Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: losing

Not Okay

Throughout the course of the season teams go through various ups and downs. The Brewers, the very team staring down from first place at us, had a seven game losing streak themselves early on in the season. In 2006, the Cardinals had two eight game losing streaks en route to winning the World Series. Obviously stranger things have happened.

That doesn’t mean they should.

Losing makes me grumpy. Blowouts, lost leads, walk offs, they all bum me out. I’m far from a fair weather fan, and if anything I’m a glutton for punishment, seeing as how I watched all the way down to the very last pitch the last three games, and the two that I was in attendance for in Milwaukee I stayed in my seat until the players were shaking hands. I know things will swing back around.

They always do.

Already last night, it was obvious the difference that Matt Holliday makes in the lineup, especially since he wasted no time showing that he hadn’t lost a millisecond in his bat swing. Likewise, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina set off some fireworks of their own with home runs. It felt like those early in the season sweet moments when you knew that the team was going to find a way to win. Especially after managing to tie it up (TWICE), I could feel it coming!

There was something missing last night. Table setters. Home runs rock, but solo home runs don’t get just too many runs up on the board, especially when the other team is finding ways to get two and three runs at a time via the home run or just some good old fashioned small ball. Having the top two in the order (Tyler Greene and Colby Rasmus) having 0-for-5 nights hurt, but 2 double plays, an 0-for-5 for the team with runners in scoring position, and a team total of 7 left on base makes it tough to win ballgames.

But you know, I sure like watching games like that more than blowouts or lost leads. To me that says that there are minor adjustments to make, and when the support team is all getting back in the game, things will get better.

Then again, maybe the boys just need some home cooking. Just in time! Tonight they’re back at home, facing those visitors from the west side of the state in the Royals. The Cards took 2 of 3 from the Royals back in May, but since then the Royals have gone 8-14 and tumbled even further down the AL Central standings. Seeing as how the Brewers, Cardinals, Reds and Pirates are all withing a handful of games of each other, now would be a great time to pick up a few quick wins.

Go Cards! ūüôā

In a Perfect World…

It’s been awhile since we went on a field trip here on Diamond Diaries, but Daniel Shoptaw has graciously lent me the keys for the day over at C70 at the Bat, so I would be remiss not to send you over there to see my rambling in two places today!

a perfect worldSo let’s talk perfection today, shall we? In a perfect world, Adam Wainwright would never have needed Tommy John surgery, Matt Holliday would have never tweaked whatever it was in his leg that he tweaked (yes I looked it up… it was referred to as a “thigh ailment”… helpful!), David Freese wouldn’t have gotten himself plunked on the hand, Miguel Batista would be playing for some other team, and Ryan Franklin would be hunting.

Let’s rewind a bit to the opening day roster. Per¬†cardinals.com, this is how it was set:

Pitchers (12)
Bryan Augenstein
Miguel Batista
Mitchell Boggs
Chris Carpenter
Ryan Franklin
Jaime Garcia (L)
Kyle Lohse
Kyle McClellan
Trevor Miller (L)
Jason Motte
Brian Tallet (L)
Adam Wainwright (DL)
Jake Westbrook

Italics indicate starter

Catchers (2)
Gerald Laird
Yadier Molina

Infielders (6)
Daniel Descalso (L)
David Freese
Tyler Greene
Albert Pujols
Nick Punto (S) (DL)
Skip Schumaker (L)
Ryan Theriot

Outfielders (5)
Lance Berkman (S)
Allen Craig
Matt Holliday
Jon Jay (L)
Colby Rasmus (L)

Playing my perfect world scenario, I would have a healthy Waino, McClellan would have been in the pen in place of Augenstein, and Batista would be playing somewhere else so Fernando Salas would have made the cut. In addition, with a healthy Punto, Tyler Greene would be doing what he does best – playing like an All-Star in Memphis.

Since Opening Day, this lineup has been blown to kingdom come, and not just the perfect world that only exists in my head either. It was noted recently that the Cardinals have utilized the disabled list 12 times already this year, when last year they used it 13 times… all season. Holliday has gone down. Craig has gone down. Skippy¬†went¬†down and was brought back too soon. Punto has risen from the dead and gone back down. Freese wasn’t wrapped in enough bubble wrap. Laird is down. McClellan was down. Tallet was down.

in-a-perfect-world-errorAll of that doesn’t even include the mental injuries to Franklin, Theriot’s forgetting how to play¬†the infield on any given night, Batista’s being not very good at baseball, Rasmus’s apparent mental lapses on fly balls, and the fact that Schumaker is still trying to be an infielder. I know, some of this is a little harsh, but I’m living in fantasy land, and there are no errors in my perfect world.

Here’s the thing – even with all the injuries and drama the Cardinals have gone through this year, they’ve been in first place a total of 50 days this year, and currently sit at 38-31, even with a 5 game losing streak suffered over the past week. I agree, there is no reason at all that Livan Hernandez should have looked anything like the relatively good pitcher he did yesterday, but it happened. The bad news train kept on chugging yesterday as it was discovered that Allen Craig had been misdiagnosed, and his original sore knee was actually a fractured patella(!!!!!!!!). I’ll save my “How do you miss that you morons?!?!?!!!!!!!111111111” rant, just know that I was upset about that.

The good news is that the worst is nearing the end. Matt Holliday comes back tonight, and after watching him in batting practice Saturday night in Milwaukee, I can safely say he hasn’t lost anything in his swing. He will be a very welcome addition to a scuffling lineup.

Also, I would like to apologize on behalf of Cardinal Nation. I was in attendance for last Friday night’s game in Milwaukee, the first of the Cardinal’s current losing streak. The good news is that one of my sisters who is working in the DC area this summer will be at tonight’s game, so hopefully she can break the family curse. Just in case, I won’t share her Twitter handle. Direct all your family angst to me please. ūüėČ

The Simple Proof – Wins and Losses

Yesterday’s game was frustrating. The offense is obviously frustrating, but for some reason I was fixating on the defense, so today you’re getting a little middle infielders by the numbers. Erika and I (along with several other diehards in Cardinal Nation) had a collective heart attack when we heard that Brendan Ryan and Jon Jay were the two names that had been potentially offered to the Astros in return for Roy Oswalt. Now, I don’t think this is actually a true offer, just a rumor, sent out into the world to make fans spaz out and scribes scramble to find out whether or not it is actual fact or fiction. We won’t go into that one any more today…

CardinalsCandids.com

After seeing a couple of botched double plays yesterday afternoon, and hearing one of our middle infielders dropped into trade talks made me wonder what this team has looked like with our various fielders in and out of the games.


I’ll admit – I didn’t go too in-depth on this one. I think you will see that it wasn’t particularly necessary. All I did was look at sheer numbers – did the team win or lose on any given day with any given player playing at various positions. So here it is – Aaron Miles, Tyler Greene, Felipe Lopez, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan by the wins and losses:


With Miles…

  • starting at 2B: 3-4
  • starting at 3B: 0-1

I’ll admit, this is a very small sample size. Fair enough. Moving on.


With Greene…

  • starting at 2B: 2-2
  • starting at SS: 6-7

This is still a small sample size. Let’s keep going.


With Lopez…

  • starting at 2B: 6-5
  • starting at SS: 6-10

The numbers are getting bigger, and they are starting to paint a picture.


For Schumaker and Ryan I looked at it a little differently. They both have started in just the one position (in the middle infield at least), and I was curious as to how they fare with and without each other. Let’s look at Skippy first.


For Skip…

  • starting at 2B: 43-29
  • starting with either Lopez or Greene: 12-13
  • starting with Brendan: 31-16
  • sitting on the bench at the start: 11-14

The number line to catch here: Skip and Brendan in the lineup together has produced a Cardinals team that is 15 games over .500. Yes, I did contact Erika when I found that out. She and I thought the same thing, ‘No way and HECK YES!‘ But we’re just getting started…


For Brendan…

  • starting at SS: 42-20
  • starting with either Lopez, Greene or Miles: 11-8
  • staring with Skip: 31-16
  • sitting on the bench at the start: 12-23

This absolutely blew my mind. Brendan Ryan in the lineup equates to 22 games over .500, and out of the lineup is 11 games under. 

Scott Rovak – US Presswire



I think the answer is simple. Put Brendan and Skip in the lineup and let them play. Just by observation (read: don’t yell at me for the next¬†sentence – it’s my observation), it looks like Brendan and Skip have the easiest¬†camaraderie¬†on the field. I don’t know if it’s because they have played together more than any of the other pairings (although that would make sense) or if they just blend the best. Obviously they have both had their share of errors, miscues and otherwise ugly plays this year. The fact of the matter remains – Brendan and Skip in the lineup together has produced winning baseball.


Wins and losses don’t lie.

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