Tuesday, April 7, 2009

it's pitching tuesday again

And what an appropriate topic after a game like last night's. I'm going to start by looking at the pitching we saw, then finish up with the pitching we're going to see.

Adam Wainwright 5.1IP / 4H / 2R / 2ER / 5BB / 7K / 0HR

Adam didn't look comfortable, especially in the first inning when he got himself into a bases-loaded jam. He seemed to find a bit of a groove later on, but it certainly wasn't what we were hoping for on Opening Day against the Pirates. When he left, with 2 runners on and the 'Birds holding on to a 2-run lead, there still looked to be hope for his chances.
Josh Kinney 0.1IP / 0H / 0R / 0ER / 1BB / 0K / 0HR
Josh got one out, but then walked the second batter to load the bases, and that was enough of Josh.
Trever Miller 1.0IP / 2H / 0R / 0ER / 0BB / 2K / 0HR
Yuck. Trever struck-out 2 but allowed Wainwright's 2 runners to score and the Pirates to tie the game. It was a big job, and he didn't get it done. Blown save #1 for Miller and the Cards.
Kyle McClellan 1.1IP / 1H / 0R / 0ER / 0BB / 1K / 0HR
Kyle, the guy who was almost left off the 25-man roster (if you believe everything you read on the internet) because of a sloppy Spring, was the only reliever who didn't make me cover my eyes and hold my breath. He also made me glad I picked him for my fantasy team.
Jason Motte 1.0IP / 4H / 4R / 4ER / 0BB / 1K / 0HR

And then there was Jason. If you have a weak stomach, you probably don't want to hear about it, and you probably left the room shortly after the start of his seemingly-never-ending inning of work. It was torture from the first pitch on. Jason got lit up for 4 hits and 4 runs, but the really depressing part is that at one point he was one strike away from getting the save and the win. Unfortunately, Jack Wilson saw that strike coming and drove it deep into center, well beyond the reach of Skip Schumaker (who was playing in the outfield for those of you keeping track). The Buccos took a 2-run lead and the Cardinals couldn't answer. Motte gets the loss and blown save #2 for the 'Birds. (Not that I'm counting.)

I'm trying to be positive about the implications of this game, such as how it's only one game, but I agree that it's tough not to let this loss haunt us. After all, how many times last year did we console ourselves by thinking "it's only one game" only to be devastated again and again by the same outcome?

I'm hoping that we can learn from this loss. All of us, Tony. All of us, Dave. All of us, John and Marty and Hal and Joe and everyone else whose names I've forgotten. Instead of making the same mistakes we made last year (like sending pitchers out to the mound when they obviously didn't need to be there), it's time to make choices based on what's best for the immediate situation (eg runners on and nobody out, or bases empty and two down, or what have you) rather than trying to prove a point or giving certain pitchers a chance to right themselves. Does this sound strange coming from me? I guess I'm just ready to acknowledge that sometimes you have to work towards the greater good, and win the game at hand.

The pitching tonight will start with Kyle Lohse. Where it will end is anybody's guess at this point, but I think it's safe to say (and I think others have already said) that we probably won't see Motte, not because of his performance (really) but because of his high pitch count. Dave will want to rest him, and so if there's a save situation, we could see Franklin come in.

Ian Snell (Davila? I can't remember now) goes for the Pirates, and he'll probably pitch very well, if for no other reason than I recently dropped him from my fantasy team in favor of Matt Lindstrom. So if it's bad again, you can blame me. Of course, if it goes well, I'll expect full credit.

UPDATE: La alineaciĆ³n para esta noche, gracias a 101 ESPN y twitter:

Schumaker 2B
Rasmus RF
Pujols 1B
Duncan LF
Greene SS
Ankiel CF
Molina C
Thurston 3B
Lohse P

Notable observations: (1) The pitcher will hit ninth for the second consecutive game. That has to be the first time that's happened in a while. (2) Rasmus makes his major league debut and will play right instead of center. (3) Again tonight, someone other than Freese will start at third. (4) Duncan will hit cleanup and Greene slides to the five-hole.