September 18: Cardinals @ Cubs

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (92-54, +5.0 in NL Central), Cubs (85-61, -7.0 in NL Central)

First pitch: 1:20 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, MLB Network, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Tommy Pham (CF), Jason Heyward (RF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Kolten Wong (2B), Tony Cruz (C), Brandon Moss (1B), Lance Lynn (RHP)

Cubs lineup: Dexter Fowler (CF), Kyle Schwarber (LF), Chris Coghlan (RF), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Tommy La Stella (3B), Miguel Montero (C), Starlin Castro (2B), Dan Haren (RHP), Addison Russell (SS),

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Behind a sensational John Lackey start, the Cardinals finish off a sweep of Milwaukee (link)
  • columnist Mike Bauman looks at how the complexion of the NL Central shifted over three days (link)
  • Matt Holliday returns as a pinch-hitter, but has not yet been cleared to play the field (link)
  • names Alex Reyes, Stephen Piscotty as the Cardinals’ Prospects of the Year (link)
  • Preview for Friday’s series opener against the Cubs (link)

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Interesting that they are giving Yadi another off day – hope it doesn’t indicate a problem. And given how Lynn has been it may not be a good time for Cruz to be there as the ERA difference is substantial. Will wait and see. Unless something changes, Pham and Piscotty need to be on the post-season roster even at the expense of a veteran like Holliday who may well not be ready to take the field.

Lynn may find himself in pen during the playoffs. Right now I’d go with Wacha, Garcia,
Lackey and Martinez.Put Lynn in the pen and tell Choate the wrong date/time of the games.

Well, an argument could be made that Lynn, who’s stubborn & continually insists on throwing fast-balls, doesn’t need (or necessarily want) Yadi’s input. In the same vein, maybe Yadi doesn’t like being shaken-off, as Lynn likely does. So OK, another day for Yadi to relax. Could be a simple as that.
During some post-game interviews I’ve seen, Lance seemed to express either pride in his killer 2/4-seamer….or when he lost, he’d simply say his fast-balls WOULD have worked if only he’d had better placement.
In hind-sight I’ve personally, never heard him say he should’ve changed up his pitches more often. (Something Yadi may try to encourage from time to time.)
Yadi’s presence however, is crucial when Martinez & Wacha are on the mound. I’d bet that Jaime also, is a pitcher who feels he knows which pitches to use without much help or guidance from his catcher.
Another thing I was thinking…is that Yadi will sometimes set-up almost too far outside the strike zone. I think if I was pitching? That’d bother me. So possibly it does Lynn too…and throws him off?
Like, “Alright, you already gave me the sign for down & out, so there’s no need to exaggerate how it’s framed”.
And I couldn’t agree more about Pham & Piscotty being on the post-season roster. After the Holliday interview I heard yesterday? It appeared that Matt feels that he should be extra-cautious about pushing himself to play at 100% too soon. He really sounded unsure about his health status. If Grichuk gets the all-clear soon? That’d be another reason not to put Holliday on the roster.
Kozma, Garcia & Wong incidentally, have the best BA against today’s starting RHP for the Cubs (Dan Haren). Go figure, huh?

A little caveat? The Cubs OF Chris Coghlan (who sorta’ dove into SS Kang yesterday, breaking his leg)….might ought to be watched closely this afternoon. (Peralta & Wong pay attention.)
Last nite on MLB TV, they showed one of Coghlan’s previous slides which sure looked like it had the same intensity & aggression as this last one.
Some of the articles I read this morning claimed it wasn’t a “dirty” slide….as there really IS no such thing. One writer felt that Kang shouldda’ jumped up in the air to throw to 1B. Obstructing the base he explained, is a fielder’s decision…and any repercussions of the decision are on that fielder .

It might be time to let Lyon start in this slot (or maybe Cooney if he is healthy since Lyons is not off to a good start)? Lynn looks to have lost something and it is not clear when he will find his form again. At least they made some headway against Haren,

Looks like it was Haren, not Coghlan they had to look out for today. I hope that doesn’t set Matt back too much. Is is just a coincidence for them to take down to players of their key rivals or does Madden have a rep for that in Tampa? (Haren looked upset though).

Naw, Haren didn’t mean to do it. Just released the ball a tad early….and boom.
Lyons in my opinion is a decent pitcher. Not good or great. He has to create more of an arsenal. Looked like he depended on his slider too
Oops, the Cubs just got a homer….

Odd how bad Heyward’s career and season stats are with the bases loaded given how good he is overall; must get over anxious. That was a missed opportunity for sure.

Another blowout. Beginning to look like we cannot play with these guys at all. Even if we win the division getting by either the Cubs or Pirates out of the NLDS will be very difficult.

And they are totally inconsistent with these warnings.. We have seen warnings several times recently with batters hit with no consequences before. Bizarre. Umpires have no performance measures or standards at all it appears.

Terrible strike zone and nothing will be done as usual.

Most definitely. The umps are NEVER held accountable for their erroneous crap! Lance was really angry & it’s hard to blame him for blowing up. Not that he was even doing that good. But the strike-zone was horrible today. Both ways.
Several batting replays (with the strike-zone box down in the corner)…showed many strikes were called balls. Lots of ’em.
I felt sorry for Belilse being ejected. There’s no way his intent was to hit Rizzo. MM as usual, was simply backing his player.
I’m just surprised that Maddon reacted with such an accusatory comment after the game. “Disappointed and we’re not gonna’ take that” he said about the Cardinals supposedly playing bean-ball. He also blurted out something about the Cubs not starting anything, but that they wouldn’t back down from finishing something up. Plus Maddon made some reference to Tony Soprano too. Oh, puh-lease.
Tomorrow, the Cubs will be using their bullpen to find a starter (Travis Wood?) vs Wacha. Lester tho’, will probably start on Sunday vs Martinez. Guess we should thank our lucky stars we won’t be up against Arrieta this series.
Post-game MM said that after Yadi went 0-4 his last game? He talked to him and they both came to an agreement that Yadi should sit out 2 games to rest up. It wasn’t anything more than that.

But of course Coghlan was innocent? At least Madden lights a fire under his team, whereas Matheny seems to take it on the chin quietly which doesn’t always motivate effectively. Just occasionally it would be good to see him get mad. I fear Madden as a strategist and manager is the strongest of he 3 in the NL Central which could prove important down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Can you imagine the Dodgers,with Don Drysdale on the hill and one of his teammates getting hit like Holiday did, accident or not……….someone is going down!

Really. He had a real temper, eh? Well, I did look him up just now & found this Drysdale quote: “I had a this little rule, a one for two rule. If one of my teammates got knocked down? I’d knock down two on the other team.”
An excerpt taken from the book, “The 50 Most Dynamic Duos in Sports”. He sure must’ve been sumpin’. Hahaha.
The book goes on to tell how his manager (Walter Alston) once told Don to intentionally walk Frank Robinson. So “Drysdale responded by knocking down Robinson with 4 consecutive pitches, that last of which hit the Cincinnati slugger squarely in the ribs.”
Now THAT’S funny!

Incidentally, Drysdale was 6′ 6″, 225lbs…a hulking guy & onw who was quite a bit bigger than other pitchers of that era.

I guess that’s a down-side of “The Cardinal Way”. No nasty, vengeful comments, always taking the high-road instead. But MM clearly had a few choice words for the ump today before HE was ejected….don’t cha’ think? : )
And you’re probably right about Maddon. At least that’s the consensus among the talking heads of the sports-world.
MLB TV did a piece on who’d be the manager of the year. One guy said MM never gets any love, but he truly should be a consideration with the way he’s rearranged the team structure to compensate for so many of his good players being on the DL this season.
Then he talked about Maddon and how loose he is with his team. He said Maddon often tells his players they don’t have to show up early before a game. Just be there before the game starts and be ready to play, he’ll say. The MLB commentator likened Maddon to a favorite uncle. A crazy & fun best-buddy, occasionally a bit unorthodox…but one who always has your back.

Sounds more like the pal you ride around in the car with when you’re in high school, not a professional manager.He has personality and is perfect for the media,which pumps him up and gives them stuff to write about.Also I think you right Haley, Madden
is using the incident for down the road in the playoffs.

Geez, I just re-looked at the hit-by-pitch from Belisle to Rizzo. And if you look at it in slow-mo? Rizzo wasn’t even hit!!! The ball didn’t freakin’ touch him. Ugh…

Since Rizzo acted as if he was hit was he simply faking? Shouldn’t that be subject to disciplines or is it acceptable gamesmanship? Wish the CARDINALS would make a fuss about how the officiating went overall though.

You should tweet that to Jenifer to see if she will look into that situation. If he faked it would make Madden’s gamesmanship more obviously lame.

I checked the replay too Bob and I think you’re right. Rizzo acted like one of those soccer players that falls down and acts like he was just shot by a high powerd rifle.
Lets give MM some credit.He could have complained harder about things,but what does that get you.The same bird might be doing a playoff game.Go behind the scenes and complain to the umpires main offices in N.Y. Now MO becomes the bad guy not players or coaches on the field, and you get your point accross…privately no one gets shown up.
Can’t wait to see what the playoff roster will look like. I have my opinion and I side squarely on the youth side of things. Holiday’s comments about his condition didn’t make me thrilled,but his play this year hasn’t been my favorite either. QUESTION: Can Holiday be off the roster for all the NL playoff games and be added IF we make the WS?……….then DH?

Yup, I think Rizzo simply reacted to the crowd’s sudden gasp…and played the part of the dinged, injured player to the hilt. At the very worst? The ball BARELY brushed his pant-leg, but didn’t actually “touch” him. You can see the ball’s straight path was clearly unaffected. The soccer analogy was a good one, Dave. Haha.
But ultimately, MM did what was right. There was no time to question the hit & review it in slow-mo…or to to question anything else. Besides, I doubt that anyone in the Cards’ video-booth at that particular moment, even considered that the hit may NOT have been a legit hit after all.
And Dave’s correct again. Who knows which umps we’ll run into again. Not worth it to stir things up or insult their integrity.
The other day, I looked into the rules regarding the post-season play-off roster. I’ll have to look again. But I think the rules say you can add a player to the post-season 25 man roster, ONLY if one of the 25 is unexpectedly placed on the DL. So, someone would have to get hurt during post-season in order for Holliday to be added for the WS.
If Grichuk is back in time? I suspect that Jay will likely be scratched. It’d be way too much to hope that Choate would be scratched as well. : )
Today’s game will probably be crazy, considering all that happened yesterday.
I may still email Jen about the “fake” hit….and see what she has to say.
By the by? I believe I heard someone say that Coghlan HAS taken out & injured another infielder with one of his previous slides. I need to look that up to confirm, tho’.

Chaote just got hurt:)

Real phunny, Dave. : )

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