Note of the night: If not for Wednesday night’s blowout, or at least the appearance of a blowout for most of the game, Jason LaRue probably would have gotten a start on Thursday afternoon. It would have marked the first time this year that someone other than Yadier Molina caught Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright or Jaime Garcia.
However, the big early margin changed TLR’s plans a bit. He saw an opportunity to give Molina a half-game off, and he took it. Molina was removed in favor of LaRue in the fifth inning. Now, even with the early afternoon start on Thursday after a night game on Wednesday, Molina will play. There was no injury at the root of the decision to take Molina out.
“He can catch tomorrow afternoon,” La Russa said. “Otherwise, he wasn’t going to catch tomorrow afternoon.”
Molina has started 30 of the Cardinals’ 34 games this year. The other four games have all featured either Kyle Lohse or Brad Penny on the mound. While La Russa is emphatic that he does not believe in “personal catchers,” that is almost certainly not a coincidence. The manager wants his Gold Glover catching his two aces as well as the rookie Garcia.
Stat of the day: Since returning from the disabled list last July, Kyle Lohse has made 19 starts. In those starts, he’s 2-9 with a 5.58 ERA, 57 strikeouts, 34 walks and 12 home runs allowed in 98 1/3 innings (5.18 innings per start).
Fun with double situational splits: Look out, Bud Norris. In day games against right-handed pitchers this year, Albert Pujols is 15-for-33 with eight extra-base hits, 10 walks and six strikeouts. That adds up to a slash line of a .455 batting average, a .581 on-base percentage and an .879 slugging percentage.
And, finally, the playlist…
The Black Keys, “Tighten Up”
The Dead Weather, “Jawbreaker”
Cold War Kids, “Audience”
The National, “Afraid of Everyone”
The Hold Steady, “The Weekenders” (my favorite song on this album, SO FAR)