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Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Escaping The Big Apple

St. Louis Cardinals chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Late Monday afternoon, I joined Jim Brinson and Joe Quinn on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in a special installment of this year’s series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” I reported from New York’s Citi Field after the Mets defeated the Cards in three of four games.

Cardinals followers in central Iowa can again catch Cardinals radio broadcasts on KXnO as well as my regular segment each Friday afternoon throughout the season, either over the air or via streaming. My appearances are sponsored by WCI Pools and Spas.

Click here for audio: Brian Walton with Jim Brinson and Joe Quinn (9:00)

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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27 Responses to “Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Escaping The Big Apple”

  1. blingboy says:

    Bernie doesn’t understand why Scrabble continues to be used against righties. Perhaps somebody who knows could explain it to him.

    He also thinks Shelby could be an effective late inning power arm out of the pen. He looks at Lynn as an example.

    • blingboy says:

      To clarify, he pointed to the circumstances when Lynn was brought up to fill a spot in the pen. Which was a primer to later move into the rotation.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Matheny is good, but even he can’t control both dugouts.

      Shelby doesn’t appear ready in several aspects.

      • blingboy says:

        I’m not sure I understand your first statement. Loogies are used as lefty specialists routinely by managers who have no more ability than Mike to control the opposing dugout. If the issue is controlling his own, well, that’s another thing I suppose.

        As to Shelby, I understand that what you say is the common wisdom of those in position to know, and don’t dispute it. I think the point is that ready for the rotation is quite a different thing from ready to improve the pen. I’m not saying he is or isn’t, but something needs to happen, and I’m not hearing any better ideas.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Often the other manager counters with a RH pinch-hitter. In other cases a RHH will be in between two LHHs and the pitcher has to face the second to get to the third. A team needs an LHR that can also get out RHH.

  2. blingboy says:

    One in the filter.

  3. WesPowell says:

    The primary problem when it comes to relief pitching in baseball is the use of the closer. Whoever you consider to be your best relief pitcher should never come in to start the ninth up 3 runs. That is wasted time for your best. Instead of using them there, better to find situations where they may have strong influence in turning a possible loss into a win. Even something like being DOWN one run, opposing team batting in the top of the ninth with their big sticks up. You really want to hold them there and then try and tie it up and maybe win. Or use the closer more often in tie games in the 8th or 9th

    But the closers and their agents would have a stroke.

    • Brian Walton says:

      The way the save rule is defined helps drive that use. If they could move to a more discretionary awarding of the save to the most crucial outs of the game, it would change behavior of managers in how and when they use the closer.

      One problem is that scorers have turned to complete mush. They don’t even call errors when fly balls bounce out of fielders’ gloves. How would they ever deal with this?

      On Monday, Motte should have earned his save with the final out of the 8th, when he retired Wright with the tying run on third base.

      • blingboy says:

        Agree about the mush. Its absurd. Matheny had one deflect off his glove the other day and it was a wild pitch.

      • WesPowell says:

        DAMN good idea. A guy can get s save without being the last pitcher.

        • Nutlaw says:

          Agreed. Closer usage makes little sense. You’d think that some manager would break with recent tradition for the clear advantage. I’ve heard some relievers complain about not knowing when they will be used if they don’t have innings-defined roles, but my response is that if they were good enough to pitch as starters, they wouldn’t have a problem. Pitching 70 innings a year is a soft job.

  4. blingboy says:

    1. Rafael Furcal, SS
    2. Daniel Descalso, 2B
    3. Matt Holliday, LF
    4. Allen Craig, RF
    5. David Freese, 3B
    6. Matt Adams, 1B
    7. Shane Robinson, CF
    8. Tony Cruz, C
    9. Jaime Garcia, P

  5. WesPowell says:

    The closer is used time after time in a situation,–one inning of pitching needed and give up less than 3 runs. It’s utterly ridiculous. A 9.00 ERA guy looks good in that predicament.

  6. WesPowell says:

    I can GUARANTEE you that if the save rule were changed to holding a 1 run lead in the ninth instead of a 3 run lead, managers would immediately be finding better situations to use the closer than up 3 starting the ninth.

  7. WesPowell says:

    Not to mention the fact that being up 3 in the ninth, the closer comes in like John Wayne and retires the 6th, 7th, and 8th place hitters to end the game it is deemed that he SAVED the game.

    A bit strong on the terminology there in my book.

  8. WesPowell says:

    The up 3 runs with an inning to go would be a good place for your LONG reliever. In other words the worst one. The guy you put in down 7-1 in the 5th.

  9. WesPowell says:

    If a rally starts on him and they get a run, with runners on, then you may entertain bringing in the best.

  10. WesPowell says:

    I always enjoy the situation where team A, is ahead by 3 runs and batting in the top of the ninth. As they bat their closer warms up. Then they score a run, and the closer sits back down and some other guy gets up and comes in, or the guy that pitched the 8th stays in.

    Boy that has to feel good for them. We can trust you, I guess, with the 4 run lead but you are too risky at 3.

  11. WesPowell says:

    My guess is that a position player would be over 50 percent closing games up 3 and getting 3 outs.

  12. WesPowell says:

    I don’t know if you guys recall, but I attended a game the Cardinals played at Cincy in 2009. The Reds had a 3-0 and Pujols came to bat in the eigth bases loaded one out. Pujols hit a grand slam against David Weathers one of their set up guys for the closer Cordero. On the way back home we listened to the post game call-in show on the car radio and they were debating it to high heaven.

    There is NO debate. If you are going to pitch to Pujols there, you do it with your number one guy. Or you walk him.

  13. WesPowell says:

    A case can be made that if your team had a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning, and the opposition had bases loaded and Bonds in his prime at bat, if you do pitch to him it should be the closer.

    • blingboy says:

      Send in a chump to drill him. Then use your middle relief guys to protect a 3 run lead with Bonds not up. Your closer may be needed to face Bonds later.

      • WesPowell says:

        Yes, drill him or walk him. I said if you are up 4-0 in the fifth inning and do face Pujols, or Bonds, or Babe Ruth with the baes loaded and you DO elect to pitch to him, it should be the closer. THAT will probably be his most signifigant at bat in the game towrds winning and losing. If he comes up again later with runners on you cross that bridge when you come to it.

  14. WesPowell says:

    By the way, whenever Pujols delivers his hall of fame induction speech, in the list of thank yous part he should give a shout out to Reds pitching staffs. 171 starts, 228 hits, 52 doubles, 46 homers, 146 runs scored, 143 RBIs, .350 batting average, .430 on base, .641 slugging, and 1.072 OPS….and 10 for 10 stealing.

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