Thursday, June 19, 2008

wow . . .

How do you get swept by the Royals? I'll tell you. Don't score more than 2 runs in a game, then make sure your bullpen bends over and lets them score.

I've been thinking about the Albert situation. All the national sports shows talk about how lackluster our offense is without him. Heck, even our local broadcasters go on and on about what we're going to do while he recovers. And I admit, Albert is a great ball player. In fact, he's the best we've got. Besides having a .330 lifetime average and close to 300 career home runs, he can field, he's an excellent team leader (and he gets paid more than anyone else on the team). But the way everyone talks, you'd think he'd been hitting .500 or .600 with 185 home runs on the season before he went on the DL. Obviously that's not the case. So why is it that without him we can't scrape together enough runs to beat KC even once? 

Here's my theory. Albert is el hombre. He (as I may have mentioned) has a .330 lifetime average and close to 300 career home runs. And while he hasn't necessarily been carrying the team (we do have some other players who can hit the ball), opposing pitchers worry about Albert waaaay more than they worry about Ryan Ludwick or Troy Glaus, even if Ludwick and Glaus happen to be swinging hot bats. Albert, being Albert, throws pitchers off their game just by standing in the batter's box, in the on-deck circle, or even on the top steps of the dugout. Just knowing that Albert will pick up a bat against him at some point is enough to get inside the opposing pitcher's head. Therefore, when you put Albert on the DL and take the bat out of his hands, pitchers can focus on the hitter in front of them without the distraction. And when you add to that the fact that the KC pitching staff isn't all that bad to begin with, you put hitters in a different situation than they're used to, and the Cardinals just haven't made the adjustment yet. Maybe they should get a cardboard cutout of Albert to set behind the on-deck circle. Just a thought.