July 10, 2020

Card Shuffling Proves Effective

June 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The big news prior to yesterday’s game was the fancy new lineup that Tony La Russa was running out there.  Matt Holliday was hitting second, Ryan Ludwick was hitting fourth and, to the great joy of some, the pitcher was hitting eighth.

Now, it’s hard to know if the lineup switcheroo was at all to credit for the offensive outburst of last night, though you could make the argument that Ludwick’s home run in the first was 1) key to the Cardinals getting on track and 2) wouldn’t have happened (or at least, been as effective) if the lineup was in its normal configuration.

It was good to see an exciting and clicking offense again.  Having Colby Rasmus and David Freese in the lineup raised me out of my malaise, but the shifting of Holliday and Ludwick did a lot for it as well.  Plus you always have to smile when a team brings in Ian Snell to face Albert Pujols.  At least Snell kept him in the yard this time.

Of course, even in such a fun game, somebody has to get the Goat.  Felipe Lopez went 0-5 in the leadoff slot, which makes you wonder just how many runs this team could have gotten if he’d been able to get on base as well.

Last night was one of the rare times this year when the offense outshone an outing by Adam Wainwright.  Which is not to say that Waino’s 100th start was a problem by any means.  As they say, you have to get to the good pitchers early, and Wainwright allowed two runs in the first.  After that, though, he cruised, with the third run scoring after he left the game (though kudos to Jason Motte for getting out of the inning fairly unscathed).  With Seattle’s offensive problems, Wainwright should have had a good game and it was good to see him come through.

After all of that fun and good feelings, we come to tonight’s game with the return of Jeff Suppan.  Hopefully he’ll do well.  Hopefully they’ve figure out his issues.  He’s going against a team that shouldn’t beat him around too much.  Still, I can’t say I’m sold on this move, especially since Adam Ottavino was sent down and Suppan’s going to be the fourth starter, meaning he’ll be getting regular turns through the rotation, rather than the oft-skipped fifth starter.

You remember in Star Wars when Tarkin says “I’m taking an awful risk, Vader.  This had better work”?  I have a hunch John Mozeliak has said similar words to TLR and Dave Duncan.  We’ll see if the Force is with us starting tonight.

BTW, if you want to read more of me, here’s this week’s Baseball Digest and my long-delayed return to Baseball Reflections.

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