Got confirmation that Molina is out 4-6 weeks w/a fractured left wrist. Brian Esposito called up from Memphis.
* The tarp is coming off. The ice on the field is melted. Looks like we’re going to get a game in.
* Rolen is back in the lineup.
* Eckstein is still out. When we spoke to him around 4 pm MT, he said he was planning to take some swings in the cage.
* Chris Duncan is out with bursitis and an infection in his left knee. No word on how long he’s out.
As of 3 pm MT, it doesn’t look real good at Coors Field. There’s light rain falling, but that’s not really the issue. We had a big ice storm at around 1:30, leaving chunks of ice all over the streets, sidewalks — and the outfield. There’s a tarp on the infield, but there’s a layer of ice/hail/sleet covering the outfield. If they can get this field playable, it’ll be a major credit to the Denver grounds crew.
(currently playing on the iPod: Dinosaur Jr., Beyond)
(It is Friday afternoon, isn’t it? Days kind of run together by the ninth day of a road trip…)
* Todd Wellemeyer is present, in uniform and on the roster. Brian Falkenborg has been outrighted to Memphis, and according to TLR, he has already cleared waivers.
* Chris Duncan is DH’ing tonight. Ryan Ludwick is in left, Taguchi in center, Encarnacion in right and batting cleanup. Edmonds out of the lineup again, though he’ll probably play tomorrow even with the LHP.
* Miles is in at 2B in place of Kennedy again.
About to leave my hotel room in LA to go to the airport and head to Detroit. Now that’s a road trip that makes sense. Anyway, here’s lucky seven for this week.
1. What does it appear to you is the biggest problem for Kip Wells? Stuff? Command? Approach?
2. What would you do about him? Move somebody else in the rotation, and if so, who? Or acknowledge that this guy needs to be good if this team is going to be good, and let him keep working on getting sorted out?
3. The Cardinals have 15 Interleague games this year — 3 each against Detroit, Oakland and the Angels, and 6 with Kansas City. How many will they win?
4. Who should DH for the Cards in Detroit?
5. Do you like Interleague Play? Should it stay in its current, semi-rotating format? Increase? Decrease? Stop rotating? Be gone altogether?
6. Do you have a Presidential candidate yet? I don’t want to know WHO — the point here is not to start any kind of back-and-forth of THAT variety, I assure you. I’m just curious how many of you already know whom you’ll be supporting, and how many are still looking.
7. What’s the best full-fare US airline? The best low-cost or short-haul airline?
-M, ready to get home.
For what it’s worth, I first-guessed this in the press box before the decision blew up.
The thought process behind leaving Wells in to face Betemit, apparently, is that you’re trying to get him a win. He’s an important part of the team. You need him to be good if this team is going to be good. Fair enough.
But the home run came on pitch No. 120 — in the fifth inning. That’s seriously hard work. That’s not like throwing 120 in seven or eight innings. The left-hander had already been up, and should have been available to come in — and Betemit has a significant platoon split. You want LHP facing Betemit.
Additionally, if the goal is to boost Wells, help his confidence, etc, then leaving him in risks doing just the opposite. By leaving him in to pitch to Betemit, you open yourself up to the distinct possibility that a completely gassed pitcher is going to be exposed when he’s got very little left, give up a big hit, and ruin whatever positives he’d built up by gutting his way through 4 2/3. The decision has a significant risk not only in the outcome of the game, but in the one area you’re trying to help — Wells’ confidence.
Mostly though, it comes down to this, in my eyes — if the team were 21-16, you could pay more attention to individual matters and getting guys going and things like that. When they’re 16-21, and when even the manager admits that they have very little margin for error, you can’t afford to look at it in those terms. You have to win today. You have to do what maximizes the chances of winning today. And that was to take Wells out after 4 2/3 and bring in the LHP.
The Cardinals claimed Todd Wellemeyer off waivers from the Royals today. He’s expected to join them on Friday in Detroit. No word on who will be sent out, but Kelvin Jimenez has options and Brian Falkenborg does not.
* I went by the Rose Bowl today. Still have never been to a game there, but as a college football junkie, what a great place even to go look at. It’s a beautiful setting, and to know all the history there… Someday I’ll go to the game. Someday.
* ESPN.com has a poll up asking whether the suspensions of Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw are fair. How can they not be? The rule is clear. Leave the bench, at all, you get suspended. Don’t want to get suspended? Well, don’t leave the bench. This is entirely on those two guys. They screwed up, and they cost their team. I’m pulling for the Suns in that series, but even so, it’s hard to feel too bad for them.
* Not a good move to push back the World Series and lengthen the LCS, IMO. Of course, there’s the obvious weather issue, as the later you push things back the worse the weather gets. And the down time between the LCS and World Series will not help keep interest up. But more than that, I have a competitive problem with it. The postseason already rewards the top half of a roster too much. Adding the extra day to the LCS makes it even more about your top 2-3 starters, and makes the postseason less a true test of how good a team is from top to bottom.
Want to have the WS start later? How about going to seven-game Division Series? Want to start the WS on a Wednesday? How about ending the regular season earlier, maybe by adding some doubleheaders or even knocking a few games off the schedule, and start it the previous Wednesday to what they will be doing.
Juan Encarnacion activated, and in the starting lineup batting sixth. Skip Schumaker optioned to Memphis.
Here’s Lucky Seven, assembled in fits and starts at a couple of different locations.
1. When Juan Encarnacion comes back, who should be sent out/sent down/released?
2. Should Encarnacion immediately begin playing full time? If so, how much time
would you like Ryan Ludwick to see? If not, how would you apportion the playing
3. If you could add an above-average Major League player — not a star, but a
quality player — at ONE position and one position only to the 2007 Cardinals,
where would you add someone?
4. What’s your take on Izzy so far? Satisfied? Surprised? Still not happy?
5. At this minute, who’s the best player in the NL? In the AL?
6. Aside from your own house, where was the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had? If you do make coffee at home, what beans (or ground coffee) do you use?
7. What’s the best (or least unpleasant, if you prefer) airport for having a layover?