Marlins 3, Cardinals 1
Manager Mike Matheny was not at all happy that his club was forced to sit around for through one-hour, 49-minute rain delay on Saturday while the Marlins were, well, locked up in a meeting.
The Marlins were scheduled to hold their MLB Players’ Association meeting after the game. This is a meeting that every team has every spring — the Cardinals actually had it from 8-9:30 am this morning. Since the Marlins and Cardinals share a facility, I’m guessing the MLBPA saw this as a great opportunity to take care of two meetings in one day, so therefore scheduled Miami’s session for the afternoon.
Only problem was that once the Marlins decided to begin the meeting during the delay, no one from the umpiring crew was able to get any feedback from the Marlins about whether or not to cancel the game. So the umpires and the Cardinals (almost all of whom remained in the dugout) waited… and waited… and waited. By the time the Marlins emerged from their meeting (which typically takes about 90 minutes), the rain had mostly stopped and a decision was made to resume.
To say Matheny was peeved by how this was all handled was an understatement. While a lengthy rain delay is not uncommon during the season, it certainly is at this time in spring when teams don’t want to jeopardize injury.
“I wasn’t real happy,” he said. “We couldn’t get people to make decisions. We weren’t the home team there, and the home team was inside a meeting with Major League Baseball front office. So we were left to wait. The field does drain well, and it did turn out to be beautiful there at the end. It seemed like a completely different day. But in the meanwhile, I wasn’t happy. We have some pretty valuable players out there and we have some people in the bullpen just sitting still for a long time. None of that is a good situation.
“Meetings are supposed to be after the game.”
And as it turns out, the actual time of the game was only 30 minutes longer than the delay.
There were a couple of nice 5-4-3 double plays turned by the Cardinals late in Sunday’s game that involved Matt Carpenter, Tyler Greene and Matt Adams. Especially impressive was Greene’s ability to pivot and release the ball at second under pressure. He’s been taking extra instruction from Alex Cora and coach Jose Oquendo recently to try to improve as a second baseman, and he’s looked capable so far.
“That turn was in a blink of an eye,” Matheny said. “I didn’t think he had a chance on that [first of the two] double play.”
Greene also drew two walks today and had no qualms about taking off shortly after reaching first base. He was 1-for-2 on stolen base attempts. Matheny has encouraged all his players to be aggressive with their leads and stolen base attempts so that they can better understand what they’re capable of. That’s why Matheny had no issue with Greene getting thrown out when the Cardinals had a runner at third with one out.
Matheny used the words ‘fluidity’ and ‘effortless’ in once again gushing over Adam Wainwright’s outing on Friday. If you haven’t already, go here to read more details about Wainwright’s performance.
“You get up there and you have a [radar] gun and the [radar] gun is validating what you think you’re seeing. Being able to throw a breaking ball that people weren’t jumping all over… I just loved looking at him out there. It was all competing with him out there.”
Wainwright’s next start will come on Tuesday, which gives him just three days of rest to recover. Because Wainwright threw just two innings in his first appearance, the Cardinals are not concerned about the quicker-than-usual turnaround.
Jaime Garcia will also make his next start on three days’ rest. Garcia is lined up to pitch in the home portion of Monday’s split-squad games. Shelby Miller will travel to Viera, Fla., to throw in the other game. Matheny will also be on that bus to Viera.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran was back working out with his teammates on Saturday, though he is unlikely to play in a game until Monday. Beltran took batting practice and participated in morning outfield work. He has been out with the flu for the last few days. Beltran has so far played just once in Grapefruit League play.
Fellow outfielder Matt Holliday is nursing some minor tightness in right side/back, so he was not used on Saturday either. Holliday said he thinks he will be fine to play on Sunday.
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