Note of the night/Stat of the day, June 30

Note of the Night: The Cardinals are playing with a short bench right now. Just how short wasn’t entirely evident until Wednesday afternoon.

With two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, in a two-run game, Ryan Ludwick remained on the bench. The official word earlier in this series was that Ludwick might be available to pinch-hit if needed — and it’s hard to imagine a scenario that set up better than the one at the end of Wednesday’s game.
Yet he stayed on the bench.
“I felt pretty dang good today,” Ludwick said after the game. “I’m just kind of getting rest. The last two days I’ve told people, a couple days of rest.”
It’s understandable not to push Ludwick. But if he’s completely unavailable, even in a two-out, two-on, bottom-of-the-ninth situation, it seems to scream for the addition of another hitter. The Cardinals may do that after Blake Hawksworth’s start on Thursday, but they found themselves in a situation where they could have used it on Wednesday.
Stat of the day: Perception is a funny thing. 
The Cardinals are batting .309 with the bases loaded this year (third-highest in the National League). They have a .582 bases-loaded slugging percentage (second in the league) and a .344 OBP (fourth). 

They’re at 266/369/452 with runners in scoring position on the year, ranking eighth in average, fifth in OBP and third in slugging. That’s as opposed to a 260/334/410 line overall.
The problem is not the timing of the hits. It’s the spots in the lineup that have been entirely unproductive.
Fun with double situational splits: Yadier Molina went 1-for-28 against left-handers in June, though at least the one hit was a homer.
And, finally, the playlist:
Hot Chip, “I Feel Better”
LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrself Clean”
Fever Ray, “When I Grow Up”
Gossip, “Dimestore Diamond”
Caribou, “Odessa”


I haven’t looked at the numbers very carefully but I think the reason the numbers with risp and with the bases loaded look so good is that it’s either feast or famine. On a day they happen to be hitting they tend to REALLY beat up on the team they are playing but if they happen to not be hitting that day (which happens WAY TOO often for a team with the kind of talent they have) they ARE TERRIBLE to the point where they don’t get a single hit with risp and when they REALLY beat up on a team their numbers are very high. They have an unbelievably frustrating offense. This afternoon they left 14 runners on base and only scored 2 runs against a pitcher just up from the minors.

Can o’ worms time: anyone want to speculate on why TLR would publicly support Arizona SB 1070, now, while aping the same Tea Party language of the Feds not doing their job – asserting that the federal government’s at fault rather than all the TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, NE and more agricultural, industrial and service businesses that have encouraged illegal immigration for fifty years… Perhaps TLR’s politics are part of why, unlike on a number of other teams, none of the Latin players on the Cardinals have had anything to say. BTW: if you’re thinking that politics and sport ought to be kept apart, TLR started this, not me… it just wasn’t reported (that I’ve seen) on any sites.

I’m just going to put this out there before it goes any farther. No politics, please. Whether I agree or disagree, and don’t assume that you know which it is, I don’t want it here.


Why is TLR shooting his mouth off on politics anyway? He has a much more pressing concern on a daily basis right in front of him. Seeing how there is a lefty on the mound in Wolf, we’ll get to see a truly TLR lineup and game, hope Hawk and Co. can keep it under 2 tonight or the hammer is gonna fall early for the Cards

Luddy being out is not an excuse for this wishy washy offense. Is this a TLR problem? I’m sure everyone has their favorite who-is-to-blame nominee. So will the Cards make a trade and who will it be? I think we can safely say it won’t be Albert or Yadi.

Matt, I have no idea what you think about anything other than baseball and music and make no assumptions as a result. At the same time, I accept your request that politics land elsewhere… for me, that’ll be with Dave Zirin and friends.

On a different note, and admitting that perception is a funny thing, has there been a breakdown of the Cards hitting with runners in scoring position when they are behind in the game…? Not just clutch but clutch clutch., not just opportunities but much needed opportunities

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