December 7, 2019

Cardinals Continue To Roll

July 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What’s been the most encouraging thing during this current Cardinal winning streak is that they keep winning in different ways.  The first couple of games, they slugged.  They’ve had good pitching performances.  They’ve had comebacks.  They’ve beaten pitchers that normally give them fits.

Everything save the comebacks came into play last night.  OK, they didn’t really beat Jaime Moyer, as he left early with an elbow strain, but they won the game that he started, so that’s something.  Even if Moyer had stayed in, though, I think the way that Chris Carpenter was dealing last night, St. Louis would have won the game anyway.

Carpenter has seemed to figure out his delivery problems and is looking more like his 2009 self.  These two games after the All-Star Break are the first time he’s put back-to-back solid starts together since he had a three game run from May 28 to June 8.  He’s been more efficient with his pitches as well, which is another reason to think things are improving.

Obviously Carp was the story last night, but you have to give some attention to what Randy Winn is doing.  His second home run in as many nights has to make the decisions a little tougher for when Ryan Ludwick returns.  As much grief and outrage there was at Winn’s signing (and I was part of it, I admit), he’s turned into a pretty solid bench option.  I think I’d rather him than Nick Stavinoha on a regular basis.  If Ludwick does return this weekend, though, what happens?  Does Allen Craig, who gets last night’s Goat since he was the only starter not to get a hit, get sent down since he still has options?  I’m guessing that’s the case, assuming John Mozeliak doesn’t make a trade between now and then.

If Mo is going to make a trade, who is it going to be for and who is it going to be with?  According to the Post-Dispatch, scouts from Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Florida and Anaheim were at the game last night.  I’d guess the Cards were interested in Kevin Millwood or Jeremy Guthrie from Baltimore and there’s talk that they still are considering Dan Haren, which would explain Arizona, but the others?

Tampa Bay does seem to have some pitching to spare, with their top prospect ready to go, and if they were in the mood to move Wade Davis, I think the Cardinals would jump on it due to his low salary and the length of time they’d have him under control.  That said, it’s more likely that TB is trying to move Matt Garza.  Garza’s a fly-ball pitcher already making $3.5 million and in line for arbitration.  That might not be exactly the best fit for the Redbirds.

The interest in Florida is likely Dan Uggla.  Uggla’s having a solid offensive year and would obviously be an upgrade from Skip Schumaker in that regard.  However, his defense is as bad as it has always been and, with a ground ball staff, is that the kind of trade-off that you want to make?  With Skip’s improvement recently, I think I’d be inclined to let him pass, especially at almost $8 million and, I believe, one more year of arbitration eligibility.

Not really sure who the Angels have that the Cards would be interested in.  Maybe they think they can get something out of Brandon Wood?  I know he started as a shortstop, though I don’t think he has the range to play there now.  I don’t see LAA moving any of their pitchers, so maybe that was something that LAA would be initiating or just doing some research.

Looks like David Freese is going to wind up being out longer due to that toe after all.  If it turns out he won’t be back until mid to late August, what does that mean for his return?  Does he automatically go back in at third, especially if the team is still rolling along?  Will he get back to health in time to do some minor league rehab?  You’d like to think he’d make the team just that much stronger, but if they cruise along without him, would it affect the chemistry of the team, something that Mozeliak and La Russa have acknowledged is important?

Tonight, the Cards go with Jaime Garcia while the Phillies counter with Joe Blanton.  Blanton is another one of those pitchers that has done a number on the Cardinals in the past, but with his 6.21 ERA this season and considering the hot streak the hitters are on, you like St. Louis’s chances more than you would have even two weeks ago.  Garcia, on the other hand, is struggling.  He only got into the fourth last time out and probably will have a close eye on him tonight.  If he can get through the first inning or two OK, hopefully the team will have been able to put some runs on the board and he can coast with a lead.

While you are waiting around for the game this evening, play with the Albert Pujols Home Run Tracker.  Should make for some interesting results, though sadly it is only regular season home runs.  Brad Lidge somewhere breathes a sigh of relief.

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