Results tagged ‘ Tony La Russa ’

Game Haiku – 10/14/06 – Cards 9, Mets 6

Gooch and Spiezio
come through! Tony lives up to
nickname: La Genius

Out of the Shadows

Woohoo!  Cards win! The team that most thought shouldn’t be in the playoffs at all now takes a commanding lead in this division series.  And who would have predicted Weaver would lead the Cards in a shut-out victory?  He looked awesome, and the bullpen came through, too.  I wasn’t sure about Tony’s choice to take Johnson out when he was dominating in the 8th, but it worked out. Wainwright was steller in the 9th.  Not a ton of offense but Pujols and Edmonds came through when we needed them. 

One note of annoyance:  could Chris Berman be any more biased toward San Diego?  It’s been irritating watching him call these games as his voice raises several octaves anytime it looks like the Padres might score.  I checked his bio and it says he lives in CT so not sure why he’s behind the Padres. 

Here’s hoping Sup can finish things off on Saturday, and, if not, we know we’ve got Carp ready to go on Sunday.  I really hope I don’t get to use my Game 5 tickets. 

Marquis Over Reyes?

Bernie Miklasz hath posted the Cardinals roster for the division series.


Pitchers:

Carpenter

Weaver

Suppan

Marquis

Kinney

Thompson

Hancock

Looper

Wainwright

Johnson

Flores

Position players:

Molina

Bennett

Pujols

Belliard

Miles

Eckstein

Rolen

Spiezio

Duncan

Edmonds

Encarnacion

Wilson

Taguchi

Rodriguez

I guess it’s not shocking that Marquis made the cut.  He strikes terror in my heart whenever he takes the mound, but he does have experience, won 14 games this year despite his ludicrious 6.02 ERA, can pinch hit (probably better than Taguchi at this point), and can run.  I hope we don’t see him take the mound, but I can understand having him on the roster for the reasons above.  I hate to think his inclusion comes at the expense of Reyes.  I’m not sure I’d start Reyes in a playoff situation after Sunday’s 1st inning meltdown, but I’d be comfortable seeing him in used in a relief role.  I don’t fully blame Anthony for Sunday’s performance – after all, he worked on short rest and came to the ballpark not expecting to pitch, so he had no time to mentally prepare for an extremely pressured situation.   

One hour til game time!

The Heat Is On

Marquis_2I was reflecting this morning on my MLB radio appearance from a few weeks ago as "ML Blogger of the Week." At that point, we had a healthy lead, and the Reds were our nearest division competition.  I was asked if I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be going down to the wire against the Astros as we had in the last few years.  "Actually I’m relieved," I said.  "With their pitching, you don’t want to be in a playoff situation with them – they are just too good." 

Well, who would have expected them to win 9 in a row and us to lose 8 of our last 9 games.  We now cling to a half game lead in our division and face the horrifying prospect of a one-game playoff vs the Stros and Oswalt.  Shudder. 

Despite it all, I still have hope for this weekend, although I know it’s going to be stressful.  I like our chances at home against that other beer city team.  And the Astros have to win 3 from the Braves, on top of the 9 games they’ve just won, when the Braves are looking strong again.  If we can win our 3 games and they can lose 1, we’ll be golden. Of course, given our recent play, that’s a huge If. 

I’m washing my hands of Jason Marquis.  Although some blame has to fall on TLR for not pulling Marquis at the first sign of problems, given our desperate situation, most blame has to fall on Jason for pitching horribly.  And then his post-game comments are so blah and generic, ie, "I didn’t make the pitches I needed to make."  This was a huge game, and by giving up 6 early runs, he didnt give us a realistic chance to win it.  I don’t think his comments showed any passion or remorse.  He came off cold, which is the way the team has been playing.  I really hope they can find some fire deep in their bellies this weekend.  Do I need to break out my 45 of Glenn Frey’s "The Heat Is On"?

Game Haiku – 09/28/06 – Brewers 9, Cards 4

Desperate times call
for quick moves. Tony fails, too
slow to yank Marquis.

Game Haiku – 09/10/06 – Dbacks 9, Cards 7

Larussamad

Tony’s ejection
inspires; too bad we can’t
eject whole bullpen

Still Battling

I only saw a little bit of tonight’s game, but I see one big positive in the loss.  The Cards did not give up.  They battled back to make a game of it and gave themselves a chance to win it in the 9th.  That to me shows this team does have heart and a drive to win, and those qualities should serve them well during this final push to the playoffs.  Yes, Cardinal Girl still believes. Kinda.

It was clear to most of us that Mulder was not ready to come back.  What made Tony and Dave think that if he got shelled in his last game at Memphis, he would be a-okay in the Bigs? Bringing him up smacked of our desperation, and it was a terrible decision.  It’s really bad for his mental game too.  Even if he can physically come back next year and pitch well, he might suffer from Ankeil syndrome, especially if they give him another start next week and he gets pounded again. 

Series win in Chicago!

It’s nice and unexpected to see a series win against the Cubbies, however I’m still smarting over the game we let get away from us yesterday.  I really disagree with Tony’s decision to pinch hit Encarnacion for Duncan with the bases loaded yesterday.  I just think the chances of Encarnacion doing better than red hot Dunc were juan in million.  Bernie has a very good analysis of the situation in today’s Post, and he sums it up better than I could, going over way more stats than Tony could have possibly crunched in the minute he had to make that decision.  I know that Juan got a big home run today, but I just have not been impressed with him this season, and I don’t consider him Mr. Clutch.  If Tony had let Chris hit, I think it would have been a big confidence boost for the already-confident rookie. 

Preston Wilson seems to be filling the outfield gap well in his first two games.  I think he will add an element of stability to the outfield as we head down the stretch. Belliard is also growing on me, even with his Gene Simmons tongue.  These may not be Cardinals we recognize, but they might help us hang on to our division lead.  I don’t disagree with the decison to send Reyes down – he was struggling lately and I think needs more time to mature, and it’s best not to have to try and do that during a pennant race.  I don’t really expect to be wowed by Mulder’s return, and I’d like to see Edmonds get more rest.  He makes me nervous when I see him out there now, since he admits he’s still logy. But he did pull off an awesome slide in yesterday’s game.

I’m psyched for the Mets.  If we can make it in Queens, we can make it anywhere!

Tony Tells Ozzie to Bark at the Moon

Yesterday’s Post-Dispatch featured an interview with Ozzie Smith in which The Wizard stated he was not interested in being involved with the Cardinals’ organization as long as the current management was in place.  This was traced back to bad blood between Ozzie and LaRussa based on Ozzie’s final season, when LaRussa did not make him the starting shortstop, a position Ozzie apparently felt he deserved in perpetuity despite the fact he batted .199 the previous season, was 41 years old, and had serious arm woes. Well, Tony snapped back today and said that Ozzie would not be invited to Spring Training anymore given yesterday’s remarks, so he didn’t have to worry about RSVPing.  I couldn’t agree more with Tony on this one.  Ozzie really needs to forget his beef with Tony and move on.  He is beloved in St. Louis and would be a great asset to Spring Training and other team functions.  It’s too bad his ego won’t let him see that his dislike for the manager does not mean he needs to deprive the organization and the city of his presence. I wouldn’t argue with Tony’s strategy during Ozzie’s final year – yes, it might not have been the sentimental choice, but Ozzie still got plenty of playing time and the Cards made it to the NLCS, so apparently the manager knew what he was doing.  And he still does. Go Cards! Don’t let Barry hit 715 tonight!

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