Yakking up a 6-1 lead to a bad baseball team? Might as well scream 'No Whammies!' when slamming on the panic button. (Rest in peace Peter Tomarken) But the Cardinals skidded to their 4th straight loss Tuesday night by unleashing something called a Miguel Batista on the Washington D.C. public and it promptly coughed up 5 earned runs and another L.
Batista - mind you I have witnesses to what I'm about to claim - has the flattest major league pitch I've seen since Andy Benes (pre-whatever the hell he was taking the last half of 2002). I mean you literally can't get a Jugs Machine to pitch that straight of a pitch.
So when he's able to keep his fastball in the lower quarter of the strike zone, he can be surprisingly effective. But if that dude gets lose higher than 36" off the ground? It's almost un-missable. The exception being the hitter that literally can't believe that the ball will not move one iota in any direction before reaching home plate.
It's the complete antithesis of the knuckle ball, if you will.
Many people are calling for Batista's dismissal from the Cardinals after this latest bloodletting, but, surprisingly, Batista is still almost 3/4 a run lower on his ERA than his career average. So it's not like the Cardinals aren't getting what they expected out of the journeyman... in fact, you can make an argument that he's better than advertised.
Worse for the Cardinals is the lack of control that Trever Miller seems to posses. His WHIP is now an abysmal 1.62 and he can't seem to figure out how to locate at all. Miller has been a real unsung hero for the Cardinals the past couple of seasons, always seemingly getting the big LH out whenever TLR needed it.
But in 2011, Miller looks washed-up. And his pitching isn't good either HIYO!
Seriously, though- the left handed specialist isn't something that good teams can take for granted in the NL. So Miller better get to the root of his control problems or the Cardinals better be shopping for a bargain basement re-tread that Duncan can have a few months with before the home stretch of games.
To reiterate: BAD loss.
I sat down, pulled up a blank Pages page and started watching. I was about 25 minutes into the episode when I remembered that I was supposed to be snarking this. An hour deep I had two comments and neither of them were funny. (JB pointed out via text that Ames didn't have any lower teeth. I spent 10 minutes verifying that this is indeed true.)
Long story, short - Last night's episode was a dud. A couple of boring dates. A couple of yearnings for Bentley (mainly from the viewing public, if this is how we're going to roll P.B.)
Yes, P.B. in that parentheses does stand for Post Bentley.
Oh, and at the end, Ash decides to dump the widow after he poured his guts out to her. He may or may not still be suspected by his former in-laws of foul play.
That's it. That's 2 hours of prime time TV summed up in 140 words. If you want real entertainment, I'd watch the opening from the Tony Awards Sunday night. Good stuff- LINK HERE
Oh, and Windows Vista? I Googled 'Disappointment' and Windows Vista keep popping up. The Internet has a sense of humor.
That's the only option the Cardinals have at this point. They went to Milwaukee hot and got punched in the mouth. A 2.5 game lead in the NL Central evaporated and now they sit in second place and licking their wounds, headed to Washington. Some series over the course of a season warrant in-depth analysis. Others, not so much. And this one smells to us like it's a little bit closer to the latter...
Jason Kidd won an NBA championship last night with the Dallas Mavericks. He's old. How old? I once saw him play against Indiana. A Hoosier team that featured Calbert Cheaney. At The Arena...
Are there 2 people that are doing more to enhance the image of cellists than these 2 dudes? LINK HERE or LINK HERE...
Tons of solid people came out for the STL Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday morning. I happened to run into THIS SHIRT and thought it was worth sharing. Much like the Corpus Christi Hooks, put my name on anything and I'll become an avid supporter...
From all accounts, Rick Horton is a nice guy. So when KSDK lost the Sunday game package from the Cardinals and FSN picked up all but about 10 games for 2011, it made sense to add staff to their broadcast to make sure they had enough talking heads to slog through the marathon that is a baseball season...
But for the love of fuck, this isn't the River City Rascals. Rick Horton doesn't need to be learning how to be a play-by-play man for one of the crown jewels of broadcasting jobs- ON the job. I've all but shit on Dan & Al on this site, hell I think one of us on this site runs Dan's fake twitter account (I'm honestly not sure though. Seriously.) - but at least they know what the hell they're doing. Horton's call of Jon Jay's catch was embarrassing. FSN knows this rotating booth is a mistake, but they won't correct it this year because Rick's a nice guy and they're never going to do anything mildly controversial. But let it be known, this was a BAD idea...
It's been 4 years (12 races) since I've correctly picked a Triple Crown race winner. And I'm trying. I feel like this is a record that needs to be mentioned somewhere.
There is a new world's shortest man. I want to be friends with this guy. Pretty bad, actually. Is there a place where we could go where everyone wasn't trying to see how awesome we were together? And since he needs like 1 beer to get wasted - everyone would be buying me shots...
Also, if you missed the big CD plug from ABC News Now, scroll down below and watch. It's awesome. Or at least, it's something...
1- We're shameless and going to ride this Bachelorette thing as long as the page views keep coming. You can always go to Pitchers Hit 8th for Cardinals talk.
2- Thanks to Ashley for really plugging the site big time. She didn't have to do that. So if you watch the 10p news in STL, watch her show @ 5/10p. It's cool- NBC produces it (another story for another day) so I'll still make $$$ if you're not watching Mike Bush.
3- We've got way more that was cut on this and some one-on-one time I had with The Mask that we'll be running next week.
4- Girls. Seriously, we still like them. The good stuff comes about 1:43 in or so...
A chapter of my thesis explores a reason why this season's under my skin. I hate to break it to you, but it's you and your Albert Pujols contract hysteria. Yes, you.
When the season started, it was all Photoshop fun with Albert in a Cubs jersey. I think Cubs fans are sort of adorable with their wellspring of hope and whatnot, and none of that bothered me. But when Albert hit a snag and Cardinals fans started bitching and moaning, assuming he was toast for the season because the contract was in his coconut? In the words of teenagers texting and driving everywhere: STFU.
That behavior indicates you've never seen him play ball before: that you don't recall that he performs best in challenging situations and you aren't accounting for his injuries. (Does anyone remember that he started his season with a hammy strain?) It also indicates that you're kind of a drama queen because how often does a proven talent like Albert fizzle out overnight, never to recover?
This post is a week too late, really. After Albert delivered back-to-back walk-off homers last weekend, there was a notable lull in concern about his contract status. But it'll come back again. If he keeps up his sweet mashing, it'll be handwringing about whether we can keep him. If he doesn't, it'll be handwringing about whether he's broken. And either way, it's kind of a buzzkill.
I'd appreciate it if you'd remember that this might be the last season we St. Louis kids can watch the greatest player in the game -- and he still is -- play live 81 nights a year. So maybe stop being such a dick and enjoy it.
Bud Norris made his major league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, ultimately going 7 and getting the win.
Last night Bud Norris took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, ultimately going 8 innings and getting the win.
Along the course of parts of 2009 through 2011, Norris has racked up 5 other wins against the Cardinals. Against all other teams combined? Well, Norris has 9 wins. Total.
I don’t think it’s unfair to wonder if Bud Norris would have a job in MLB if the Cardinals weren’t in the NL Central and playing the Astros 19 games most years. Because Bud Norris is a very borderline right handed talent that seems to only be able to reach fifth gear against the Cardinals.
Further, after last’s night victory, I can’t think of one other pitcher in the majors that I’d rather have the Cardinals play against less than Norris. Not Halladay. Not Lee. Not ANYONE. Norris completely and totally owns the St. Louis Cardinals and it’s embarrassing.
It’s hard to pinpoint why.
Tony LaRussa’s teams have generally struggled against softer throwing left handed pitchers. Norris is a righty. A righty with not overpowering movement or velocity on the fastball. He’s actually the type of pitcher that teams like the Astros need to fill the roster. Go out, get 6 innings if you can. Don’t give up more than 4 or 5 runs and every once in a while pitch a good game. Not everyone can be a Cy Young winner, right?
A peek at his Baseball Reference page lists his most comparable historical comparison as… wait for it… Corky Valentine.
Corky. Fucking. Valentine.
Yet there Norris is, twirling another gem against a feckless Cardinals team. Unable to muster ANYTHING against the dude.
Plus his name is Bud. And that just makes the drubbings even more disconcerting. If Pujols can’t touch off against a pitcher named Bud, then I think the Cardinals might just have a case against a 300 million dollar contract.
Hats off, Mr. Norris. Hopefully the Cardinals just rest all the starters next time you take the hump against the Birds on Bat. It’s not like it can get any worse. no comments
I spent Monday night eating pizza and watching - yes on actual TV - the MLB Draft.
I'm going to guess that a small fraction of you care about this, so instead of boring you with player profiles and whatnot, I'll just copy and paste a recap from Baseball America (subscriber content), on how the Cardinals did overall:
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals started things off by taking Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong 22nd overall. The same Cardinals fans that love Ryan Theriot will really love Wong, a high-energy, top-of-the-order sparkplug with a little more juice in his bat. The Cardinals drafted a lot of speed (Charlie Tilson, C.J. McElroy and Kenny Peoples) and, not coincidentally, wound up with a lot of players that lack physicality. Seven of the team's first 10 picks are listed at 6 feet or smaller. The team didn't get a lot of high-upside pitchers, as the Cardinals' first three arms off the board profile as back-of-the-rotation starters (Sam Gaviglio) or bullpen arms (Daniel Miranda and Tyler Mills).
Ryan Theriot? Back up the Brinks truck! (For future reference, if you're a draft and/or prospect nerd, subscribing to the online portion of BA is well worth the money.)
This is a relatively neutral take on the first rounder (well, technically it's pretty positive, but to me, the Theriot line gives the impression that Wong's not a superstar in the making) . Not all draft gurus approved of the Cardinals taking Wong, who was a dream pick for Sign Guy and the Post-Dispatch headline writer. ESPN's Keith Law had this quick take in his post-draft chat:
Pierce (Tulsa, OK): Quick grade on the Wong pick by the Cardinals?
Klaw (2:19 PM): I ranked him 75th and they took him 22nd.
Fantastic. So Wong probably won't be a complete waste, but he's not a guy to get excited about. Or if you're in favor of short second basemen, then by all means, throw a party. The reality is that a lot of these high draft picks won't get past AA or will eventually be traded by the Cardinals for help at the Major League level.
They could have opened some eyes by taking one of the highly-regarded high school pitchers that were available at the time, but being a college bat, Wong should get to the Majors within two or three years - although that time frame didn't work out for Tyler Greene, a 2005 first-rounder. If only catching pop-ups wasn't such an important part of being a shortstop.
And as pointed out on Twitter, the Cubs had lots of notable picks, not necessarily for talent. This includes famous offspring Shawon Dunston Jr and Trevor Gretzky. The Cubs also took the best name of the draft - Rock Shoulders. Fuck yeah, that guy's awesome. Even better, they took the 18 year old version of Ham Porter - Dan Vogelbach - in the second round (h/t Mr. Fritz for the reference):
I'm imagining this kid calling Colby Rasmus a fart-smeller in a brawl six years from now. Well done, Cubs. Well done.
Albert went top tank and touched track again in Minute Maid Park again last night. It wasn't the most important play of the game, and some might even argue inconsequential. But once again...
Albert's batting average is still lying south of .280 for the season, but his power numbers are rocketing towards the top of the (albeit weak) NL. Somehow this dude basically gave the rest of baseball a 2 month head-start and is looking to hunt them down before the All-Star break. A truly remarkable accomplishment in a career full of astonishment.
I'm guilty as the next guy of comparing Albert to Albert and expecting a constant topping of himself before he's owed any amount of praise. But that's incredibly unfair and short-sided. We're in the midst of an 11 year run that we're all going to be talking about until we're dead. I may be more interested in the Bachelorette than a healthy, straight man should be- but once it's over... it's over.
This run, though. This decade plus of greatness is kind of a part of me now. A big piece, actually. And when I look back from old age on my 20's and 30's, Albert Pujols might just be the most defining characteristic that I have no control over whatsoever. If you're like me and watch the Cardinals on a regular basis, then you're on the same page.
Look at what this stupid home run has done to me. Turned me into a insufferable sap.
I love big home runs.
(image via Ted's Take)
7:02 - The Mask deep teases his facial reveal. St. Louis' long national nightmare is realized... John Goodman! How could you shame our city like that?
7:07 - Ashely takes Ben C. on a one on one date. And it turns into a flash mob of tens of white people dancing to Far East Movement. If producers would have included a Vespa and the Sunday New York Times these 10 minutes would have been rejected by the KKK marketers as too white.
7:17 - The Monster vows to 'go in for the kill'. Meanwhile Ben C. wonders out loud if he should or should not use an emoticon in his after date text to Ashley. The Monster might really have a shot here people.
7:24 - The Mask has FINALLY be shun. And behind it? GUSTY COMEDY. No seriously, that's what he said. I'm not making this up. Also, his facial gesticulations and distant eyes are reminiscent of a young Charlie Manson.
7:26 - So they had a roast. Of Ashley. Emceed by Jeff Ross, AKA THIS GUY. And I'm not really good enough of a writer to express the sheer awkwardness of this idea. The next 11 minutes are basically a bunch of guys making fun of her small breasts and the fact she was dumped by a, ahem, a giant boob named Brad Womack.
7:37 - And here come the waterworks. And The Monster to comfort her. The producers of this show are the purist form of evil left on Earth since Bin Ladin got popped. Next season Bachelorette Abbottabad!
7:50 - William, an early favorite, and 'looking to go for the jugular' during the roast has put Ashley into a tailspin, while casting his own future on the show in doubt. Men who are still reading this, please note that if you're asked to participate in something like this for whatever the hell reason you would, run as far away from this idea as possible.
7:59 - Ashley confronts The Monster with the news that she was told about him before the show. The Monster shares the news that MICHELLE MONEY (?!?!) is the source. (Insert Deep Throat joke here). Looks like she knows Bentley's ex-wife. In other news, child services now has a slam-dunk case for taking Cozy.
8:09 - The Monster declares he's DONE.
8:19 - If you don't watch this show, you'd probably think that people are exaggerating the extent of dickishness this Bentley guy possesses. But I implore anyone to find a worse human in America. He has taken reality show backbiting to new heights. He's the bizzaro Martin Luther King. After an hour of kissy face and using his daughter as a excuse for his decisions... he's gone.
8:23 - I'm honestly making an offer of 1,000 per ticket to anyone that can get me into the reunion show.
8:33 - J.P. finally gets his date... right after a vicious roast and a savage, extended dumping. So Ashley busts out the PJ's, glasses and a hoodie for a night of talking about Bentley and insecurities in front of the fire place. Stan Musial, step aside as we Stand for J.P..
8:41 - Ashley has found a reserve well of tears... but LOOKEY HERE it's Chris Harrison to save the day. This dude is either the best husband in the world or he's an Oscar caliber actor stuck in a reality hosting gig. He puts Adderall at ease, man. No cocktails tonight. Straight to the flora.
8:50 - Ashley makes no rash decisions and the field is narrowed by only 2 after The Monster's previous departure.
Going Home: The Mask (not understanding the concept of eBay, tosses the singular thing his life will be defined by into the fireplace to mark the exit) & Chris D. (Meh.).
Next Week: Thai food. Soggy linen. JEALOUSY!