Cardinal baseball, from the girls
An Interesting Game
May 5, 2011Posted by on
There are many beautiful things about the game of baseball. The smell of the grass. The pop of the glove. The crack of the bat. Many people have written many words about its beauty. Announcers talk about all the things that make the game great. They have to use a variety of words and probably constantly find themselves looking for new ways to describe a 6-4-3 or a routine fly ball. I think of Bob Uecker’s character Harry Doyle in Major League 2 when it comes to summing up baseball on some days…
A lot of words are flying around about last night’s game with the Marlins. I could pick out a few right now – awkward, rollercoaster-esque (okay, I made that one up), ugly, confusing – but there was one word last night that is just stuck in my mind.
Interesting. It was an interesting game.
I won’t rehash all of the issues with the Cardinals defense this year. Emily did that quite nicely yesterday. 28 errors in 31 games. I’ve seen better lines on slow pitch softball church league teams… with me in the lineup (all bat, no arm). It’s just… bad.
Yadi’s throws were scaring me last night. All the errors are terrible. No error is a good error (unless it is made by the opposition… or the Cubs), but seeing Yadi throw the ball away twice in a game just hit a nerve with me. I was good with Berkman being a less than average defender (and he hasn’t embarrassed himself totally out there). I’ve been able to make peace with second base being sub-par (although I think Dirty Danny D, with consistent playing time, could change that). I’ve forced myself to deal with Theriot at short (but that doesn’t mean I like it).
But Yadi throwing balls into the outfield? I can’t handle it. It makes me sick. I take his defense for granted, and dangit, I can’t say that about many players. I need it for someone, and I thought it was him.
More interesting, although rather unsurprising, was Carpenter’s start. I’m not going to say that Carpenter is pitching poorly this year, because he’s obviously not. Last night he threw roughly 110 pitches and 67 strikes over six innings. A roughly 60% strike rate? Not great. Fell behind in the count, walked some guys. He also fussed at a couple of Marlins after Hanley Ramirez made an interesting slide after he was already out at home, the ump called a close play at first against Carp, and when Ramirez reacted after grounding out and Carp got on him about that. Geeze. I honestly just don’t like seeing his hot-headedness come out like that. Nothing good comes of it. Some players become more effective when angry – the anger propels them to perform at their peak. When Carp gets hot-headed he doesn’t really get good results.
People compare Carp’s intensity to Bob Gibson. I hate that comparison, and that’s not a knock to Carpenter so much as it is a rather severe nod to the excellence of Gibson. Dude tried to pitch on a broken leg. He was accused of being surly, crass, and borderline rude. The words I would use to describe Carp (besides intense, obviously)? Fierce is fair, but after that… crabby. No really. When he does things like that, it seems like a hissy fit from an old man yelling at you to get off his lawn to me. I have no idea where that image of Carp came from, but it’s all I see.
This game exhausted me. Thankfully it never felt out of reach. This is a team that has the ability to come back, and they honestly almost did at the end, despite it all. It was just… interesting. I caught this tweet last night, and all I could do was agree…
Early start today – 12:45PM Central. Westbrook is on the hill to hopefully continue to forget his first few starts of the year and continue with the momentum he’s built in his last two outings. Go Cards! 🙂
Note: Coming up this Saturday is the UCB Progressive Game Blog. It looks like we have drawn the seventh inning, which could mean either we spend our time talking about how great the starting pitching is, how Tony is using the bullpen, hoping the team holds on or cheering for a comeback. Either way, it should definitely be exciting! Head on over to the UCB website to see the entire roster of blogs for the event!