Welcome back to the office of the bald-headed writer who refuses to shut up, Cardinals fans.
The local rogues in red did some good things this week and also refused to gain much ground in the standings due to a late week collapse, so let’s talk about it like a few caring souls who don’t feel the need to throw rocks at police officers.
But first, a message about Ray Lankford. Tommy Pham became the sixth Cardinal to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a single season this week. Kudos to Pham, who is having an out of nowhere season. This brings more attention to the case of Lankford and the Cardinals Hall of Fame, though. Lankford was a 20/20 guy for the Cardinals in FIVE different seasons. He lit up the dismal seasons during the 1990’s. He hit 20+ home runs in six seasons and slugged .481 as a Cardinal, while producing 37.5 brefWAR for only 39 million dollars. With no offense to John Tudor, get Ray in.
Let the musings commence:
*The Cardinals are 28-33 against the National League Central. If you can’t beat your neighbors, you don’t deserve to win shit. Guess what? The rest of the schedule involves games against the Central Division. The Reds, Brewers, and Cubs stand in the Cardinals way. Beat them or stand aside.
*The Cardinals are 20-27 in one run games. This is another problem, friends. If you can’t win close games, problems emerge. What if the Cardinals had better managing? Mike Matheny has doomed his team to another breakneck finish, but this could have been avoided with more finesse in the late innings.
*Stephen Piscotty is the worst baserunner in the Major Leagues. Hate is not coming down on this young man, so please don’t mislabel it. He is having a mediocre season at the plate and a bad one in the field and on the bases. He’s having a rough tumble downhill from last season, which is not good for a guy who received six years of comfort. While Randal Grichuk appears to be expendable on paper, Piscotty may need a new setting in 2018. Personal trauma aside, the man has to produce.
*Will Carlos Martinez ever field a groundball with a runner on second and third, and not misplay it? Asking for a bald-headed friend.
*Please hold for an open letter to Michael Wacha:
You’ve gotten kicked around like Sergio Dipp at Wrigley Field this season, but let’s change that today. Michael, be the guy. Take down the Cubs and even the series. Forget about 2015 and 2016. If you lose, the Cardinals are 5 games back with 14 games to play. Your shoulder may or may not be able to handle this message, but it is what it is.
*John Lackey makes me miss Chris Carpenter. He is a mad man on a pitching mound. Lackey has reached an age where he doesn’t give a shit. It’s fun to see the old guys scream. Especially when it gets them tossed in the fourth inning and drains part of the Cubs bullpen.
*HOT TAKE ALERT: Carlos Martinez is the ace of the Cardinals, but he isn’t an elite pitcher in the Majors just yet.
*Juan Nicasio may leave with the regular season next month, but I’m liking this mysterious Edward Mujica like ninth inning performance. The bullpen sure needed a veteran helping hand. Forget the postseason. Sign this big dude up for 2018.
*If Jose Martinez misses another easy catch at first base, he owes me 20 pushups. Lou Brown approves.
Time is running out, folks. Everyone knows it, but what are the Cardinals going to do about it. They are a good team against all odds, but are they good enough for postseason play? I’m doubtful, but it’s been eight hours since I had a cup of coffee, so I’m a tad cynical right now.
See you next week,