The guy is at the Mendoza line and we're into the second half of May. I don't think the one meaningless homer changes the current offensive dilemma.
It does surprise me. I believed they were on the right track with the pitching rotation making progress. And then stuff started going horribly wrong. And it's not like the team can blame injuries.
The Blues are one of three teams still playing. That is a pretty big credential. They are positioned to contend next season too, with no major salary cap issues on the horizon. With a nice mix of veterans, prime-age players and some promising kids, their competitive window will remain open for some time.
Fair point. But another way to beat the shift is to use the whole field as a hitter. Not only does that skill make a hitter harder to defend, it makes him harder to pitch to as well. Great plate coverage and the ability to drive the ball the other way put a lot of hitters in the Hall of Fame. We'll always wonder how good Carpenter could have become he decided to take George Brett's approach at the plate.
The earlier suggestion for a blanket coach's challenge to address egregious errors is a good one. There are so many examples, like a player getting sent off for a high-sticking penalty when, in fact, the victim's own teammate actually whacked him. Officiating mistakes happen in real time and technology can correct them.
That would not surprise me. I believed the Blues would win in 6 and they would be on track for that but for their inability to close out Game 3. This team is better on the road for whatever reason, so that's reason for hope now that the Sharks regained the home-ice edge.
David Perron has been an offensive factor in each game, so that has been a big plus. Robert Thomas hasn't been as dynamic, but it's apparent that he has been playing hurt. When a guy skips the morning skate and then plays, you know he's limited one way or another.
Kostin has done nothing to this point to suggest he is on the cusp. He is behind the guys you mentioned, plus MacEachern. Something will have to give, due to crowding at forward. I'd give Fabbri one more go, based on the jump he had in limited duty this season. There is still something there. I could see Sanford getting lost in that shuffle. Steen's salary is the one potential cap dilemma facing the team, but he stood out here and there during this postseason.
Geez, take your pick. As noted in an earlier post, we could see multiple changes to the pitching staff in the days ahead. Leone and Gregerson could both exit and Webb's standing is tenuous too.
I remember his early days the best, because Mark Sauer really poisoned the market while executing Bill and Nancy Laurie's tear-down. Davidson worked relentlessly on the PR front and did heroic work getting alumni reengaged. He got off to a slower start on the hockey side of things, but his ability to connect with Blues fans might have saved the franchise. The money guys behind him didn't have deep pockets, so that ownership group would have crumbled sooner but for Davidson's fine work.
i don't believe Gregerson has a real long leash here. There may not be much motivation to play that game. That seemed clear when the team didn't activate him after his minor league recall. The field staff wanted to see him pitch in person before putting him on the active roster . . . and that suggests the minor league reports on his rehab stint weren't fabulous
At this stage, I would look internally for some fixes. As discussed earlier, flipping Fowler and Carpenter in the batting order would be worth a look. So would giving Munoz some starts at third base. Like Jose Martinez, he can hit. We've talked about the pitching, with Gomber, Ponce de Leon, Helsley and eventually Reyes offering options. They've all pitched at this level and they've had varying degrees of success. Mikolas and Flaherty are a good start to the rotation, but the other three slots are in play along with at least four bullpen roles. At some point the Giants might market Bumgarner and that will be worth a look if all the internal options fail. Or maybe the Cardinals should just suck it up and sign Keuchel. I did not expect the team to be in this spot at this point of the season, but here we are.
That could get a bit tedious. Do you start taking the time to correct mistakes early in the game or when the game appears one-sided? I would prefer a catch-all coaches challenge system that covers a LOT of scenarios.
The last time the Blues got to the Final Four they knew they were going to lose key veterans. This time around they are in better shape. There are a lot of young forwards. The picture isn't as bright on defense, but there are still some potential beyond Dunn. So if Binnington is really the guy in goal, then, yes, this could be an extended run of contention.
A lot of the traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV, general interest magazines) is shrinking, so young people must be open to whatever new business technology spawns. Also, those skills can be useful on the corporate side.
And let's not forget that Pittsburgh is hanging tough and Cincinnati can win more games this season. By taking beating after beating in division play this season, the Cardinals have done a nice job of proving your point.
The Blues added three right-handed shooters to the mix and that didn't have the desired effect. (That was a big topic in last season's chats). I haven't a fan of how some of the guys have been deployed. Seldom is somebody positioned to shoot a one-timer. And then there is just the general tentative nature, with the lack of quick puck and player movement. The Blues coaching staff has done a great job overall, but adding a proven power-play coach would be a good call for the summer.
So which defensemen haven't had some turnovers or tough clears in the playoffs? Sure, he needs to be better with the puck for the rest of the series. The same goes for the rest of the team's D-men. But has played a huge role in getting this team this far.
I am old-fashioned. I like having good hitters in a spot where they can actually drive guys home. I know that is considered silly in today's game, but I just can't let go of that.
St. Louis is already in good with the MLS. That didn't hurt, but it's not like this market had anything to prove.