The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Matheny’s distaste with pitching up and in

Prior to Wednesday’s game two of the Mets series in New York, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was asked about pitchers throwing at hitters. The spark was the Tuesday brawl between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, but the Cardinals have been involved in a number of hit-by-pitch incidents themselves.

As the following audio will clarify, Matheny’s biggest concern is targeting batters’ heads. Specifically he feels that when the catcher sets up for an up-and-in delivery, it indicates intent rather than an accident. He calls out one club the Cardinals play regularly as a particular offender.

One reason I posted this was a comment on another thread expressing concern about other teams targeting Cardinals hitters because of Matheny’s stance. I didn’t get that but others may. Listen and offer your thoughts below.

Link to audio: Mike Matheny speaks (2:58)

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6 Responses to “Matheny’s distaste with pitching up and in”

  1. blingboy says:

    The theory I put forward on another thread is that Mike’s ‘pacifist’ philosophy would not be a deterrent to other teams. Therefore it would put Cardinal batters at risk by encouraging opponents to use the HBP as an intimidation tactic to keep out hot hitters (M. Carp recently) off balance.

    As of now, the stats do not support that theory. While the Central leads the NL in HBPs, the Cards have been HBP less than anyone else.

    Pirates………38
    Reds………….36
    Brewers……..29
    Cubs………….25
    Cards…………21
    League Avg..21

  2. Brian Walton says:

    Class-A Peoria had its version last night. From the team:

    BENCH CLEARING NINTH: Clinton’s Oliver Garcia hit Wilson in the head in the top of the ninth. The Chiefs second baseman was on the ground for a few moments before walking off under his own power and leaving the game. The Chiefs retaliated in the bottom of the inning as Thomas Lee threw behind leadoff batter Gaby Guerrero. Lee and Chiefs manager Dann Bilardello were ejected as the benches emptied but no punches were thrown. After the two teams screamed at each other in front of the Clinton dugout, Robert Stock replaced Lee on the mound. Stock gave up two hits but got two strikeouts and a caught stealing to preserve the win.

  3. crdswmn says:

    Head hunting is bad. Period. Any team who targets the head is reprehensible.

    That said, I think Matheny is a little too passive when it comes to retaliation. It isn’t a big deal in my book to plunk a guy in the back to send a message.

    But I don’t see it as a deterrence issue. I think pitching inside is just part of the game and a team is not going to do it more to a team with a more passive manager. Unless the goal is to hit the player on purpose.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Here’s a rundown of the discipline by MLB:

      • Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks: 10-game suspension.

      • Eric Hinske of the Diamondbacks: five-game suspension.

      • J.P. Howell, Skip Schumaker and Mark McGwire of the Dodgers: two-game suspensions each.

      • Ronald Belisario and Don Mattingly of the Dodgers and Kirk Gibson of the Diamondbacks: one-game suspensions each.

      • Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke of the Dodgers and Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra of the Diamondbacks: all fined an undisclosed amount, but not suspended.

      • The players/coaches suspended were all fined an undisclosed amount too.

      • The Dodgers as a team were assessed an additional fine for letting players from the disabled list leave the bench.

      What I see in this is the treatment of Kirk Gibson being way to light so that it doesn’t compromise Mattingly who is vulnerable…………. Gibson was clearly using this as a tactic to stay in contention by attacking Puig. Now he loses a pitcher for 2 starts which is where MLB put the damage to the D-backs. Dodgers are going to climb back into this thing…………..one way or another.

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