I’m not here to complain about extra Cardinals versus Yankees action. We don’t get to see the Bronx Bombers much in St. Louis, so stretching out the game a few extra innings on a late Memorial Day afternoon is all good by me.
Obviously, it would have been more fun if the Cards actually, you know, won the game. Still.
This random game was a microcosm of the Cardinals biggest flaws. Lets face it, the Cardinals will need an epic meltdown to miss the playoffs this season. As much as we like to piss and moan game to game, the rest of the NL Central just isn’t going to be able to keep the Cardinals down the next 4 months.
But when they get there? That’s a different question. Because the lack of power and Mike Matheny’s managerial acumen are both very glaring at the moment.
I love the advanced metrics in baseball. They have great value and often times help us tell stories on this site. We can’t, though, totally diminish common knowledge.
When the Cardinals came to bat in the 12th inning, down 3 runs, the Yankees knew it was going to take 6-7 ABs for them to get the runs they needed to tie or win the game. Even when two runners got on base, Joe Girardi had David Robertson stay close to the plate, knowing the Cards couldn’t tie it with one swing.
The lack of what could have been or normally should be is impossible to measure. So we’ll never really know just how many runs/wins the Cardinals have lost because they don’t have a ‘power hitter’. But it’s safe to say at this point that teams know the Cardinals need to use double and singles to get runs.
Death by a thousand paper cuts. They plan accordingly.
Maybe Oscar Taveras in the answer. Maybe Matt Adams and Matt Holliday regain their stroke. Maybe a trade is in the works. Whatever the solution is, the Cards could use it sooner than later.
Then again, maybe Mike Matheny would use this player. Maybe he wouldn’t. All I know that when games are real tight and the ‘managing’ parts of being a manager are called upon, the Cardinals seem to be at a distinct disadvantage.
The Cards are 9-9 in one run games in 2014. They’re 2-4 in extra inning games.
That’s not all on Matheny, for sure. But he’s a pretty big part of it, right? It’s year 3 of his stewardship of this team and I guess I’m failing to see where the elite managing is happening. We all saw first hand from Ron Washington that when it comes to the playoffs, managing matters.
Just in this game we got Randy Choate left in the game when he should have been pulled for Motte and a blown replay challenge (assuming he’s the one that has determined who the replay guy in the clubhouse should be). Maybe I’m making too much out of it, but it seems like a couple times per week I’m confused about what he’s doing, but instead of moves working some of the time, they tend to work none of the time.
Yankees and Cardinals resume action on Tuesday night.