April 2009

Wednesday evening tidbits: No Boyer, again

It is an absolutely perfect night at Busch Stadium, and for the first time this season, most of the windows in the press box are open.

* Blaine Boyer threw another bullpen for Dave Duncan today, so he’s unavailable again tonight. They’re giving him a long look to see what he’s got. I’m becoming very interested in what they think is possible here.

* Tonight’s outfield is Duncan-Ankiel-Rasmus, and TLR knew he was going to take some grief for it. Here’s his comment: “Colby hasn’t played in three days, and he needs to be in there. Maine, he’s tough against everybody. And I told Luddy, and I’m sure this is something some of our fans are going to have fun with, he’s got the next four this week. So he’ll play five of the six.”

* Joe Buck was on the field shooting some sort of video this afternoon, taking swings off of Mitchell Boggs while Boggs threw his bullpen, and pitching to Ludwick.

Tonight’s playlist is all Depeche Mode, in honor of their new album that came out today (which I hope to procure tomorrow, or Friday at the latest).

“Everything Counts”
“But Not Tonight”
“Strangelove”
“Enjoy the Silence”
“In Your Room”

For another playlist, please head over to the outstanding Metsgrrl.com later this evening, where I’ll be guest-playlisting on the blog of a friend of mine who is at least as crazy about both baseball and music as I am (and that’s saying an awful lot).

-M.

Wednesday lineup

Blaine Boyer is again unavailable because he threw another bullpen before the game for Dave Duncan.

Today’s lineup vs RHP John Maine:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Rasmus RF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Duncan LF
5. Ankiel CF
6. Molina C
7. Greene SS
8. Thurston 3B
9. Pineiro P

Let the howling begin. However, TLR did say that Ludwick will play all of the next four games.

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Carp still sore, Boyer unavailable

It’s truly a lovely night here at Busch Stadium, still a bit chilly but evidently by week’s end we’ll be in for some actual spring weather. However, keeping the windows closed for one more night.

* Chris Carpenter said his strained left oblique is definitely getting better, but is just as definitely not to the point where he can begin anything baseball-related. He said he was given a timeline of about 30 days for typical recovery — he wasn’t sure of 30 days till WHAT, but I can’t imagine that means 30 days till he’s actually in games. All he’s able to do, exercise-wise, right now is ride a stationary bike and undergo arm exercises on the training table.

* Blaine Boyer is not available tonight — except, I guess, in case of emergency. That’s because he threw a bullpen this afternoon so they could take a look at what they had. The thinking is that, with 8 relievers and two days off, they could spare one guy for one day in order to check him out in a side session.

* Mitchell Boggs is scheduled to be the starter on Saturday against the Cubs. He and P.J. Walters are both available in relief tonight, though after that, Boggs will be on a starter’s preparation schedule. Part of the reasoning is that there’s some concern as to whether Boggs can get warmed up in time to pitch out of the bullpen, so they felt Walters was the better fit to relieve.
But don’t forget, coming into the year, Boggs was ahead of Walters on the depth chart. He was set back due to his injury in the spring.

* Adam Wainwright will likely get some pinch-hitting opportunities due to the shortened bench. The Cardinals are carrying 13 pitchers, leaving only four bench players. I’m not a fan of that kind of configuration, but it sounds like they’ll stay that way for more than a day or two.

Today’s playlist:
New Order, “Face Up” (great, great forgotten song)
Pearl Jam, “In Hiding”
Stone Roses, “Elephant Stone”
Sugar, “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
Oasis, “Live Forever”

(why yes, I am 34, why do you ask?)

-M.

Freese gone, and the lineup

David Freese, as expected, is the man out to make room for Blaine Boyer. Meanwhile, Boyer takes Brian Barton’s old number, 54.

Today’s lineup vs LHP Oliver Perez:
1. Ryan 2B
2. Ankiel CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Ludwick RF
5. Molina C
6. Duncan LF
7. Greene SS
8. Thurston 3B
9. Wellemeyer P

-M.

Rotation for the coming week

Tuesday vs. Mets: Wellemeyer
Wednesday vs Mets: Pineiro
Thursday vs Mets: Lohse
Friday vs Cubs: Wainwright
Saturday vs Cubs: TBA
Sunday vs Cubs: Wellemeyer

-M.

Game called

Tonight’s game has been postponed.

-M.

Sunday lineup, and no move

We may or may not get a game in. The weather is awful, and the forecast is worse. But they haven’t called it yet, and that gives me some notion that they’re at least going to try.

First, the Cardinals ended up not making a move after all. It’s the same 25-man roster.

The lineup vs LHP Ted Lilly:
1. Ryan 2B
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Ludwick RF
5. Molina C
6. Duncan LF
7. Greene SS
8. Freese 3B
9. Wellemeyer P

-M.

Weather update

Looking outside the window of my South Loop-area hotel, it’s still bleak out. The forecast looks terrible, with a 70% percent chance of rain running all the way through the evening.

I was just given two pieces of information by a member of the Cardinals’ front office:

1. It is unlikely that they would call the game early. So, we’ll probably at least all go to the ballpark this afternoon and see if somehow we get a lucky break.

2. If there IS a rainout tonight, it is even more unlikely that the makeup would be tomorrow. Given the Cardinals’ absence of off days early in the season, they’d find another time to schedule a makeup. Starting Tuesday, the Cardinals play 20 days in a row.

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Tough spot for Freese

It’s warm, gray and hazy at Wrigley today. Sounds like the rain may be rolling in by early evening.

* TLR acknowledged that the current situation with David Freese is not a good one. He’s pretty clearly third on the depth chart, and he needs at-bats.

“You’ve just got to take what’s happening,” La Russa said, “and right now what’s happening is, how do you keep Barden out of there? And I’m not playing Thurston today. It’s good for us, but it’s not good for David because David needs to play. And he’s played all right when he’s played. So it’s pretty tough.”

Can’t help wondering if the time might be near for someone like Tyler Greene, though that’d be a strange move for a team already teeming with utility infielders. If Mather had gotten sorted out, there might be a great opportunity for him — but he’s 2-for-26.

* No issues with Pujols today. He’s fine and in the lineup a day after taking a pretty good lick above his left elbow on a pitch from Carlos Marmol.

* The rotation is set through Wednesday but no further. It will be Pineiro on Tuesday and Wainwright on Wednesday, with TBA listed for Thursday. They have three main choices: 1, start P.J. Walters; 2, start Mitchell Boggs; 3, start Lohse on regular rest and save one of the youngsters for over the weekend against the Cubs, rather than against the lefty-heavy Mets lineup.

Whichever day next goes to the fifth starter, it sounds like Boggs may have as much shot at that start as Walters. TLR definitely had good things to say about Boggs today.

Either way, though, they’re both still on the roster, and that’s noteworthy. And if they wait until Saturday to use one of them for a start, then they’re both available for relief work during the Mets series.

* Brad Thompson started at Memphis last night and did a nice job. His line: 5 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts. He’ll start down there for the time being.

* As I hinted at above, rain is coming in tonight and it sounds like tomorrow could be a bad day to try to play a baseball game. According to weather.com, the forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain at pretty much every hour tomorrow, including the game window of 7 pm CT through midnight. Ugh.

Today’s playlist, a look back at your faithful correspondent’s senior year in high school:
Beastie Boys, “Jimmy James”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “The Greeting Song”
U2: “The Fly”
Electronic: “Getting Away With It”
The Cure: “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”

-M.

Saturday lineup

Based on the card and who was in the clubhouse, it does not appear that the Cardinals made any transactions today. No new names on the card, or faces in the clubhouse, and P.J. Walters was around and in uniform.

Today’s lineup vs. RHP Ryan Dempster:
1. Schumaker 2B (7-for-18 vs Dempster)
2. Ankiel CF (1-for-4)
3. Pujols 1B (8-for-30, 2 HR, 3 BB, 0 K)
4. Ludwick RF (5-for-10, 1 HR, 1 2B)
5. Duncan LF (2-for-4, 1 3B)
6. Molina C (4-for-12, 2 BB, 0 K)
7. Greene SS (1-for-10, 4 K)
8. Barden 3B
9. Lohse RHP

Stat of the day: Greene is 14-for-70 lifetime at Wrigley Field, with an overall line of .200/.234/.429.

-M.

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