The Cardinals have to pull it together tonight as they face the Giants for game two of the series.
After a three game slide, it is time for the Cardinals to pick up the pieces they have and build a team. The Cardinals are far too talented to be as inconsistent as they have been on both sides of the ball. I cannot blame Matheny for his choice of Marcos pitching last night, he was the right choice given injuries. I do blame Matheny for the bats. Mark Ellis is terrible. There is no escaping that fact. Peralta is not panning out at shortstop and that $50 million dollar contract is feeling more painful every day to season ticket holders. As far as I am concerned, the Cardinals need both a new second baseman and a new shortstop—preferably one whose stats are more reliable than when he was on steroids.
That being said, Adam Wainwright (10-4, 2.04) comes to the mound tonight as the top gun. He outpowers Ryan Vogelsong, (5-4, 3.96) who lets up twice as many runs over nine innings. But, as has been the case all season, the best pitcher does not always win. Wainwright should have 14 wins or more with a 2.04 ERA. He is one of the best pitchers in the league but is not being credited because of the sluggish performance of his teammates.
The Cardinal injuries have been focused around the pitching staff. Even though the infield is relatively intact, without a near-flawless performance on the mound, the Birds will not win. The Cards have batted .156 in their past three games. The Cardinals are batting .248 during the rest of the season which is about average. However, they have 28th best slugging percent. Alone, that statistic is abysmal. Team that statistic with 28th for most runs scored which would normally put a team at the bottom of any division.
The time has come to pick up batters. I am not sure if Matheny realizes that his team is now only four games above .500 and may soon fall to fourth in the division given the recent successes of the Reds and the Pirates. Our team is only 0.5 games away from that outcome. Yes, the pitchers are injured. And yes, David Price would be a stellar pick up for any team, but sometimes it is more essential to buy what you need instead of what you want. Matheny is eyeing a great pitcher when the team needs, at the very least, two reliable bats. If the Cardinals got Rollins and Utley from Philly in exchange for a combination of prospects and relief pitchers, they could win the 2014 World Series handedly.
Of course, this is a pipe dream.
Game time is 9:15 (CST) in San Fransisco.