You a big talking points guy or gal?
Then game 37 was right up your ally. Anything and everything the Cardinals do poorly was on display over 9 innings in Pittsburgh Saturday night. Dennis Green was somewhere smiling.
Let’s parse out the evidence…
Exhibit A: The Cardinals are not a good team.
Their record in 2014 drops below .500 again (18-19) and they are 5.5 games back of the Brewers in the Comedy Central.
Exhibit B: Peter Bourjos is a good defensive player and a bad offensive player.
Another 0-fer dropped his average to .209, including a big whiff in the top of the 8th with one out and Matt Adams on second representing the tying run. All he needed to do was make contact to get Big Mayo over to 3rd and pick up Mark Ellis (who botched a bunt attempt, then struck out as well), instead he bolstered the case that he needs contacts, not playing for contact. He immediately made a great catch in the bottom of the 8th.
Exhibit C: Mike Matheny sometimes may not know what he’s doing.
He lets Bourjos bat for himself in a contact situation. Then lets Tony Cruz bat for himself when a big hit is needed. Arguably his most consistent offensive weapon, Yadier Molina, was on the bench and didn’t get to hit. The cardinal sin of management? Going down without firing your best bullets.
Exhibit D: Lance Lynn can’t avoid the big inning.
He gets a 3 run lead. Is cruising. And then gets in some trouble in the 4th before letting it snowball into 1 run deficit. Somehow, the ability to admit to himself that every game won’t be a shutout and limit damage has escaped Lynn pretty much his entire career. Tonight was no different.
Exhibit E: Cardinals can’t hit with RISP and/or Allen Craig… what happened?
Cardinals get 2 on in the top of the 9th. Allen Craig comes up. We’re expecting the guy who couldn’t do anything wrong with RISP in 2013. We get the guy who’s pretending to be Allen Craig in 2014. Where did he go? Was all the clutch hitting for this season borrowed by the Birds in 2013?
Those are pretty much the talking points of 2014. Worse, the Cardinals ensure themselves that they won’t come home to St. Louis with a record over .500, losing 2 of the 3 series on this road trip.