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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Two of a record 65 Cardinals relief changes that did not work

With four pitching changes made by manager Tony La Russa in World Series Game 5, St. Louis Cardinals relievers have made 65 appearances in 16 games this post-season. That established a new record for most relievers used in a single playoff run.

The 2002 San Francisco Giants had the record previously, having made 62 pitching changes in 17 post-season games. The 2011 Rangers are not far behind with 58 changes – so far, with one or two World Series games remaining.

Most pitching changes, MLB post-season

Year Team Relievers Used
2011 St. Louis Cardinals 65+
2002 San Francisco Giants 62
1997 Cleveland Indians 61
2011 Texas Rangers 58+
2009 New York Yankees 56

Two of Monday night’s changes have caused much conversation. The first was the arrival of left-hander Marc Rzepczynski with one out in the eighth inning. Octavio Dotel departed with two on base after a leadoff double and intentional walk.

Left-handed batter David Murphy hit a ball up the middle that bounced off Scrabble’s knee for an infield single. In a surprise to some, La Russa kept Rzepczynski in to face hot-hitting Mike Napoli, a right-handed hitter. In the play that changed the game, Napoli crushed an offering that one-hopped the wall in right center. It scored what became the two winning runs in the 4-2 Texas victory.

After a strikeout, La Russa brought in right-hander Lance Lynn, whose only job was to intentionally walk Ian Kinsler and apparently buy more time for closer Jason Motte to get ready.

At least that is what I assumed, but there was an odd twist – two of them.

In his post-game interview, La Russa explained there was a reason Motte was not ready initially. A mix-up had occurred – twice. La Russa had actually wanted Motte and Rzepczynski warming, but only got the latter. Then he wanted Motte but got Lynn instead. Due to the crowd noise, the bullpen coaches did not hear and did not warm up the the closer as intended two consecutive times.

La Russa: Well, what happened was that twice the bullpen didn’t hear Motte’s name. They heard “Rzepczynski” and they didn’t get Motte. I looked up there and Motte wasn’t going. So I called back for Motte and they got Lynn up. That’s why he wasn’t supposed to pitch today, so I wasn’t going to let him throw that hitter. He just threw the warmups and walked him and Motte behind was ready. I don’t know if it was noisy, probably real noisy. They just didn’t hear the second time.

Q. Has that ever happened to you before where you had a call to the bullpen and guys didn’t hear you right?

La Russa: Yeah, well, sometimes real loud, especially when some of the bullpens that are right amidst the fans and excitement. It happens in Philadelphia. It’s hard to hear it there. So it’s not unusual. Maybe we need to come up with some ear mikes or something.

Q. Just to be clear, if Motte was ready, he would have faced Napoli?

La Russa: Yeah.

Q. So you had no choice at that point?

La Russa: He was warming up, so I said, “Get Motte up,” and they heard “Lynn”. But by the way, we had a chance with Rzepczynski’s stuff to get Napoli the first pitch, and then he put a nice swing on a breaking ball.

It was that kind of night for the Cardinals.

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121 Responses to “Two of a record 65 Cardinals relief changes that did not work”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Oh yeah, ” Motte” sounds a whole lot like “Rzepczynski”.

    Anybody want to buy some lakefront property in the Sahara?

  2. bicyclemike says:

    I think what they are saying is they wanted Rzep and Motte warming, and the bullpen folks heard Lynn rather than Motte for righthander.

  3. blingboy says:

    Marty wouldn’t have screwed up. Get him on a plane.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Hey now, don’t be throwing bullpen coaches under the bus! ;-)

      Seriously, though, in the eighth inning of an almost must-win game on the road, what would they have been saving Motte for if they didn’t use him there? As prepared as TLR normally is, it doesn’t make sense.

      • RCWarrior says:

        Marty is a veteran bullpen coach so Tony wouldn’t have thrown him under the bus, but Lilliquist is a rookie so he gets the credit for the bad hearing that produced two pitching changes that the dugout didn’t want.

        TLR – Hey Derrick, get Motte up,

        Lilliquist – gotch Tony, you said Rzepczynski right?

        TLR – No rookie, I said Motte

        Lilliqist – Are you saying Rzepczynski, Tony? The crowd noise is so loud I can’t tell what you’re saying. Say again.

        TLR – Motte man, dammit, the guy with the grizzly adams beard.

        Lilliquist – Heck, I just can’t hear what you are saying, maybe its that loud rap music I listened to as a kid. It sounds like you are saying Rzepczynski?

        TLR – G*$ D!@#$%^, where is Marty Mason when you need him? Listen closely Derrick, M-o-t-t-e. Motte.

        Lilliquist – Got it Tony.

        Tony goes to the mound,

        TLR – hey blue, give me the righty.

        In trots Rzepczynski.

        TLR – WTF, what are you doing here? I wanted Motte.

        Rzepczynski – Well we figured that you wanted me since you had Muprhy up and he is hitting a buck fifty against left handed pitching. And we know you like those type of matchups ehh.

        TLR – Alright you’ve got Murphy and then its the showers.

        Tony heads back to the dugout, hops on the phone……..Derrick picks up…….

        TLR – Derrick, dammit man I wanted Motte. Get Motte up right now. Are you hard of hearing?

        Lilliquist – Got it Lynn right? You are saying Lynn right?

        TLR – Lynn? heck no I’m not saying Lynn, Motte man. My good lord are you flipping deaf?

        Lilliquist – I got you Tony, I’ll get him up.

        By the way Rzepczynski is left in to face Napoli who crushes Lefty’s. After the Napoli double Tony strolls to the mound.

        TLR – Well that worked out like a lead balloon. Nice try scrabble, oh by the way, I didn’t want you to pitch to either of those guys but Lilliquist is deaf so you are who we got. Blue give me the righty.

        In trots Lynn

        TLR – WTF, dammit man don’t you know you are on the don’t throw list today? Why are you even throwing today, much less trotting onto the field in the middle of this G@# D@#$ game?

        Lynn – Derrick told me to get ready.

        TLR trots back to the dugout and grabs the phone.

        TLR – Hey Derrick, get Salas ready. This game is over. Nice job and I hope you enjoy Springfield next year.

        Lilliquist – Got you Tony.

        Tony holds up 4 fingers to Yadi who walks Kinsler intentionally. Then Tony strolls back to the mound. Blue give me the righty. In trots Motte. Tony hands Motte the ball and heads back into the dugout where he walks up to Dunc.

        TLR – I’m not gonna take responsibility for these ridiculous moves, I’m freaking Tony LaRussa……a brilliant tactician.

        Dave – Throw Lilliquist under the bus, he’s a rookie. It will make him tougher.

        TLR – Great idea Dunc.

  4. RCWarrior says:

    My good lord, that has to be the biggest bunch of BS I’ve ever read. That is so incredible that Tony even said that. Needless to say that evey button Tony pushed last night was the wrong button. It definitely wasn’t his best managing job. Ugly ugly ugly.

  5. bicyclemike says:

    It wasn’t the managing so much as the 1 for 12 with RISP. Get a couple of hits there, and Carpenter most likely goes eight and we win 5-2 or something like that. What was truly ugly was the LOB stat. We had our chances and just did not capitalize on them.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Run support behind Carpenter has been a problem all year long. In 14 of his 39 starts, the offense gave him two or fewer runs, including Monday night. Still, not having your closer ready for the biggest at-bat of the game in the opponents’ final time up was the final straw.

    • RCWarrior says:

      Mike, there is no doubt that the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position was a huge part of the loss but Craig gets caught stealing in the 7th, and then again in the 9th with Albert up and Holliday and Berkman coming up. I believe at that point Then after the game Tony says that he didn’t call for the hit and run and that somebody missed a sign. Twice? You would think that he would have spoken to Craig after the 7th inning miss and corrected it by the 9th. As great a job as Tony has done these last 6 weeks or so last night was as bad a game as I’ve seen him have this year.

      And the worst part is coming out in the media and saying Lilliquist sent him the wrong player……..twice, and that his players missed numerous signs. Sounds like passing the buck to me.

      • Brian Walton says:

        There was some speculation that Albert called the second hit and run himself. If he did, then why didn’t he swing?

        • RCWarrior says:

          That sounds as ridiculous as the phone stuff. But on this team and with TLR at the helm, Albert definitely has the power to do what he wants so maybe it did happen.

          It doesn’t really sound like the smart thing to do imo with the next two hitters being capable of hitting the ball out to tie the game up.

          Tony has been doing an excellent job imo these last 6 weeks or so as I’ve continually stated but last night may have been one of his top 5 worst managerial jobs of his career. His calls were bad and his post game talk was bizarre to say the least. It just wasn’t a good night for Tony at all.

    • Bw52 says:

      BM-i am glad someone else can see beyond the rantings and lynch mob mentality.RISP hitting or the lack off has killed the Cards in this WS.

  6. crdswmn says:

    Bernie Miklasz is reporting that the bullpen is telling a different story than TLR but he doesn’t reveal what that story is.

    • RCWarrior says:

      Well you know that they wouldn’t send in a player that Tony didn’t want, thats just crazy talk. And we know that they wouldn’t warm up somebody on a whim. And does anybody actually think that the bullpen coach would warm up a guy without the exact instructions from Tony or Dave?

      The truth is Tony or Dave or both absolutely messed up and lost their bearings during that inning. But it doesn’t surprise me that Tony will not admit to messing up and its a shame that Liliquist gets the blame for the mess. All it shows me is that Derrick is not one of Tony’s boys because if he was Tony would never lay any blame on him.

    • Nutlaw says:

      It’s nice to see people call him out for blatantly lying. I don’t mind being lied to as long as it’s a good lie. If someone starts sputtering nonsense and acts as if everyone else should play along, I start getting offended.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        There was a mistake made last night……….it was “postured” in the end like a gambit….declined….which amplified to to further misunderstandings……… since the nature of that gambit suggests a comment like this……..”you think I’m some sort of stupid country boy over here”,,,,,,,,,with a response like ” lets act like we meant too Dave”………………………….. this all got amplified by the press………the real story…………… why the amplification ????????? you should know the answers to that one………..

  7. Kansasbirdman says:

    RC I didn’t hear any news stories about mass food poisonings in russell county, how did it turn out?

    • RCWarrior says:

      Kansas,

      I’m telling you we fed 58 people last night and Colby and Cyle got all of the credit for the cooking cause they did it all. The last of the crowd left right after the ballgame went off at 11:45 so it was a rather long evening but the recipe was a rousing success. Nobody was told that they were eating venison until round 11 so as to have everybody at least try it.

      As a matter of fact we are having a cookout this coming weekend with both kids and parents dressing up in costumes for halloween and we were asked last night to provide a sequel to last nights meal. I’d say you know what you are doing and Colby proved to be a much better cook than a hitter. :)

    • RCWarrior says:

      Also, I left this out of the previous post, Do you have any additional advice for how we can add to the meal you put together for our night last night? Just to jazz it up a little for the people who were present last night.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        Awesome, its not too hard a recipe, I like to cook but can’t do anything too fancy without getting a practice run in. I am always trying to find recipes for wild game bc I get so much of it. Been getting a lot of hog meat in texas but it cooks up like the store bought stuff, I smoke a lot of it for pulled pork.

        As far as the rouladen, we always cook it with a side of mashed potatoes and sometimes have sides of rolls and green bean casserolle (with the cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions on top).

        Did you mean add more sides or spice up the recipe? I always add garlic to everything, and often salt and pepper, ypu could add cut mushrooms and pearl onions, prob could kinda carmelize them in the skillet. Cooking the rouladen rolls with a little butter would give a richer flavor as well as making the soup cans a little more concentated.

        I have a recipe for curried venison if you want to try that. It is a thai style curry that is hot and a little sweet. It is really easy to make too, you just buy the spice in a can and use milk and coconut milk. Rice on the side, and some other sides will stretch it too. It can get kinda hot (spicy) if you aren’t careful though.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        He can hit, has has proved that. Some forget he had game winning rbis for us this year-when every game counted to make the playoffs. He will get another opportunity to silence critics next season. But everyone needs hobbies, maybe not as many as CJ wilson (knife fights? Really?) And I say if you are gonna hunt you gotta eat what you kill.

        I think I understand the question now, if you wanted to make the basic same thing in another way you could just cut the venison into pieces instead of rolls and cut the other veggies and make a stew instead. Diff packaging and texture, could add stew veggies too (maybe cabbage?) The key is the soups and pickle juice. Could add a beef boulion cude maybe, but that is kinda the purpose of the french onion soup

  8. RCWarrior says:

    Crdswmn, you will enjoy this. Like I told you earlier, this happens all the time with Carp.

    ://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Chris-Carpenter-yelled-naughty-words-at-Mike-Nap?urn=mlb-wp25385

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      I could lip read what he said, and the fox sound capture also has been catching lotsa naughty words. He gets fired up, and most in the crowd prob can’t hear what he said so prob no harm?

      • RCWarrior says:

        I don’t believe it to be a big deal for the fans as most probably care little about the profanity but is it ok to just yell at another player because you are an emotional person? An effing piece of doo doo? :) It just seems to go beyond being competitive imo. Ultimately Napoli got the last laugh on the night, but its hard for me to watch that kind of stuff and be supportive of it. It just yells out to me bad things about the person, like I have no control of my emotions. Forgive me, but I just don’t see it as a positive.

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          I can see that. I guess I was thinking about a different pointit when he was yelling at himself. It probably will cause a lot of players to lose a little respect for him. Esp since it was unprovoked (apparently)

        • crdswmn says:

          Carp is what he is. I may not like it, but I am not his mother or his wife so it’s not my problem. If he does not care what others think of him, why should I.

          • RCWarrior says:

            You shouldn’t nor do I care what others think but I do believe it is relevent when this happens all of the time that cardinals fans understand why other teams players say this or that about a certain player on the cardinals or the cardinals as a team.

            The series is 3-2 Rangers in front but how much bad press have the Cardinals gotten so far in this World Series? Do they deserve any of it? Is the reason they are getting bad press because they win so much? Why haven’t the Rangers gotten any bad press?

            These are interesting questions imo.

            • Kansasbirdman says:

              Every story needs a villian. They have to have a narrative to push to get casual fans and non fans interested. Texas is the favored team but they haven’t won a ws yet. Cards have won 10 so in that sense Texas is the underdog, plus they have a likeable manager, are fun loving, (see holland’s impressions last night?) hilarious, have a redemption story in j hamilton so they have the ingredients for the ‘media’ to make them the ‘heroes’ against a ‘dynasty’ run by a ‘grump’

              I think carp just needs to produce an affidavit by his doctor that he has Tourreette’s. :-)

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                Some pitchers really have a problem engaging the hitters……..others don’t…….. in essence, they are defining the parameters of the playing field, along with the conditions that define the competition……

                Carp recognizes the weakness of his teams character……… he is attempting to lead………across the bodies of the self interested……………………….

                Craig will be out of the lineup for game 6………….. you may see Skip hitting second….playing center field……….. Punto 8th ………….

                Tony has upped………his medications……… making politics of bunting in front of AP became very interesting………. yes?………….. Gordo’s little attack column……..using no words of his own of course………. comes from a higher source………….this isn’t about money……its about the possibility of being exposed surrounding more pressing issues……… the titanic match up coming down to the bell……..no holds barred……..and its not about baseball………………….

                The use of Holiday ……….. who takes the same AB every time…..without even a hint of adjustment…………… same pitch combinations getting the desired results…..over and over…

                AP rounds third hard……turning his head around to see the play………leaving all the evidence he needs for ignoring the base coach ……… or having missed his sign ……… premeditated??? running full speed…..a good 5mph faster than his normal gate……..in search of that legendary boldness..that only mythological players possess ……..and have the courage to express??????????? Very revealing frame of mind, that is……………………

                The bottom line………..all of the Cardinal heroes have been thrown down…..exposed for selfish, self interested agenda’s……….. Craig and Freese falling victim to the media temptations to live the great life…….the wealthy life………. Tony isn’t going to ask Skip to sacrifice…he knows his situation…. Little Nick P……….. almost melting down under the BS atmosphere ……. trying so hard to be a team player…….he seemingly forgets to be a player at all……….. and the good news……… we have a chance……Texas is a good team, but they are a choke team…..and the Cardinals will possibly bounced into “reality”……..red faces and all……… cold weather coming ……….. Tony bleeding from the mouth …..will likely see reason………… and the bottom line………the AP 3/0 pop up ……….and the example it has set for his teammates is likely at an end …………. along with the dreams of heroism amongst the young entrepreneurs………. this scenario was the only chance I ever recognized for this series …… and here it is ……………

            • crdswmn says:

              I understand why others don’t like TLR or Carp. Nothing I can do about it though.

            • Bw52 says:

              The Rangers are media Darlings;HOF player who owns team;Great publicity,A manager who gives the media pablum……………Josh Hamilton story…blah blah….

  9. blingboy says:

    I understand Franky was at the game. Has anybody blamed him yet?

    What about Big Mac? He got some love from some national guy when the Cards did a good job at the plate.

    The Cards are doing a pretty good job of giving the media ammo. After the game 3 loss there was a vanishing act, then all this stuff after the latest loss.

    The one thing about guys with a big mouth is sooner or later somebody shuts it for them.

  10. crdswmn says:

    I’ve ranted and raved about TLR until I am all spent and it does no good. TLR is a LSOS and everything that comes his way is deserved. Even his own family gets in on it; his wife and daughter’s “crack-head” and “redneck” comments on Twitter about Ron Washington and the Rangers show that his entire family is trash. The Cardinals have chosen to associate with LaRussa and they have made their bed. You lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

    It has been painful to watch the complete ruination of the Cardinals organization’s good name and reputation across MLB on account of Tony LaRussa. But I can’t do anything about it. I can only hope that once he is gone, some of the good name of the organization can be restored. Until then, it will continue to reviled.

    • blingboy says:

      Bill should smarten up and hire one of the losers who’s sitting at home.

      • crdswmn says:

        You can be a winner and not be a prick. Ron Washington has shown that.

        • blingboy says:

          He already has a steady gig, so its one of the losers or a new guy.

          • crdswmn says:

            This year’s loser is next year’s winner. I hear Joe Maddon is available in 2013.

            • blingboy says:

              Good god.

              Just because he let a girl throw batting practice.

              • crdswmn says:

                I have no idea what you are talking about and don’t care to know. I think Joe Maddon is a good manager. A lot of other people agree with me. The idea that TLR is the only man on the planet who can manage the Cardinals to winning is ridiculous in the extreme.

                • blingboy says:

                  I’m just kidding around trying to not think about the woeful performance last night, and having TLR insult our intelligence with all this nonsense. While I think he contributed to the late season comeback and has made some good moves in post, I’m not a fan and would be happy to see him ride into the sunset. I have no idea what actually happened last night with the bullpen and the baserunning because the paying customers have no business knowing. Just line up for the $9 beers.

                  Maddon had a female throw BP one time, I don’t remember if it was a contest winner or what. I think it was the only time its ever happened. So of all the manager candidates for you to be keen on. . . .

                  It might just be a Tampa thing. About 20 years ago their hockey team had a female goalie appear in an NHL exhibition game (against St. Louis). Only appearance ever of a woman in an NHL game. IIRC, her brother played for the Blues.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      There is quite a bit going on around baseball at present CRD………….in case you haven’t noticed…….

      There is some animosity between coaching staffs at this point………… it has a solid foundation……I am hesitant to point out too many points of interest for personal reasons……………. but I will say this…..there is a substantive tactical dialog when coaches compete…….much like the hoopla that occurs around a world champion chess match………to knowledgeable people, there is much said in any given position of the pieces……………. with that said……… imagine RW watching Tony play his “physiological ballet”" with his pitching staff and BP……..having nothing to do with baseball…or statistical match ups really……..just pure “hypnotic” or emotionally intuitive guess work………………….there is no counter move, nothing that he can do……………the press goes gaga over Tony the genius…especially in a racial hotpot like Dallas…….much of it based on appearances of inequality in matters deemed “intellectual”………….. Tony says nothing to the press….dismissing this unfair illusion…………… and then there the other side………….. Texas is pitching to Cardinal hitters like they were a bunch of “special Olympics” recruits………really dramatically creating pitch sequences that suggest the are just stupid……..arrogant…….dismissive……etc;……this suggests to guys like Dave and Tony…..and other people in the know……. that they are poor “tactical disciplinarians” …………….which they are………………………and then there is this………..

      http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_f2319910-8605-5fc3-9563-852c0f5ebfa9.html

      You think that kind of thing comes up without a purpose??????????? you are hearing from BD there…and MLB…………they have their owns interests……and they know what effect this kind of dialog has on the players involved………….. the bell is getting ready to ring………..

    • Bw52 says:

      Crdswmn-”ruination of the Cardinal organizations good name and reputation across MLB on account of Tony LaRussa”.
      Pure Fiction.

  11. Bw52 says:

    What is really amazing here is the way the fickle group has jumped ship and joined the frenzy to bash.Frontrunners galore.

    • RCWarrior says:

      I believe most here have been fair with the praise and also with the blame. The players win most of the games or lose them but Tony wants to play such a huge part of a Cardinal’s win or loss that he has to get more credit or blame than most managers.

      Ron Washington would most likely be the last manager to ever act like he created the game. He puts his players on the field and lets them play. Tony dictates every move that takes place in a game so when somebody knocks over half of the pieces on the chess board the person who set up the pieces gets the blame. Tony loves it when everybody talks about his baseball smarts so it is a story when the most brilliant baseball manager in the ML’s has four tires run off the rims……in one game.

  12. Bw52 says:

    Instead of worrying about the so-called bashing of the Cardinal organization by the talking heads this is what fans should be really worrying about;
    Cards batting with RISP 8-48 .167
    BA with 2 outs and runners on 5-28 .179
    BABases loaded 0-4 .000 2 runs
    BA runner 3B with less than 2 out 3-10 .300
    BA 2 outs and runners in scoring position 2-19 .105 Thank you Allen Craig 2-3 2 RBI

    Albert is 0-12 other than game 3.
    Holliday 3-18
    Berkman hitting good but few chances to get RBIs.
    This is what is killing the Cards.A simple single here and there could have changed things.Plain and simple fact is the offense has picked a helluva time to go South.

    • crdswmn says:

      I took my swipes at the players’ lousy performance last night. They all stunk except for Carp and Molina. My head is not in the sand or anywhere else it is not supposed to be.

      • Bw52 says:

        Crdswmn-never said it was.I simply think people should see the real problem instead of giving a damn about media or public perception.

        • crdswmn says:

          Fine, except the “real problem’ is not always what you think it is. Blaming the players entirely for every loss is easy, but most decidedly wrong.

          • Bw52 says:

            Crdswmn-right now the real problem is the hitters aren`t hitting.Last i looked the manager or coaches have n`t been getting ABs in the Series.
            Concerning the blame game which seems to be a favorite of yours and several others especially when it concerns TLR i will not argue with your crowd because i would not say nice things.So its better to look at what matters right now.

            • RCWarrior says:

              I have given Tony credit for this last 6 week upswing and also feel like he should get some credit for some lousy decisions last night. You are absolutely right that the hitting with RISP has gone the way of the dodo but the bullpen mismanagement last night was at the very least a large part of the reason for the loss.

              • Bw52 says:

                RCW-timely hitting would have made the bullpen mess a non factor.So who`s catching the heat for the loss……………..The manager gets the roasting while some fans gloss over the real problem why the Cards are behind 3-2.So if the Cards lose the WS are you going to stand with the group that blindly blames the manager or will you admit a whole lot of other factors where involved?

                • crdswmn says:

                  That’s just it, BW, no one is blindly blaming the manager. No one has argued that the players weren’t terrible But you see it as all or nothing. No equal share of blame, it must ALL be on the players. No blame for LaRussa ever. So let me ask you, if the Cards win the WS, can you say it is ALL the credit of the players and NONE for LaRussa? Using your apparent logic, you should. Frankly, I wouldn’t do that, because I think the manager and the players both have shares in winning or losing. You seem to think otherwise but only when a loss is involved.

                  • Bw52 says:

                    Crdswmn-Where`s the big headline about lousy hitting? Where are multiple threads about that? I see none.What i see is a screaming headline about 65 pitching changes.I see a Tony screwed this up,Tony screwed that up.Show the big screaming headline about 8-48 RISP hitting…………..In the mob hysteria the lousy hitting is just a minor point it seems.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      I don’t control headlines. I control what I say. I said the hitting was awful.

                      You didn’t answer my question.

                    • Bw52 says:

                      Crdswmn-i answered your question.You couldn`t be more wrong.I have said my opinion.Did i not say TLR has screwed upbefore and he will again.How many times does it take for you to understand my point about player production making any mistakes more glaring.Yet the media seems fixated on Tony mistakes which happened instead of whats really killing the team. I am absolving anyone of screwing up.I am seeing in my opinion the real reason the team is down 3-2.If that ticks off people because its not what they want to hear then sorry.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      No you didn’t answer my question. I didn’t expect you would. And I don’t believe you have EVER admitted TLR screwed up in any situation on this blog. Because if you had I would have dropped dead from shock. A vague “he has screwed up before” without any context doesn’t cut it.

                    • RCWarrior says:

                      The only thing I would point out to you BW is that imo TLR interjects himself into every game so that his responsibility in every win or loss is greater than most every other manager.

                      Defensive positioning is 100% on TLR. So when players are getting beat on certain balls in play the positioning errors are solely on TLR. Now drops and misses are on the player but positioning snafus are on TLR. Most teams go over scouting reports but the players are responsible for their positioning. TLR does all of that so he should get credit for it, not the players.

                      Pitching changes have an effect of the outcome of a game imo and who makes those changes? Surely not the players. So TLR should get credit for pitching moves since he is the one who makes them.

                      Decisions on bunting, hitting and running, stealing, and every other decision is the managers call on this team……well…..except for Albert being able to call his own hit and runs. :) So here again, TLR should get credit for these moves in combination with the player for executing his orders.

                      Hitting is 100% on the players. I don’t give Mark any credit for their successes or blame for their failures. This is the players responsibility. Every Cardinal player has their unique hitting style but the Cardinals just keep the guys who have a philosophy that matches their own imo. Most every Cardinal player has an opposite field hitting style which they had before they came to the Cardinals. Now does Mark work to hone this style? Yes, but he has not helped one guy change from a pull style to an other way style. So TLR does not get the credit or blame for the hitting. This is on the players.

                      As for pitching to contact, I give Dave a huge amount of credit for his work with the pitchers to hone this skill. He has proven to have helped many pitchers in changing their style of pitching. He hasn’t helped every one but he has shown that he can change a pitchers style. Mark Mc has not shown that he can do the same for a hitter. So I give TLR credit here as well for pitching successes because his coach does contribute to pitching victories.

                      In the end when you look at all aspects of the game you must give TLR a huge amount of credit for the players successes and subsequently failures in a win or a loss. I say this respectfully imo.

                  • Brian Walton says:

                    Well, I control what the headlines are here. The Cards set a post-season record last night. The fact that two of the moves were screwed up at a crucial point of the game made that even more notable.

                    I haven’t looked, but I highly suspect other clubs have had a couple of poor hitting games in a row before. Funny how the headlines a few days ago were about McGwire’s great success as hitting coach. Scoring 16 will do that.

                    • Bw52 says:

                      Brian- So are you going to headline a article about the hitting or lack therof no matter how the series turns out?

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      The two prior posts were about Pujols’ hitting, though those were both positive stories. Going forward, I will write about whatever interests me that has some compelling content behind it. Right now, the Cards are batting .229 as a team. If that slips further and the Series gets away, the subject might warrant a post. Will have to see…

            • Nutlaw says:

              There is no doubt that the Cardinals stopped hitting when it meant that they could score runs.

  13. Nutlaw says:

    Berkman is going to bat cleanup in Game 6, I read. That’s nice, as it would be unseemly to intentionally walk Pujols and Berkman back to back.

  14. JumboShrimp says:

    The bottom of the 8th has been overblown.

    TLR removed Carpenter. He had done enough, 7 more innings, after a long season. Good decision.
    Dotel came in to face right swinging cleanup hitter. Good decision, but Young hit a double. Just baseball.
    Dotel K’d Beltre. Good.
    The Cards intentionally walked Cruz, a dangerous hitter, setting up a DP possibility. Ok.
    Then the Cards bring in Rzep to face the left swinging Murphy. Murphy gets an infield hit, however. Its baseball, it happens.
    Rzep is pretty good against right swingers, so TLR stuck with him, given Moreland was on deck. Napoli is a good hitter and collects a double. A difficult decision that did not work out.
    Then Rzep Ks Moreland, lefty on lefty, the reason TLR kept him in the game.
    All the noise about Lynn versus Motte is irrelevant. We could have brought in Motte and walked Kinsler. Or we let Lynn walk him. Or we could have let Rzep walk him. TLR got to the right decision of letting Motte whiff Andrus.
    Bringing in Lynn to walk Kinsler looks odd and gives reporters something to write about, but the Cards lost on Napoli’s double, not the walk of Kinsler.

    • Brian Walton says:

      You conveniently left out the part in which TLR admitted he wanted Motte, not Rzepczynski, to face Napoli but his closer was not ready to enter the game. Turned out to be a very big deal.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Brian, regrettably, you are sorely mistaken, no surprise to me.

        I did not conveniently leave out anything, thanks. I did not read any of the fog of stories and claims. So how could I conveniently omit one, if I did not read any or all?

        The Cards brought in Rzep to face Murphy, lefty on lefty. A sound decision. Murphy, however, inconveniently bounced an infield single off Rzep or his glove.

        Did the Cards have Motte warmed up after 7.1 innings? Apparently not.

        If Lynn was warm, he could have been brought in to replace Rzep. And Rhodes could have been warmed for Moreland.

        Rzep has pitched extremely well of late and Napoli has hit HRs against RHPs. So TLR stuck with Rzep. I think we should focus on the objective facts of what actually happenned, not the fog of stories. TLR decided to stick with Rzep, since Napoli hits everybody, Motte was not ready, Rzep can get right swingers out, and Moreland was on deck.

        Its all background noise, only elevated by the publicity of the World Series. The bottom line fact is the Cards are down 3-2, headed home, and we shall see what happens in Game 6. The past is past.

      • crdswmn says:

        Do you know who said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts”, Brian?

        Hint—It was at the Watergate hearings and it was not one of the more well known suspects.

  15. JumboShrimp says:

    I figured out an explanation about the bottom of the 8th. Your closer is generally a guy you save for when you are ahead. You want him to ring up 3 outs, maybe 4, not more. If Motte comes in after 7 and a third and closes out the 8th, but the Cards lose in the bottom of the 9th, this would misuse the closer.
    Should TLR commit to Motte with just one out in the bottom of the 8th? That is usually too early for a closer and misuses him. So TLR elected to stay with a lefty who has been pitching great. Rather than take out Rzep after one batter, he chose to have him challenge Napoli. If Napoli pops out, TLR is a genius. Unfortunately Napoli doubled so TLR became a dunce.
    Once Napoli doubled, Rzep then mowed down the lefty, Moreland.
    It would have been smart have Rzep intentionally walk Kinsler, because it looks strange to bring in Lynn to walk a guy, even though it did not matter one way or the other.
    An irony is that you might as well have Motte to face Andrus, because with Feliz on the mound, the Cards are probably toast anyway and Motte can get a one out tune up, to keep in shape for Game 6, when we may need him.
    The only error in TLR made in the bottom of the 8th was bringing in Lynn to walk a guy. Otherwise his pitching decisions were fine.
    But its hard to explain to fans that when a game is on the line, we do not use our closer, but our second most effective reliever, who may be Rzep, because we save the closer for when we are ahead.
    Its also hard to explain bringing in Motte for a tune up, as a concession we are probably going to lose and will not need him in the bottom of the 9th. So TLR came up with a bunch of blah about the bullpen not hearing the name correctly on the phone.
    TLR is a wily rascal.

    • Brian Walton says:

      And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

    • RCWarrior says:

      Wow Jumbo. Now this is a nice piece of fiction. :)

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Nutlaw, the good Walton, says he likes a lie well told. Witty. And I happen to agree with him. Who does not like a well told story?

        TLR did not level with people, because sometimes the truth is hard for fans to handle. So there was a lot of gibberish about phones and names. Nutlaw and I do not buy nonsense like that.

        Here is the problem with the bottom of the 8th. The choices became not easy.

        It is easy to decide to bring in Dotel to face Young. Unfortunately there was a double.
        It is easy to bring in Rzep to face Murphy and challenge Washington to pinch hit with Gentry. Unfortunately Ron stuck with Murphy and he lucked into an infield single.
        Now the bases are loaded, but its early to commit to Motte with only 1 out and Rzep has been a hot pitcher.
        An unpleasant truth of baseball is that you save your best reliever for when you are ahead. It made sense to stay with Rzep. But its not a slam dunk, easy choice. If Rzep gets Napoli out, then Tony is Einstein. If Napoli gets a hit, Tony is a dunce.
        This is why we pay Tony $4MM/yr, to ignore all the second guessing. In an unsimple situation, he made the right decision and blamed the phones.
        Gotta love Tony!

  16. Bw52 says:

    Jumbo-keep the faith brother.There are few of us left.

  17. Bw52 says:

    Jumbo-watch out Jumbo its the Spanish inquisition around here today.There is no accepted opinion except theirs.Tough audience today.

  18. blingboy says:

    This clip including a bit of Tonytalk may be nothing new, but I hadn’t seen it. Seems like a good summary of happenings.

    Tony says Albert put on the hit and run.

    Says he said Motte and Zip and coach only heard Zip , then he said Motte and coach heard Lynn.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7150334

  19. blingboy says:

    Brian, I finally saw your challenge to identify the picture. I don’t think I would have thought of Lanier. Good job crdswmn.

  20. blingboy says:

    I saw somebady read somewhere that Lance is hitting 4th tomorrow. Presumably due to Matt not producing. It was also pointed out by somebody that Albert hasn’t produced either except for game 3. Our two big money guys are letting us down. Pick it up boys.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Tony stated………..under duress……….that Holiday would not hit 4th again………….. he has reneged……..that has backfired………at some risk to him………..the results of Tony’s Craig moves and Holiday move’s were predicted here…………..that did not go unnoticed by the Texas Rangers either……….they hammered Holiday with the AP walks…….just like Dusty would have……… Holidays lack of hitting adjustments……. considering the Ground Hog Day pitch sequence he see every time…….is kind of scary ………….. something tells me Tony will take back control of this team………..for at least one more day……….does he risk Skip at second…Craig in center? Just to keep screwing with everyones heads…..?????????

    • Brian Walton says:

      Didn’t Holliday have one of his better games the last time he was moved down in the order? Maybe like Albert, his play could benefit by him feeling a bit slighted and angry.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        He asked that be moved down. Mo requested he be moved down. Scott Boras likely called in to see if they weren’t actually pressuring his contract values………….. for some reason ……… maybe Tony wasn’t just trying to put AP in a good light against the 120 million…………. maybe he was trying to set up a CR scenario……….clear a little salary space…….for no on in particular……..

        • blingboy says:

          Westy you forgot the most likely explaination, Tony just misunderstood himself. Happens.

          There is an audience that will watch game 6 with the hated Cardinals facing elimination, that would not be watching had we won game 5. That, combined with a Cards win in game 6 setting up game 7 maximizes the total take. So clearly, the Cards need to take game 6. Hopefully, it will not take any bad phone connections.

  21. RCWarrior says:

    Lets get it on. Its gameday. I’m looking for Jaime to absolutely shove it up the Rangers tailpipe tonight as well as an offensive explosion by the cardinals bats. 8- 1 Cardinals is my prediction.

  22. blingboy says:

    Here’s the list of guys not signed for next year. It comes to 44% of the 25 man roster.
    There is always the chance of trades, too. So even if Mo is active this winter, there should be chances for minor league guys next spring.

    “Besides Pujols, the Cardinals will make hard decisions on whether to retain or abstain on pitchers Edwin Jackson, Arthur Rhodes, Octavio Dotel and Kyle McClellan, infielders Rafael Furcal, Nick Punto, Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker, catcher Gerald Laird and outfielder Corey Patterson.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_40fc07d0-7bb0-52fb-9e30-f259ad01bcba.html#ixzz1bzzNT0YQ

    • blingboy says:

      I guess we need to add Lilliquist to the list of question marks, in addition to The Genius. And Big Mac.

    • Bw52 says:

      BB- just for the hell of it my decisions on the FAs.
      Albert Pujols 1B-say bye Albert,enjoy California with the Angels or Dodgers-Angels owner likes to spend and wants to make a big splash.As for the Dodgers McCourts mess……..do you really think MLB will let that team not make a splash in someway.

      Nick Punto INF- i think he comes back to Cards as RH option to Descalso at SS or 2B
      Rafael Furcal SS-money finds him a home elsewhere.
      Skip Schumaker 2B-OF-Non-tendered and brought back at much lower price for reserve role.
      Ryan Theriot INF-will be in same situation as Schumaker.
      Gerald Laird C-bye and thanks.
      Corey Patterson OF-bye and thanks.
      Kyle McClellan P-If Albert stays Cards must cut somewhere………….KMac traded for a young INF prospect or LOOGY.
      Arthur Rhodes LP-signs for 1 year,close to minimum salary.
      Octavio Dotel P-Cards decline option.Bring him back at reduced salary.
      Edwin Jackson P-too pricey for Cards.Signs elsewhere…………..

      • blingboy says:

        All reasonable guesses 52. The Cubs will take a shot at Albert too, most likely, but I think he’ll be back. Epstein and Hoyer will want to be a force in the NL Central.

        My guess is none of the pitchers will be back.

        After the lesson learned this year, I say we start with a solid defensive SS next year. Whether that can be had cheaper than Furcal I don’t know.

        Skip is handy. Punto and Theriot depends on the evaluation of minor league guys.

        Jackson, Laird, Patterson no chance. Laird did a nice job.

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          BW you are probably right on the predictions.

          If I could choose, I would love to have at least Furcal and Dotel back. Was great to watch him at SS knowing that any ball hit in that vicinity would likely lead to an out. And Dotel had more good outings than bad. Skip is a good player and can trade time as well.

          I don’t know about Pujols. He’s gonna want a lot of money, but I don’t think he will go to the highest bidder alone, he is going to want to go somewhere he can make the playoffs and add to his rings and postseason records. That may give the cards an advantage, but who knows.

          While I am wishing, I would like to be able to trade Westbrook and keep Jackson, but probably not going to happen. I respect Jake, but I think this season he didn’t cut muster.

          • Bw52 says:

            KBB-If Albert goes to Angels he has a good supporting cast and the Angels were in the running until the last week.Moreno the Angels owner has tried the last couple of years to make a really big splash in FA.So you have a owner with big dollars who needs some offensive help and that equals a contender for Albert.Of course none of us will probably know how much and for how long the Cards will offer.I want Albert back as much as anyone although i really wouldn`t be surprised to see a big offer from elsewhere.

      • Nutlaw says:

        Definitely reasonable guesses, BW.

        I say that Pujols stays and thus Furcal, Theriot, Jackson, McClellan, and Dotel are gone. Punto has played too well to let walk and TLR won’t want to lose Skip. Cruz can take over for Laird. Patterson is pointless. Hopefully the Cards shy away from Rhodes at any price, but I wouldn’t put it past them to continue to ride over the hill relievers until they crumble.

  23. blingboy says:

    I happened to see this in the prospect section of the Cards website.

    “If the Cardinals re-sign Albert Pujols, they will likely let Adams give left field a try, with some thinking he’s athletic enough to handle it.”

    Seeing as LF is just as much of a roadblock as 1B would be, what is that supposed to mean?

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