Friday, April 01, 2011

Things That Shouldn't Happen Happened in St. Louis

It's only the first game of the season out of 162 games. But it was an ugly loss by the St. Louis Cardinals as they opened the season against the San Diego Padres, last year's Cinderella team. The game was marked by several things that shouldn't have happened. But they did happen. And because they did happen, the Cardinal Nation's Opening Day celebration went hooey. What shouldn't have happened? Let' the Fan count the ways:

  • Padres' starter Tim Stauffer gave up ten base runners in six innings and only two of them scored.
  • Ryan Theriot led off. Theriot had a .321 OBP last season. Is that really what the Cardinals want leading off their games this season? Theriot went one for five on the day.
  • Matt Holliday shouldn't have gotten picked off. Let's face it, Holliday is no Rickey Henderson. So why he was playing all loosey-goosey at second in the sixth inning after two straight singles by he and Lance Berkman is beyond the Fan's comprehension. The pick off effectively lowered the innings run probability and the threat died.
  • Albert Pujos, the world's greatest hitter, shouldn't have hit into three double plays. When five at bats leads to eight outs and a WPA of -.4.3 for the game, that's bad. It's just one game. But it was a stinker.
  • Ryan Theriot shouldn't be playing short for the Cardinals. The Fan has been saying this all winter and spring. He had a costly error in the deciding eleventh inning that added an extra run for the Cardinals to overcome. Granted, it was probably a moot run with Heath Bell closing for the Padres in the bottom of the frame.
  • Ryan Franklin shouldn't have blown the save. Franklin isn't an elite closer and that fact bit the Cardinals and wasted a good opening day performance from the pitchers in front of him in the game.
  • The Cardinals shouldn't have put the game into the hands of young Bryan Augustein, a rookie pitcher who surprisingly made the team out of Spring Training. To give the ball to such an inexperienced pitcher with the game on the line shouldn't happen.
  • Pat Neshek shouldn't have won the game. Here's a guy that was put on waivers by the Twins at the end of Spring Training and who announced to Twitter that he was going to the Padres (who claimed him) before any of his teammates even knew. The Padres pick him up at the last minute on waivers, he gets into the first game and gives up two walks (no wonder the Twins let him go...they HATE walks), but induces Pujols to hit into his third double play and ends up with the win. How does that happen?
  • The Cardinals shouldn't have scored only three runs with fifteen base runners. Between the double plays and the lack of clutch hitting, the Cards let this one get away.

Again, it's only one game. But it's one game that doesn't leave a favorable impression. And those Padres? Well, they are pretty amazing, aren't they?

1 comment:

Steve said...

Albert Pujols had an atrocious game Thursday, but I know he’ll be able to turn things around and post some big numbers this year! Go Cardinals!