September 12: Cardinals @ Reds

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (88-53, +3.5 in NL Central), Reds (58-81, -28.5 in NL Central)

First pitch: 12:30 pm CT

TV/Radio: FOX, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Jason Heyward (CF), Mark Reynolds (1B), Brandon Moss (RF), Kolten Wong (2B), Tony Cruz (C), Greg Garcia (SS), Lance Lynn (RHP)

Reds lineup: Billy Hamilton (CF), Skip Schumaker (LF), Joey Votto (1B), Brandon Phillips (2B), Jay Bruce (RF), Todd Frazier (3B), Eugenio Suarez (SS), Tucker Barnhart (C), Anthony DeSclafani (RHP)

Transactions: The Cardinals have activated RHP Matt Belisle from the 60-day DL. C Cody Stanley has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug

Reading material:

  • Cards fall to Reds on home run shortly after the resumption of Friday’s suspended game (link)
  • After more than two months on the DL, Matt Belisle is back in the Cardinals’ bullpen (link)
  • Catcher Cody Stanley has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug for the second time (link)
  • The Cardinals recall Ed Easley to enhance their catching depth (link)
  • Preview of Saturday’s regularly-scheduled game against the Reds (link)

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Just not getting the job done; a wild card game facing Arietta would not be a good thing.

Good to rest Yadi but why not give Easley or Stanley a chance. Peralta rest is also helpful as he needs to recharge; Moss has now gone completely quiet so maybe Wong can pick up some of the offensive slack. But once again not taking full advantage of a potentially big offensive inning with three strike outs.

Whoops, I obviously missed the news on Stanley, big time! How disappointing. Why was this not picked up at Memphis?

Well, if I can’t say anything good? I won’t say anything at all. That’s what my mama taught me.

Good advice this month!

Just read Jen’s article about Cody Stanley. They’re apparently RE-testing the positive sample to see if a med & supplement Cody was taking together, could’ve chemically combined in some way to cause the positive result. MM’s giving Stanley the benefit of the doubt until the re-testing is complete.
I do know that many body-building over-the-counter supplements like GNC carries, will occasionally include stuff not listed on the label. So I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, as well.

Well I hope it works out for him, but he is unlikely to stay in the organization. And that’s the least of their problems right now. There is lots of promise in the younger part of the lineup but it has been lucky to perform at the level it has, especially the starting staff. Waino’s freak injury is finally coming home to roost as the promising youngsters have had to carry too many innings.

On offense, the injured do not seem like they will be recovered enough on time (You can’t keep Adams, Holiday and Grichuk on the post-season roster to mix and match as DH in the WS if you get that far). The loss of those three (not to mention Oscar) have taken their toll. Bench improves a bit with Reynolds and Moss but they cannot keep the performance up as starters. Kozma contributes too little to keep around; and backup catching remains a big weakness (amazed to see that Lynn gives up more than twice as many runs per game when Yadi doesn’t catch him and the young starters are even more reliant on his game calling).

They also seem to need a shakeup in some coaching positions as hitters seem to try the same things and stay in a rut, rather than shifting strategies to adjust to pitchers. And base-running coaching is critical too as errors in that department have been costly especially given how thin the offense is at times. Jay and Kozma this weekend for instance,

Of course if they manage to finish first their post-season experience could prove an advantage. Just so long as they are not forced to the wild-card position. Which starter could we rely on under that pressure against Cole or Arietta? (I guess Lackey?) .

Did you see on twitter some people were asking Jenifer for MO’s contact information since they though “millions” of fans wanted the GM fired? That’s certainly not a reasonable response at this stage as the injuries couldn’t be forecast, though he may need to consider some significant tweaks in the off-season.

To be honest? The Cardinal fans are and have been spoiled for years. If & when Cards are not kicking hiney and winning? It’s off with the GM’s head! And/or Matheny’s, for that matter.
Not everybody can win all the time. Heck, at least we’re still in 1st place. Altho’ for how much longer….is still to be determined. We all need to calm down. Me included. Hehehe.

I do agree that the aggressive base-running has clearly been too aggressive. KMOX post-game show said the rumor is that Carp’s been trying to tweak his batting stance, in order to get more power behind his bat. Unfortunately, it appears Carp’s new approach is resulting in more whiffs than usual.
Another comment on the show, was that MM will probably continue to rest Martinez & Wacha with push-backs. Maybe Lyons will start a game or two. Altho’ he’s not been spectacular? Tyler’s last outing, he gave us a solid 6 innings.
Also mentioned was that Peralta simply appears to be worn down & worn out, which may be the case. What cha’ gonna’ do.
As for Kozma, often Peralta’s back-up? He’s under the Cards’ control until he becomes a free-agent in 2020. Besides, he only gets minimum $$$’s…and MM’s a fan anyway.
Overall, with all the injuries and the loss of OT as you pointed out? Things are beginning to take their toll on the team.
But then again, the team’s almost always come-back when least expected. So, who knows how it’ll ultimately all play out.

We are what we are now. The only changes will be from people coming off the DL and hopfully they can contribute. If they don’t we’ve missed an opportunity, because next year our core is another year older. Whether or not we go far into the playoffs or win it all MO must start a serious retooling of our line up. Expecting the team to have another 90 plus wins with the line up we have will be too mush to ask. The Cubs are coming hard and will win the division if we stand pat or make small changes.I’d start with Holiday. He’s just not healthy enough to be a factor, which is to say he would be if he would stay healthy. I realize Busch is one of the toughess places to hit for power,but our line up doesn’t hit enough period. This off season will be key and MO’s job may hinge on it.

I mentioned the term “Cardiac Cardinals” before…’cause there’s no telling what the team will do. Their bats can run hot & cold. Pitching is there, but not always consistent. It’s kinda’ been the reason they’ve been fun to watch, quite frankly.
There have been past seasons that we were struggling big-time, but then somehow? Things would suddenly begin to click.
Waino was quoted telling the team yesterday that they’d better get “this” out of their system now, instead of in October.
As for Mo’s job? Mo most likely gets DeWitt’s input before making the big decisions, for one thing. Plus Mo’s ideas for trades haven’t cost DeWitt a whole bunch o’ money either. So I don’t think Mo’s at risk for being fired. At least any time soon.
Speaking of which? KMOX is having Mo on this morning, to talk about everything going on. Will be interesting what he has to say.

By the way? Here’s an excerpt from an MLB article I ran into:
“2006 Cardinals. St. Louis had a seven-game lead with 12 games to play. With three games left, the lead was down to only a half-game, but the Cardinals ended up winning two of their last three to hold off the Astros and make the playoffs.
St. Louis also had one postponement that wasn’t re-scheduled. In October, the Cardinals regained their stride. They knocked off the Padres in the NL Division Series, the Mets in the NL Championship Series, and then upset the Tigers in the World Series to become the team with the lowest winning percentage (.516) to win a World Series championship.”

2006 Ecstein was our MVP, when it should have been the Tigers pitching staff’s inability to field a bunt.

Yeah, but a win is a win is a win! No matter how you come by it. : )

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