June 28: Cubs @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (50-24, +8.0 in NL Central), Cubs (39-34, -10.5 in NL Central)

First pitch: 7:10 pm CT

TV/Radio: ESPN, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Kolten Wong (2B), Matt Carpenter (3B), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Jason Heyward (RF), Randal Grichuk (LF), Yadier Molina (C), Xavier Scruggs (1B), Jon Jay (CF), Carlos Martinez (RHP)

Cubs lineup: Dexter Fowler (CF), Kris Bryant (3B), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Miguel Montero (C), Starlin Castro (SS), Chris Coghlan (LF), Chris Denorfia (RF), Jason Hammel (RHP), Addison Russell (2B)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Some historical perspective on the Cardinals’ ability to reach 50 wins in just 74 games (link)
  • Three starts, three multi-hit games for recent call-up Xavier Scruggs (link)
  • Trio of early double plays bail out Michael Wacha, change complexion of game (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 8-1 win over the Cubs (link)
  • Unable to throw a side session on Saturday, Jaime Garcia will not start as scheduled on Tuesday (link)
  • Cardinals reach above-slot agreement with second-round Draft pick, Bryce Denton (link)
  • Preview for Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs (link)

Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com) and Instagram (LangoschMLB)

11 Comments

Would you please pass this along to Matheny — I (and I am sure many others (would love to hear his answer).

Dear Mike Matheny,

I see you are, once again, starting Jon Jay over Peter Bourjis. Would you please explain? There isn’t a single expert who wouldn’t agree Bourjis is a better defensive player. Bourjis has a higher batting average and, with 1/3 fewer at bats as Jay, Bourjis has scored more runs and nearly as many RBIs. (At the rate Bourjis has for RBIs per at bats, if he had as many at bats as Jay he would have far more RBIs.)

So, Mike, would you please explain why you continue to start Jon Jay over Peter Bourjis? It simply makes no ‘baseball-sense’ to this Cardinal fan.

Matt, I’ll be sure to pass your thoughts along to Mike at breakfast tomorrow.While I’m at it I’ll tell Mo and Bill too. when I see them for dinner at the yacht club:)

MM is altering the players, so that everyone gets some play-time. There are 162 games in a season, and tonite’s game is only number 75. We’ll hit the half-way mark at game 81. So, we need to keep everybody game-sharp for the season’s second half…not only the ones who’re currently playing extra well.
Ya’ think MM puts Kozma in for Peralta, ’cause he’s better? Nope. Everyday players need an occasional break as in that case, plus all the bench players need to play every so often, like Jay in for Bourjos. It’s a balance thing. That’s what MM would likely tell ya’….

I actually heard Kruck say he admired the Cardinal organization.He must have read our posts Haley. Schilling too said he was impressed,especially with Martinez throwing in the upper 90s after such a long rain delay.They said he 98 a couple of times. Skuggs again comes through and Yadi is starting to heat up at the plate.Right now no one seems hotter than Heyward though.They talked about some swing adjustments which he never did in Atlanta.Seems our staff has a way to connect with the players.Call it “the Cardinal Way’ or whatever……….it works!

Yep, Dave…I too heard a few Cards’ compliments during the game. Also, it could be that guys in the booth try to be nice sometimes, by giving the losing team some positives…simply as policy?
Last nite, Schilling went way outta’ his way, trying to explain finger positioning for 2 & 4 seam fast-balls, sliders, etc…in regard to how Martinez throws. The funniest comment…was when Schilling saw Rosie warming up in the bullpen? You heard him say, “200?” Schulman laughed, “NO….Rosenthal’s NOT throwing 200 mph fast-balls.” Curt explained, “Well, it sure looks & sounds like he does!” Hahaha.

As for “The Cardinal Way”? I think I heard MM say a coupla’ times, in so many words…that he really stresses camaraderie. Primarily in the sense that each player’s play, however spectacular…is merely one piece of the puzzle they’re all trying to solve. It’s ALL about the team…and never just one individual, in particular.
Perhaps, other managers, especially those with more cocky players…aren’t able to fully get that across?

I think Jenifer may actually get to ask Matheny questions, so why not suggest one to her?

I know about platooning (dah) but “who is getting more play time and why” is the issue. BTW, which player has more of an upside? Also, take a glance at Jay’s caught stealing (go back to last year and this year). Remember, Bourjis played hurt all last year and had the hip issue surgically fixed last fall. Turn him loose for a couple months of full-time play and see what we’ve got. We may find out why he was drafted so high, ahead of Mike Trout by the Angels.

I think Jay would be a great 4th outfielder for any organization and a starter for a weaker team.

And, I admit there may be some great reason for Jay to be getting more play time. If so, I would like to learn about it from Matheny. Educate me.

Matt…you gotta’ keep in mind how players have good & bad streaks. Jay was hittin’ like crazy right BEFORE his most recent thumb injury/issue. And it’s clearly evident that MM gives all his players, or tries to….every opportunity to “get back in their groove”….and prove themselves. Might be as simple as that. Jay’s contract is up after the 2016 season, by the way.
Here’s an excerpt from an ESPN article: “Jay batted a team-high .303 in 2014 but fell 34 plate appearances shy of qualifying among the National League batting leaders. He hit .483 (14-for-29) against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in St. Louis’ two postseason series.”
Besides, with Bourjos’ injury last year & the subsequent surgery? Who can say if it’ll mess up again. MM is most likely just trying to anticipate any & all problems like that. Foresight…ya’ know?

Matt,
I think JJ is playing hurt.During last nights broadcast they mentioned wrist and thumb issues.If he does have these issues than I agree that PB should start to see more time,even against RH pitching.
The Cards have had only one loss during the month of June, and are 22-8 vs division rivals thus far.The only negative stat is they’re 7-9 vs.LH pitching.I’ll bet that was noticed by others. The up side is most of our division is RHed.The Cubs however have two LHed starters Wood + Lester which we have beaten.Liriano for the Pirates has been a problem,but he’s rarely healthy.That leaves one other big time lefty…Kershaw, but we seem to have his number,espeically during the playoffs when it all matters. Go Cards and get me Pollock Mo!!

Hmmm…I didn’t catch that comment last nite. So right. If JJ’s wrist & thumb issues are still bothering him? PB is obviously the guy.

They talked about the injury the time JJ struck out looking at an inside fastball.2nd or 3rd inning right after the second rain delay,but prior to us scoring our first run

Got it. Thanks. Maybe I was in the kitchen or sumpin’… : )

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