A Bilge-Sucking Road Trip


I missed two of the three games in the Pittsburgh series.  I had somewhere else to be.  Even the one I did watch was painful.  Winning in PNC Park is always difficult, but winning almost anywhere this season has not been a walk in the park.  This team scores runs like many of my students do their classwork.  They do just enough to look good and then sit back and relax.  Then the end of the class is near and they realize they need to hurry up and finish the assignment, but there is not enough time left.  Or, like some other of my students, do nothing at all and then say they REALLY tried.  Sound familiar?

I have to put up with that behavior at school, I never thought my baseball team was going to treat me the same way.

I miss the days when the Cardinals scored twelve runs in one inning against the Cubs.  What the heck happened?  It’s possible that this team is just not as talented as I thought they were.  If so, John Mozeliak has some work to do in the offseason.

The ironic thing is that the Cardinals could still make the playoffs, despite their lackluster play.  This is the astounding part.  The pitching and the defense have kept them in it.  There has not been a powerhouse team in the NL this year.  No contending team this season has blown anyone’s socks off.  The World Series could be pretty lopsided.

I have been doing too many of these hand-wringing posts for my taste.  It’s redundant and I need to stop.  This team is what it is.

Tuesday night was the game I did get to watch.  I, like many others, was astounded when Mike Matheny left Seth Maness in to pitch to Ike Davis.  It was such a terrible decision that one of the Pirates fans that I follow on Twitter even remarked about how bad it was.   Pirates fans were expecting a pitching change, because Ike Davis is lost against left handed pitching, and when it didn’t happen they were extremely grateful for the gift they were about to receive.

Matheny explained his blunder….err…….decision by saying he knew if he brought in Randy Choate that Clint Hurdle would counter by calling back Davis and putting in a right handed pinch hitter.  My response to that is……So?   Hurdle was working with a short bench that night, and the only players he had left after Davis were Jordy Mercer and his back up catcher, Chris Stewart.  There was no way Hurdle was going to burn his back up catcher in a tie game in the 8th inning, so he would have brought in Mercer.  Mercer hits lefties well, but he is not a power hitter.  He has only hit 2 HRs against lefties this year, and none as a pinch hitter.  On the other hand, Ike Davis has hit all 10 of his HRs this year against right handed pitching, and 3 of them as a pinch hitter.

Of all the right handed pitchers for Matheny to allow to pitch to Davis, Maness was the absolute worst choice.  A fastball (sinker)/changeup pitcher who lives in the strike zone pitching to a dead pull hitter?  Yeah, that was going to end well.  I mean, does Matheny even have this hitter profile information available to him or does he just wing it?

If Matheny had put Choate in and Hurdle had countered with Mercer, that would have forced Hurdle to essentially burn his bench (remember the only player left was the back up catcher) in a tie game.  Unlike Matheny, I have doubts that he would have done it.  Even if he had, I like my odds with Mercer/Choate much better than Davis/Maness.  Much. Much. Better.

Remember that Pirate fan who couldn’t believe Matheny didn’t make a pitching change?  Well, he also thought Matheny should be fired for that move.  Must be a closet Cardinal fan.

Oh well, time to move on to the next head scratcher.  I’m done here.


Thank you for reading.


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1 Comment

  1. blingboy

     /  August 30, 2014

    I had been meaning to compliment you on your article titles. Very refreshing. Bilge Sucking is perfect. Perhaps you could work in ‘Chum Bucket’ one of these days. 🙂



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