Results tagged ‘ Skip Schumaker ’
Greetings from Jupiter, where the locals are complaining about the chill, thanks to overnight temps below 50 and highs in the mid-60s. Rest assured, your correspondent is NOT among those complaining.
Hello from what is likely the most memorable Winter Warm-Up day in the eight years I’ve covered this event. The McGwire introduction and news conference were certainly experience. Hopefully later in the week I’ll be able to post an entire blog entry on all the weirdness, but if you haven’t checked out my tweets and Twitpics, that should provide at least a little color. And I have a story on all of it going up on the site shortly.
Greetings from gorgeous Dodger Stadium. It’s an absolutely perfect night at the ballpark, dusk just settling in. Had some fantastic Cuban food for lunch (Versailles, on Venice — highly recommended) and now we’re settling in for a ballgame. Life is good.
* Despite some speculation to the contrary, TLR went with Skip Schumaker at second base and Colby Rasmus in center field tonight against Dodgers lefty Randy Wolf. It’s the team’s best defensive lineup, rather than having Lugo at second base.
Here’s La Russa on the two calls:
“It really came down to Colby or Rick in center. And I think Colby earned the start. Rick’s close. We have a good team, [so] we have a choice to make. And at second, we’ve gone with Lugo a lot against left-handers and I would expect maybe tomorrow [he’ll play]; we’ll see how today goes. I felt like Schu was a good matchup for Wolf, and Julio has struggled against Wolf. In fact, quite a few of our guys have.”
For what it’s worth, Lugo is 1-for-8 against Wolf and Schumaker is 0-for-3. Rasmus is 3-for-5, which may be the real key to the equation in TLR’s mind. One other thing: I think there’s at least a perception that Wolf is not a lefty-killer in the same way that Kershaw is. However, Wolf has a much bigger split this year than Kershaw, and is absolutely obliterating left-handed hitters.
Still, personally, I like the lineup. I’ve already gone on record saying that in the playoffs, I think the defensive downgrade to Lugo isn’t worth whatever offensive edge you may get against a LHP. We’ll see.
* Also within the outfield mix, of course, is Rick Ankiel. TLR was asked in his pregame news conference today about Ankiel’s pinch-hitting success, and he acknowledged that it factors into his decision making. It’s only 26 plate appearances, but Ankiel is batting .273 with a .385 OBP and .591 SLG as a pinch-hitter this year.
* Mitchell Boggs and Blake Hawksworth secured the last two spots in the Cardinals’ bullpen when the roster was announced today. The manager’s answer when asked about the decisions was, I thought, revealing. He basically indicated that Hawksworth was all but automatic, and Boggs was the one guy who was maybe a close call.
“I don’t know who you would define as the last two,” he said when asked about the decision on the final two roster spots. I think Boggs is probably one of the two, I’m not sure who the other one would be. … And as far as the other one, we really had a tough call. We’d have had a really tough call to go 11, because Hawksworth has done a good job, McClellan and Motte been part of what we do. So really going to 12 pitchers made us not to have to make a decision on Boggs versus one of the other young guys.”
Tonight’s playlist certainly suits where I am mentally, and I hope all of y’all are too. It’s let’s-get-it-going music. If you think some of it is cheesy, well, sorry.
U2, “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Motley Crue, “Kickstart My Heart”
Metallica, “Enter Sandman”
Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”
It’s definitely still summer down here in Houston. Warm and muggy today, and the roof is closed at Minute Maid Park.
* Skip Schumaker started in center field against LHP Wandy Rodriguez, with Brendan Ryan and Julio Lugo as the double-play combination. That’s because Rick Ankiel and Colby Rasmus were a combined 0-for-16 against Rodriguez, while Schumaker entered the night with three hits off of him.
* Troy Glaus is not on the trip as he continues to try to return from a strained left oblique.
* TLR had this to say regarding the firing of Cecil Cooper: “Look at the games we’ve played. He’s always had his club ready to play us tough. … There wasn’t anything he did in the games against us that made me think he wasn’t on top of it.”
* Joel Pineiro said that in his last start, he was striding too far in the first inning, and he corrected it, leading to his success in the rest of the game.
No playlist tonight, this thing is already too late getting posted.
We’ve actually got a little bit of sunshine at Citi Field. So, you know, that’s nice. Really looking forward to this game; matchups like this never get old.
* Kyle Lohse’s schedule has changed a bit. Rather than a bullpen today and a sim. game on Saturday, he skipped throwing today and will bump the sim. game up to Friday. That prevents having to have the sim at something like 9 am after a night game, and it doesn’t affect the number of starts Lohse will be able to get before the All-Star break. Either way, there’s time for a rehab and two starts.
* The lineup is a curious one today, I know — saw the comments when I posted it. One thing to note is that Santana has a large reverse platoon split (LH hitters have an OPS about 200 points higher than RH’ers do). Here’s TLR’s uncut answer when I asked him this morning:
“It’s just mixing up the lineup so it’s right-left-right as much as I could. I wanted to play some left-handers. I wanted to put the best defense out there. So I put a lot of things together and you get a right, left, right, right, right, then left-right-left-right. And Schu hits well against this club, so…
“That’s the reason I do that.”
Doesn’t explain it all, but gives you at least some insight. Schumaker in the 2 spot against a LHP is actually kind of an interesting idea. Not sure what to make of it, but I’m curious to see how it works.
* Brett Wallace and Daryl Jones are the Cardinals’ representatives on the rosters for the Futures Game, July 12 at Busch Stadium.
Today’s playlist, once again all culled from having the iPod on shuffle as I rode the 7 train out from Manhattan this morning:
Soul Asylum, “Get On Out”
Beastie Boys, “Lighten Up”
Black Crowes, “P.25 London”
Counting Crows, “Another Horsedreamer’s Blues”
Kay Hanley, “Happy to Be Here”
Very strange sight here — gray skies over downtown San Diego. I don’t think the game is in any jeopardy, but it’s definitely a bit jarring. Anyway, here are this afternoon’s tidbits:
* The starting outfield is Duncan LF, Ludwick CF, Barton RF. H’s going with a mostly righty-heavy lineup because Maddux has a pronounced reverse split this year. Also, Schumaker is dealing with a minor left heel problem. He insists it’s nothing.
* Ankiel is again not playing; TLR said probably the weekend for him.
* I saw some speculation in places about Carpenter. According to Barry Weinberg (via Brian Bartow), Carp threw a bullpen yesterday and felt good, and will throw a sim game on Monday (i.e., 6 days from now).
* Ryker Kile, Darryl Kile’s son, paid a visit to the park today and particularly sought out Pujols, who was of course glad to welcome him.
* STL lineup: Barton RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ludwick CF, Glaus 3B, Molina C, Kennedy 2B, Pineiro P, Izturis SS.
* SD lineup: Gerut CF, Iguchi 2B, Giles RF, Gonzalez 1B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Greene SS, Hairston LF, Carlin C, Maddux P.
Greetings from Houston, where it’s warm, humid and hazy, and where the music is good but loud (Shiny Toy Guns, very nice).
* Mark Mulder will throw another extended spring training game tomorrow, and after that, he could begin a proper rehabilitation assignment with the next game after that. So that would be Monday, April 14, and from there he’d have a 30-day rehab clock.
* Skip Schumaker is back in the lineup and leading off, as expected.
* Jason LaRue is in at catcher, as Molina gets a day off — TLR just said “it’s a good game for LaRue to play.” LaRue and Thompson have seemed to work well together in spring and in Thompson’s first start, so that’s very likely the main factor. Both guys are 1-for-4 vs Chacon.
* STL lineup: Schumaker RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ankiel CF, Glaus 3B, Kennedy 2B, LaRue C, Thompson P, Izturis SS
* HOU lineup: Bourn CF, Pence RF, Berkman 1B, Lee LF, Tejada SS, Blum 3B, Loretta 2B, Towles C, Chacon P
New Order, “Sub-Culture”
Chemical Brothers, “The Private Psychedelic Reel”
Duran Duran, “Careless Memories”
Nirvana, “Heart Shaped Box”
Depeche Mode, “Barrel of a Gun”