Note of the night/Stat of the day, March 31

Note of the night: As you may have heard, Albert Pujols had a bit of a rough one at the plate today. He hit a couple of balls harder than the results might show, but in the end, eight outs in a game is eight outs in a game. And that’s what Pujols had: 0-for-5 with three double plays.

 

He’s never before had a game with more than five hitless at-bats, and he’s never had an 0-for-5 with more than one double play. It was the 29th 0-for-5 of Pujols’ career. Only eight previous times had he even hit into two double plays. By my rough count, Pujols had never made more than six outs at the plate in a single game, and on Thursday he made eight.

 

As for the historical context, there was plenty. MLB Network reported that it’s the first time since double plays have been kept as a stat that a player grounded into three in an Opening Day game. According to STATS Inc., it was the 100th time in history that a player has grounded into three or more DPs in any game. Joe Torre has the only 4 GIDP game in history, on July 21, 1975.

 

“It’s a bad game, man,” Pujols said. “Am I going to shoot myself up? It’s just a bad game and that’s it. That’s the way it goes. That’s baseball.”

 

You’re probably going to read that quote several different ways tonight and tomorrow morning. The exact words he said were “shoot myself up,” but it was very clear in talking to him that he mixed a couple of expressions together, as all of us do sometimes. I think it’s the unfortunate combination of “Am I going to shoot myself?” and “Am I going to beat myself up?” Many of you may not care about this kind of minutiae, but those of us in the press box all talked about it quite a bit as we were walking back from the clubhouse.

 

* Note — a good deal of this research is courtesy of the amazing Baseball-Reference.com Play Index.

 

Stat of the day: Today’s stat of the day looks ahead, but I think it’s a cool one. I discovered it in putting together the “probable starter” blurb for Chris Carpenter’s next start.

 

The last 13 times Carpenter has faced the Pirates, the Cardinals have won the game. In those games, Carpenter is 10-0 with a 1.85 ERA. He’s racked up 97 1/3 innings, an average of 7.49 per start, with 88 strikeouts, 19 walks and five home runs allowed.

 

That’s pretty good.

 

G’night…

-M.

9 Comments

Like the man said it’s just a bad game.Anyone who reads anymore than the mixing of the statements he used in reference to not beating himself up over 1 bad game is a sad person and is just looking for something stupid to do.Albert Pujols numbers speak for themselves year after year.I am glad he has stayed with one of the most historic teams in baseball.Better game next run Albert.Keep showing why you are one of the greats.

I am worried about Albert this season in absolutely no way. Ryan Franklin, however, was hit hard even on the outs and should be no higher than 4th on the closer depth chart. I doubt it’ll be a quick hook, but I hope Boggs or Motte see save opps before the end of the month.

What I don’t understand is why the —— Tony keeps going to Franklin, I can not stress this enough HE DOESN”T KNOW HOW TO CLOSE OUT GAMES. How many games did he and the “reliable” bullpen lose for us last year? Can you bring Lee Smith, or Bruce Sutter out of retirement?

Overall I thought the club looked good beside the two fielding errors, but then again it would’ve never happened had Franklin knew how to get outs…..

If he doesn’t know how to close out games, how did he convert 27 of 29 saves last year?

In those 27 of 29 saves, how many runs did he give up? There is no way that Franklin should be the closer. The problem is I don’t know who else is going to be the closer.

I can’t stand watching Franklin cough it up like that – he gets a lot of outs but with a one run lead he should not be called upon. The fact that he only blew two saves last year is as close to a myth as you can get while still being a stat. Compare him to Heath Bell, a true closer, who pitched in 67 games last year, got 47 saves and gave up only 1 HR. Franklin pitched in 59 games, got 27 saves and gave up 7 HRs.

That’s fair. They could find a more effective pitcher. But the “doesn’t know how to close games” or “doesn’t have killer instinct” or whatever is just silly.

Are there more dominating, more effective pitchers out there? Sure. But a lot of the sturm und drang is kind of silly. He did what he was asked to do last year.

-M.

Matt,
I think I agree with you. We saw how good Franklin can be when he’s confident in his role on the team. We saw how shaky he gets when his role is unclear. In 2008, when Izzy was hurt and Franklin was the go-to-guy, he was fierce. When Izzy returned, it’s like he got stage fright and couldn’t come through. Then in 2009, he was pretty much dominant, at least during the first half of the season (once he was established as _the_ closer). Perhaps he has some early jitters or he’s concerned about his role, for whatever reason. Perhaps Duncan needs to help him work on getting more ground balls instead of loud and long fly balls.

With all that said, I’d still rather see Franklin out there than Boggs. Why anyone would want Boggs to attempt to close games is beyond me. And Jason Motte as a closer was a failed experiment. Anyone recall Opening Day 2009? I could easily see the front office making moves to solidify the bullpen this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boggs and/or Motte are wearing a different uniform by July 31.

I agree with the above post, I am all for making a move to get a true closer, a lights out closer. The only question is who is on the block?

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