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

Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Don’t overlook Milwaukee and San Diego

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

Late Friday afternoon, I joined Ken Miller and Jim Brinson on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our regular series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” This week, we discussed the Cardinals upcoming schedule, with the Brewers coming into Busch before a big West Coast road trip.

Cardinals followers in central Iowa can again catch St. Louis 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 Ken Miller and Jim Brinson (9:15)

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16 Responses to “Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Don’t overlook Milwaukee and San Diego”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    No losses are good, but that was a bad one. Its not good to lose at home. Its a pity to waste great contributions from Lohse, Motte, and Molina.

    I deplore how Matheny uses Motte. Jason is a terrific closer and precious asset for the team. He should be saved for closing situations, that’s it. No 2 innings appearances. No tie appearances. We already have an iffy bullpen, without misusing and abusing our best reliever. It is better to lose behind Lance Lynn in the 9th or 10th inning, than to lose in a later inning.

    TLR used to win about 5 games a year, while Matheny probably is costing us 5, through immature tactical judgment. That’s a big swing.

    • crdswmn says:

      The team hits like crap with RISP and plays iffy defense and you think when Matheny used Motte was the problem? Oh brother.

      Only using your best reliever in closing situations is a load of crap. You use him when he can best help the team. The offense once again failing to capitialize on opportunities put the team into extra innings in the first place, and the continued lack of offense plus a bad pitch by Lance Lynn lost the game.

      • Nutlaw says:

        I agree, crdswmn. The entire concept of a save situation is horribly outdated and exists only to drum up value for the relatively worthless players who work a third as much as their starting counterparts. Collecting stats for his players rather than attempting to get wins for his team was one of TLR’s clear weaknesses. Pitching Motte when it mattered most to the team made most sense, and he only threw 20 pitches over those two innings, so no harm was done.

        I watched between innings eight and eleven, then had to go to sleep. The bottom of the eleventh was painful. If you can’t score with runners on second and third with one out, you don’t deserve to win. Ryan Jackson can’t bunt, and frankly shouldn’t have been bunting at that point with the defense pulled so far in. You can’t trust the guy to hit the ball eighty feet? While the five man infield that followed was neat, seeing Bryan Anderson misused as a pinch hitter (rather than his proper role as a bullpen catcher) over Lance Berkman was preposterous. Why not just walk off of the field at that point and go to sleep? The guy had a .619 OPS in Triple A!

        Chambers looked solid in the outfield, at least.

        With two hits and two walks, Matt Carpenter again showed why he needs to be playing every day. They waited too long to play Craig every day and they are doing the same thing with Carpenter. It isn’t as though it’s some big secret that young players tend to get better while old, injured ones only get worse.

        • crdswmn says:

          Matheny bunts way, way too much. It is one of my pet peeves. Couple that with the fact that no one on this team seems to know how to bunt, and you have a double whammy of suck.

          I wonder if this use of Anderson and Kozma is some sort of last ditch attempt to rehabilitate players that many think should be released to begin with. If so, now is the absolute worst time to do that. Of course, some of us here have already expressed the opinion that neither of them should be on the team anyway, so I may just be preaching to the choir.

          I hate to say this, but Beltran is not helping this team. Benching him for a while (more than a day or two) and putting Matt Carpenter in the lineup everyday would be something I would not object to.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    For WC: TLR tells a Boston station that he is done managing. He is just being sneaky, right? ;-)

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      But he’s taking 6am phone interviews from Boston while lying in bed? The slurring of speech is part of his life now. Even though at the time it was just a form of dementia caused by the steroids in his shingles medications………. He did say the Selig had him studying the situation in the interview…..Dave might not be able to return from his personal challenges either……. Which are formidable. If I took the job, reluctant savior is how I would try to seem too. I’m watching with interest……..How about those Redbirds.

  3. Nutlaw says:

    I’m all for protecting young pitchers, but shutting down Strasburg during Washington’s first playoff run in ages is criminal. If they absolutely needed to limit his innings, they could have given him more of a breather during mid-season, but opting to shut down their best pitcher before the playoffs when there’s nothing actually wrong with him is entirely contrary to the very core of competitive sports. The team with the best record in the game shouldn’t be playing for future seasons. When this backfires on them, I hope that their fans don’t force another relocation down the road.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I think the Nationals should/could have handled it differently, but if the club wants to make the tradeoff, it seems within their rights to do so, even if unpopular with fans.

      My guess is that being in first place this late in the season has surprised them.

      • Nutlaw says:

        No one can force them to try to win, but they’ll have to deal with the consequences.

      • Nutlaw says:

        And the fun thing about strikeout pitchers, especially those dependent upon high MPH fastballs, is that their windows tend to be rather short. Pitch speed tends to peak very, very early on in life. The first graph listed here demonstrates it well: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/pitcher-aging-curves-starters-and-relievers/

        So maybe Strasburg learns to adjust to the loss of some of his heat and maybe he doesn’t. We know that he doesn’t want to stop pitching right now. The Nationals may think that because they are young that they’ll only be stronger in the coming seasons, but while Zimmermann has great control, Gonzalez and Strasburg are getting by on their strikeout rates. None of them are ground ball pitchers.

        This won’t last as long as they think it will. I personally wouldn’t give up the chance at gold now for future hopes.

        • Nutlaw says:

          You don’t build long term around guys like Strasburg, or Shelby Miller for that matter. There is no long term for those guys, not by any certainty. You burn them quick while they still have value.

  4. Bw52 says:

    This could also mean Washington feels confident enough in their other pitchers to hold on to the lead.In their view having Strasburg for multiple seasons is better than taking a bigger chance on overworking him now.How do you know it will backfire?

    • Brian Walton says:

      The Nats have painted themselves into an ugly PR corner. Unless they win the World Series, some segment of fans will blame the failure on how they (mis-)handled the Strasburg situation. Count on it.

      Too bad they didn’t call up Ari Fleischer ahead of time. Heck, he may still be local.

  5. crdswmn says:

    I’m leaving for Springfield in about an hour to watch the Baby Birds in a playoff game.

    I hope the Big Birds play better tonight.

  6. Nutlaw says:

    Carpenter got a cut on his hand and had to leave the game after his bat shattered. If only they had invented some sort of hand covering to prevent this sort of injury … a glove for batting, as it were.

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