St. Louis 6, Atlanta 5

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Cardinals at Braves

In case you haven’t heard, the Cardinals’ offense is really good. They got Tim Hudson for four runs in the first inning. The Braves came back to tie, but then the Cards got two more on a Pujols homer in the fifth, and the Braves got only one more run. He was probably a bit hit-unlucky, but his control simply wasn’t as sharp as it’s been.

Foster was perfect in the seventh, adding a strikeout; he still hasn’t given up a run. Gryboski and Bernero also pitched an inning apiece and allowed one hit each; Bernero also intentionally walked Pujols.

Chipper wasn’t in the lineup for the fourth straight game. He did get in as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, with two on, one out, and popped up. It’s probably all Andruw’s fault, as usual; he did go 2-2 with a walk and a HBP, driving in two, but if he wasn’t so awful he would have hit a homer instead of being hit by a pitch. Marcus was 3-4 and scored twice.

Bobby botched the ninth inning. He used Langerhans to run for Estrada after the latter singled (which moved Andruw to second) but wound up having nobody left on the bench but Eddie Perez to face a righthanded pitcher with two out. He was presumably hoping Chipper, who hit for Betemit in front of the pitcher’s spot, would win the game, but he probably should have used Hampton to run there. (That he should have used Hampton instead of Perez to hit is obvious.)

Morris versus Thomson tomorrow night. The Braves are a game back of the Marlins, actually a game and percentage points after the Marlins’ trip to Colorado was largely snowed out.

16 thoughts on “St. Louis 6, Atlanta 5”

  1. I was at tonights game. I can’t complain when we can hang with this Cardinals team without Chipper in the lineup. Giles is hitting lights out. Jordan is coming around. It feels like the team is starting to gel. Bonus fun: the college kids around me kept doing the Beavis laugh whenever Pujols was announced. That’s pretty funny.

  2. I hadn’t seen the whole game before the 9th, but wasn’t Laroche available to hit against the righty?

  3. Is it just me, or does it seem that Bobby ends up out finessing himself every time he goes against La Russa? They both seem to play a game of Spy vs. Spy against each other, La Russa going through his bullpen, using a pitcher to face one batter and then calling in another pitcher to do the same thing for another batter standing on the opposite side of the plate, while Cox, anticipating La Russa’s bullpen antics, picks the wrong person to pinch hit. Throw in a few squeeze plays and hit-and-runs on odd counts and you have a typical Braves-Cards game when these two are managing. What I’m saying is that Cox seems to get away from his game whenever he goes against La Russa. It’s as though he has something to prove to the man who’s ahead of him on the all-time wins list.

  4. Cox did screw this up. The problem was that Perez had already been announced to face lefty Ray King. After Cox pinch-ran for Estrada, when LaRussa brought in a righty there were no catchers remaining if Perez sat down in favor of Laroche. If Cox doesn’t pinch run for Estrada, he could have had either Perez face King (if LaRussa doesn’t pull King) or Langerhans/Laroche face the right hander.

  5. I wonder how many more at-bats they’re going to give Mondesi before they seriously consider him to be of marginal value? I’m hoping that warmer weather will thaw out his bat, but I’d hate to see another month like April.

  6. One of my biggest fears is unfolding. Jordan and Mondesi are hitting just enough to give Bobby false hope that they’ll turn it around.

  7. Yeah, Jordan’s 14 RBIs are a total fluke, just like his play in the outfield (notice the sarcasm). Let’s give him some credit. By the end of the year, I think the total production from the LF and RF positions will be equal to or better than last year. Jordan is batting .360 with RISP with a .680 slugging %. I’d say that’s pretty good situational hitting.

    Both starters were a little too pumped up for this one. I imagine Hudson/Mulder 2 will be very different.

  8. Is it just me, or does it seem that Bobby ends up out finessing himself every time he goes against La Russa?

    *cough*1996*cough*

  9. Yes, of course 1996 was different, a comeback that rivals Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS for drama, but what about all of the games, especially those in October, played between the Cards and Braves since then? I don’t think it’s so much that La Russa has Cox’s number; rather, Cox has placed himself in a trick bag.

  10. By the end of the year, I think the total production from the LF and RF positions will be equal to or better than last year.

    Line 1 below is Braves 2004 LF. Line 2 is Jordan’s 2005, projected to a full season:

    .296/.372/.489 89 R, 30 2B, 25 HR, 90 RBI
    .253/.314/.354 85 R, 14 2B, 14 HR, 99 RBI

    Line 2 below is Braves 2004 RF. Line 2 is Mondesi’s 2005, projected to a full season:

    .296/.420/.537 125 R, 32 2B, 31 HR, 98 RBI
    .205/.232/.333 35 R, 14 2B, 14 HR, 70 RBI

    In LF we got near-All-Star level performance in 2004. Jordan has had a few big hits this year, but if you think he’s going to sustain those runs and RBIs at his present level of ability, I’m not sure what to say.

    In RF, the above could be seen as replacing one of the 10 best players in baseball with one of the 10 worst. In fact, that’s exactly how I see it.

  11. Good point sansho. Jordan is playing closer to the level of the player(s) he replaced than Mondesi. Part of that is obviously a function of whose shoes each is filling.
    14 RBI are nice – but considering he got 1/3 (ok, 2/7) of them on one swing of the bat, it’s hard to give him too much credit. And if you want to bring up the ‘clutch’ argument (as in hitting .360 w/ RISP) – you can point to just as many times when the Braves offense has been struggling to see when he hit into DPs (or K’d) at critical times. If Jordan ends the year hitting within 20 pts of that .360 average w/ RISP, I’ll … well, couldn’t come up with an appropriate thing I’d do, but I’d be surprised/amazed/stunned.
    I’m not trying to pick on Brian, but if you’re going to have guys who are not going to post good numbers, I’d at least rather get some ABs to the guys who are on the right side of the growth/age curve.

  12. If Jordan and Mondesi are hitting 7th and 8th, like they were to start the season, they’re not necessarily liabilities. Unfortunately, Chipper’s hurt and Andruw and Estrada are slumping, so Jordan and Mondesi have been moved up in the lineup.

    That said, I don’t think batting them in the middle of the order against a lefty is that bad an idea. Jordan, at least, can hit a nickel slider from a lefty.

  13. If Jordan (and Mondesi) were mostly just a lefty-‘masher’ this year, that would be fine. But he’s out there all the time…

  14. Tonight’s (4/30) umpire might be the best thing that’s happened to KolBB this season…

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