Time to play catch up with all of the random things flailing about in my brain over the weekend and this morning:
- Batting in the ninth slot agrees with Brendan Ryan. He’s got 5 hits in 16 at-bats and 2 walks since Tony La Russa has gone back to the well with the pitcher-eighth lineup. For his career, Ryan seems most comfortable in that spot.
- Hitting in the ninth slot or not hitting in other positions in the lineup has not affected Boog’s play in the field. He made some nifty glove-and-throw plays behind second base in Sunday’s game that show why he won’t come out of the lineup, regardless of how bad it gets at the plate.
- Early on Sunday, Chris Carpenter looked like the Carp of old – nasty breaking balls, filthy out pitches – but he settled back into 2010′s Battle-Carp by the end of his outing. Nonetheless, Battle-Carp is still a heck of a lot better than most starting pitchers in the league.
- Jason Motte has not allowed a run since April 8th. That’s ten straight appearances without a runner crossing the plate. He hasn’t allowed a hit since April 19th.
- Congrats to Cardinal rookie Jon Jay on his first (and second) big league hit this weekend.
- When the Cards broke camp in April, there was big question about which two of Joe Mather, Allen Craig, and Nick Stavinoha would head north with the club. Stavinoha seemed like the outsider looking in on the list, but eventually, the Julio Lugo trade made room for all three. Stavinoha seems like a no-brainer for this bench now, eh?
- Yadier Molina committed his first error of the season on Sunday, allowing a passed ball on a pitch that wasn’t even in the dirt. He may have been crossed up on the pitch, but seems more likely to me that he was still steaming about his strikeout in the previous half-inning. Yadi slammed his bat to the ground in disgust and then cost Carpenter a strikeout when the pitch sailed off the top of his glove and to the backstop. You’re better than that Yadi…
- There was some chatter after Friday night’s rain-delayed debacle that perhaps the game should’ve been stopped earlier, saving Brad Penny a tough half-inning in which he seemingly couldn’t grip the ball all that well. Always seems to be an issue with the Reds, doesn’t it? Grip, that is.
- Speaking of the rain delay – game time Friday night was 2:43, or just 13 minutes longer than the 2:30 rain delay. Total time from first pitch – 5:17 – or still an hour and forty minutes shorter than the 20-inning game against the Mets.
- Kyle Lohse really deserved to get the win on Saturday, if only because so many folks still hold on to wins as a measure of success. He really pitched an outstanding game.
- The baserunning of the Cardinals didn’t really improve much over the weekend – still had guys like Ryan Ludwick failing to tag up on a fly ball that would’ve scored him from second anyway had it dropped, etc. This must improve if they are going to win close games against the likes of, say, the Phillies.
- The manager has really fallen in love with the hit-and-run lately, it seems. Why take the bat out of Albert Pujols’ hands with runners on first and second with a 3-1 count, as he did on Sunday? Sure, Albert has great command of his swing – but he also has a great eye. Let him take the walk, or let him really sit on his pitch. Even if he hits into a double play, that isn’t any worse than the result of asking him to swing at a bad pitch, strike out, and have the runner gunned down at third – which is also, yes, a double play.
- David Freese is a man. Freese went .462/.500/.923 on the homestand, only striking out three times while knocking three doubles and three home runs, knocking in eleven and scoring six times. All the while, playing a slick third base.
- Batting in the two-hole has really helped Ryan Ludwick get on-track this season. In fact, for his career, Ludwick has done the most damage from the second position in the order. I’m sure that doesn’t have anything to do with the guy most often hitting behind him in the third slot…
Next game: Cardinals (Garcia) at Phillies (Blanton), 05/03/2010 6:05pm