup was coming around again, and Reyes had already been tipping his pitches. LaRussa knew the big hitters would get to Reyes again. And secondly, his bullpen had allowed one run the entire postseason. ONE! And that doesn’t include the fact they had prevented runs being charged to our starters. Not one starter was charged with a run after he was pulled – in four games with San Diego and three games with New York (correct me if I’m wrong about game two with Carp, but I think that’s the case). He had confidence in his bullpen to get through the next five innings. I had confidence in them, too. And I think most Cardinals fans who have actually been watching the post-season should have felt the same way. Here’s hoping that an unplanned day off can get our relievers rested, because LaRussa’s going to pull Weaver after five or six – and he should; the book on Jeff is that his arms drops in the later innings. If the move backfires, it backfires, but he’s got to make that move.

And here’s what I’m tired of: arm-chair managers who second guess every move that didn’t pan out without congratulating or even mentioning the moves that did work out. Have we forgotten that we’re knotted at two games a piece with the most potent offense in the NL, and in only one game this post-season have we looked terrible? Is our success because TLR decided to skip the post-season and go play golf?

Sorry for the tirade, Matthew, but I’m excited about this team right now: I think they look better this NLCS than they did last year, and I’m thrilled with their effort and intensity.

And, M – we’re still awaiting your responses to the last Lucky Seven, and we’re biting at the bit for the next one.

I’ll defend LaRussa here. He’s made some gutsy decisions this postseason (ref: Taguchi, Speizio in place of Rolen, not bumping Carp to a game 1 start, etc), and pulling Reyes was one of them. I believe he did it for two reasons: the heart of the mets lineup was coming around again, and Reyes had already been tipping his pitches. LaRussa knew the big hitters would get to Reyes again. And secondly, his bullpen had allowed one run the entire postseason. ONE! And that doesn’t include the fact they had prevented runs being charged to our starters. Not one starter was charged with a run after he was pulled – in four games with San Diego and three games with New York (correct me if I’m wrong about game two with Carp, but I think that’s the case). He had confidence in his bullpen to get through the next five innings. I had confidence in them, too. And I think most Cardinals fans who have actually been watching the post-season should have felt the same way. Here’s hoping that an unplanned day off can get our relievers rested, because LaRussa’s going to pull Weaver after five or six – and he should; the book on Jeff is that his arms drops in the later innings. If the move backfires, it backfires, but he’s got to make that move.

And here’s what I’m tired of: arm-chair managers who second guess every move that didn’t pan out without congratulating or even mentioning the moves that did work out. Have we forgotten that we’re knotted at two games a piece with the most potent offense in the NL, and in only one game this post-season have we looked terrible? Is our success because TLR decided to skip the post-season and go play golf?

Sorry for the tirade, Matthew, but I’m excited about this team right now: I think they look better this NLCS than they did last year, and I’m thrilled with their effort and intensity.

And, M – we’re still awaiting your responses to the last Lucky Seven, and we’re biting at the bit for the next one.

Hmm…OK. Well,that sounds nice. I still disagree with the decision and all of your defenses. LaRussa should have known, in my opinion, that our recent exceptional bullpen would eventually return to its old self. And how do you know he was tipping his pitches?
Yes, I admit LaRussa has made some really gutsy moves, but he always makes gutsy moves. I like to see smart moves. Not gutsy ones. Gutsy moves WILL eventually bite you in the rear. And about the 2-2 series status, I think all would agree that the Glavine/Weaver matchup with Weaver at home doesn’t look too good for us. But we’ll see. The Cards have played much better in the postseason overall, but this is not March Madness. There are no Cinderella teams in MLB playoffs. I hope beyond hope that we can beat the Mets, but i just think it’s a small chance now. Also, since Weaver is still going in game 5 would we be better off going with Supp in game 6 and saving Carp for game 7??? Or should we keep Carp in for game 6 and go with Supp in game 7???

What’s the difference between taking Reyes out after 4 and losing, or leaving him in another inning, and then having the bullpen blow it? Honestly, we’ve got alot farther in the playoffs than i thought possible, so even if we lose the next two games, we’ve been successful. On the point about Weaver, everyone is saying the rain out helps Glavine, but i think it helps Weaver too, because he hasn’t pitched on 3 days rest. He’s pitched well for us this postseason, here’s hoping he comes through again

Shaun – that’s legit, your point about smart moves v. gutsy ones, but personally I like the moves he’s made. More importantly, I notice a different demeanor from TLR this post-season versus others…

LaRussa told Buck, McCarver, and Gonzo during the in-game interview that Reyes was tipping his pitches. That’s why Duncan had Reyes go to the stretch during every pitch in the fourth.

And I agree that 2-2 is not nearly as good as 3-1, but you still have to like the way we’ve been playing. Weaver, Carp, Supp versus Glavine, Maine, and ??? – I’ll take the former over the latter, regardless of where we’re playing. And I trust the ‘pen to shake off game 4 and be ready for the next two or three.

On another note – does anyone see anything different in Pujols? Is he really struggling as much as I think, or am I expecting too much of him? He seems to be chasing pitches he normally doesn’t chase and not jumping on pitches he usually jumps all over.

scratch that last question. Just read on ESPN that Pujols’ hammy is bothering him. Not a good time for that, eh?

That’s not the first time that there has been evidence that Reyes is tipping pitches. I saw (from seats close enough to first base to count Pujols’ beard hairs) him pitch in Planet Coors during the season, and while his stuff looked good, the way the Rockies were facing him definitely implied that they knew what pitch to look for. I’d only seen that kind of anticipation at the plate once before — in a game with the Royals’ promising young pitcher Zack Greinke where the opponents knew exactly what was coming somehow, and he gave up 10 runs in 4+ innings. Greinke left the team for psychiatric reasons afterward … which one really hopes doesn’t happen to Reyes.

All of this increased my appreciation for Duncan and TLR, incidentally. *They* picked up that Reyes was tipping. I couldn’t see how (admittedly from a TV screen) but in retrospect there is no doubt that he was. Wonder what they saw?

Back on topic, I’m not sure who the extra rest day helps. It’s nice to have a day to get the bullpen rested, but it also gives 40-year-old, soft-tossing Tom Glavine a chance to get back on his routine, and I’m nervous that that may count for more. We’ll see tonight. (Has the weather moved on?)

A few things…

1. always be skeptical when a team says its own pitcher is tipping. Sometimes it’s true, but I also think sometimes it’s a diversionary tactic.

2. Whether he was or he wasn’t, in my opinion it was an easy call to get Reyes out. He’d worked VERY hard to get 12 outs, and it looked to me like that game was threatening to get out of hand from him at any time. Of all the moves in that game, getting Reyes out was in my opinion the most defensible.

3. In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to worry about innings as much as he did. In both the 5th and 6th, he went to one of the right-handers with the hope that that pitcher could go 2 innings or more. I understand the reasoning, but I think you really have to try to make sure that when the game is close, you minimize the potential damage of Beltran and Delgado — which means using Flores and Johnson aggressively. THEN you go to the RH and hope he gets you through the next 7 spots in the order without incident.

-M.

There were 3 reasons to take him out:

1) The Mets were clearly seeing the ball better off him the second time through the lineup. No need to send him out there a third time.

2) If he does go out there and get lit up for a couple more runs, it would ruin his ERA, chance at winning the game, and most importantly confidence.

3) The bullpen has been strong, until then.

So, now Reyes has playoff experience and a 4.50 ERA, which is much better than he pitched in my opinion. So you protect him from taking the loss, facing the order again and give him something to build upon.

Say Reyes goes back out in the fifth and gives up a single to reyes and a dinger to LoDuca. His ERA skyrockets to 9, he gets yanked and he’s on the hook.

Fast forward to the world series and say we win this series in 7 games. I don’t know if Reyes is the game 1 pitcher, but it might work out that he has to be if there is only 1 day between series. IF this is the case, would you rather have run a struggling Reyes out to face the heart of the Met’s lineup and possibly ruin his confidence?

I think going 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA should help Reyes settle in and give him a bit of confidence. And these numbers would likely have not been so good had he started the 5th.

GO CARDS!!!

I would like to say that I appreciate everyone’s comments on the decision to remove Reyes. I see it differently now, so thank you. Although I’m not totally sold on any of the ideas, it is a very good point. The second part of my problem with that whole situation is that Tony put in Dunc, who struggles against lefties, with 2 outs in the inning. If there had been only one out, then I would not have a problem breaking the lefty/lefty match up trend that Tony has in order to play a gut feeling. Because with one out if Dunc doesn’t get it done, you have another shot at driving in the run. But with 2 outs, I would have loved to see Taguchi get that at bat.

You make a good point about Lil’ Duncan, Shaun. I can’t even begin to rationalize that one. So I apologize I got so defensive about TLR and big Duncan.

The point is, and I’ll be as cliched as possible: we’re all Cards fans and want ‘em to win. They all deserve to celebrate two more times, and we hope they play the smart, intense baseball that will make it possible.

GO CARDS!

First of all, looking forward to tonights game. The word pivitol is sometimes overused, but that is the only word to describe tonights game.

Also, on the Reyes situation if we are fortunate enough to make the World Series. I feel like I’m going to vomit just writing this but what about Marquis? I’ve been hating on him for the entire second half more than any of my fellow Cardinals fans I hang with. But wouldn’t that just be the all time, dare to be great scenario for a talented pitcher who’s lost his way. Being off the NLCS roster is a great wake up call for him and I think he could come through in the World Series. He could pitch Game 1 if we win it in 7. Reyes is still trying to find himself and I think we need to just wait for next year with him. Marquis has a resiliant arm and would be rested and ready to go for the series. I’d have the hook ready early because you can always tell with him in the first inning. But the guy does have double digit wins (along with double digit losses).

Crazy, but possible. BC

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