Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Hey Ben:

    The Cardinals’ surge into the second wild card position has been a welcome bonus after a very uneven and frustrating season.

    Unsurprisingly, the prescient Mr. Hummel has consistently reminded chatters all season that it is shortsighted to focus on next year until the current year is completed.

    Would you please remind fans and readers that a baseball season is a LONG GRIND and a teams’ fortunes can change quickly. Any team staying within striking distance of a playoff position until the last month has an opportunity for the postseason, even if the first part of the season was uneven and frustrating.

    I’m thrilled that the team is (almost) in the play-in game, and even if it’s just one and done, over the last few weeks the Cardinals have given all fans many reasons to be excited and optimistic for the future.

    Thanks for your great coverage and insights!
    Well said. I'd just add I think it's OK to be both fired up about the streak and disappointed in the season if the Cardinals are one-and-done in the playoffs. If the Cardinals had acquired and snapped the pieces together a bit sooner, they could have had a division championship and a playoff series to forge their destiny instead of a one-game showdown. I also think everyone got used to the brevity of the sprint that was the shortened 2020 season and forgot just how long a season is. The Cardinals' story is unfinished, as you remind us. It doesn't have to be graded yet. And it shouldn't.
    If we lose the WC game and then Mo comes out this winter and says "we really like the way this team finished and save for a few upgrades to the bench we don't see a need to spend just to spend" will we all be sitting here thinking "damn winning streak!"
  • They'll examine the whole season when building their offseason plans. They always do. And where the season ends -- it has not yet -- is going to play a factor in that, sure. Always does. But the notion of simply bringing back the team isn't realistic, considering the contracts coming off the books and the players who are departing.
    Continuing on with our exchange about how likely an encore here for Lester really is, why not check back in with him again sooner than later? I imagine this epic streak could very well be something Jon like the rest of us never thought possible. How and if it now factors into his retirement plans is probably something still to be processed. And remember this guy with 200 career wins is not a lock quite yet for sure fire HOF enshrinement. Please at least give my input here some additional thought.
    He said he's going to talk over his plans with his family during the offseason.
    It wasn't something he sounded ready to decide and declare right away.
    Maybe that changes, but I don't think the Cardinals or Lester are too worried about another season right now. They're interested in making the most out of this season. As they should be.
    Moe is getting so much praise for this team but if you look at his track record it’s mixed .He got lucky with some late pick ups.
    He’s also the genius they gave us Cecil ,Fowler, carpenter extension and leake Among other bad signings. Squeaking into the One game playoff is not the same as winning the division
    Pointing to Mozeliak's mistakes carries a lot more credibility when you don't describe every success he's had as "luck." It's bad logic, and it happens often in The Chat. He made some really nice in-season adjustments with Lester, Happ, McFarland and Garcia, and they didn't cost much. Those are the kind of shrewd moves that have worked out great for the Cardinals for a long time, the kind of ones we wondered not too long ago if they could still pull off. Some credit is due. And the success the front office had in stabilizing the pitching only helps the argument that they should have moved to do it sooner than they did. The NL Central might have been in reach if so.
    I don't understand why people would want an expansion NFL franchise for St. Louis after the way the league and 30 of the 32 owners treated the city. We were "collateral damage" for the inevitable return of the Rams to LA. After the lawsuit, is there anyway the city or some alleged team would get a fair shake in the league? I say we take our "hopefully" massive lawsuit award and use it for the betterment of those who already call this city home.
    You'll get no pushback on that idea from me.
    When someone treats you as rotten as the NFL treated STL, you are part of the problem if you go back.
    But, I'm a stubborn SOB :)
    I know not everyone agrees with my thinking there, and that's OK.
    If Sosa returns late this week, do you start him over DeJong?
    How many homers has Paul D hit between now and then, and how is Sosa swinging the bat? Hand injuries can really foul up swings -- even after a player returns. Those would be the two biggest factors to sort out, for me.
    Didn't Lester have a possible injury last time he pitched?
  • He was battling something, yes. Did not clear up what specifically it was and managed to talk Shildt into letting him finish when there was a conversation about if he should be lifted. That's gonna be a topic today pregame -- how is he feeling? He's old and it's late in the season. Everything hurts, but there is at least a little concern this could be more than that. He's gonna pitch through just about anything he can at this point in his career.
    Is facing Walker Buehler really any better than facing Scherzer? A tall task either way. But the Cardinals appear to expect to win now, just as they looked like they expected to lose in June. So either way they should be a tough out for any Dodger pitcher.
    Yes, it's better. At least it should be based on the information we have available. Max Scherzer has been damn near unhittable for the Cardinals in his last three starts against them dating back to the 2019 NLCS with the Nats. Cardinals have scored eight runs in 10 innings against Buehler in his last two starts.
    If the streak continues and the Cards clinch, do you pump the brakes and rest or continue pressing the gas and ride the streak into the playoffs?
    I'd tap brakes on pitching but keep the pedal down for position players.
    If Sosa resting helps, let him sit until wild-card.
    Other than that, position starters who want to start to keep swings locked in, go for it.
    But the pitching decisions post-clinch will have to be made wit the postseason in mind.
    While I agree with your assessment that the Brewers could make some hay in playoffs, they did not look like they could last week when they played the Cardinals. Would it be beneficial for the Cards to step on the gas against them, even if they clinch the last wild card spot in the first game, to give them a proper send off into the playoffs or would you prioritize rest?
    I don't think a lineup that has been this blistering hot should start taking a bunch of days off. If a guy is feeling bad or can benefit from a game, give it to him. But you would like to see the offensive momentum keep going because it can he hard to turn back on -- or impossible -- if it skips a beat. I'm curious to see how the Cardinals come out after an off day knowing the clinch is more or less wrapped up. The winning streak, if it holds, should be a good motivating factor to keep things sharp. The good news is a lot of guys are playing well. Knizner starting for Yadier Molina doesn't pull a plug. Rondon getting a start wouldn't. You can balance both, but if the starters want to keep starting to protect a good thing going offensively, I would let them.
    Gotta love the chat... Mo is an idiot, fire him! He's so terrible....
    Yeah... he's so bad he made the following trades:
    Holliday for Wallace,
    Freese for an aging Edmonds,
    Cabrera and others for Pham,
    Gallegos for Voit,
    O'Neill for Marco,
    John Lackey for Craig and Kelly,
    Grichuk for an aging Freese,
    Theriot for nothing,
    Goldschmidt for peanuts,
    Arenado for less than peanuts.
    He ALSO signed:
    Holliday, Westbrook, Beltran, Berkman, Peralta, Mikolas, Kim, Wainwright back, Goldschmidt extension, Yadi back. LOOK HOW STUPID THESE ARE!!!
    Has he had missteps...yes. Virtually every reliever he signed, Leake, Fowler, some guys got better when they left, sure. But I think you can say this about every team in the league.
    All-in-all, I'll put Mo up against virtually any other team over his tenure.
    He's hard to compare to GM/pres peers because he's outlasted most.
    They come and go, bouncing between teams or in and out of baseball.
    Mo just keeps going. His longevity speaks to his success. And yes, it's OK to point out the parts that have not been successful, especially as they have added up more lately than in the past. But only pointing to what has not worked is a bad-faith argument, and it happens often here. Cardinals problems are first-world problems. That is undeniably true.
    There is a subset of Cardinals fans, usually encountered online, that have convinced themselves they want the team to do poorly because it will reflect poorly on Mozeliak. That's a strange place call home.
  • Regular-season records aren't exactly *meaningless* in the playoffs insofar as they confer home-field advantage and can indicate relative roster depth and talent, but those wins and losses do lose some meaning come October 5, especially for teams with late roster adjustments (e.g. Cards being almost fully healthy and SF's Belt having just fractured his thumb). With that in mind, who are the 3-5 teams you think are most well-equipped to make the WS as of today?
    The Dodgers are the best team in baseball.
    The Yankees are scary and due.
    The White Sox have TLR.
    The Brewers have a rotation that could pull a 2019 Nats.
    The Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball.
    Those are my top five.
    Lester much like Waino previously said he would check in with his family after the season about playing on or not. Now there are reports here in this newspaper that the team and Adam are in advanced talks right now for 2022. Stuff happens and its not like hurlers with proven track records in crunch time grow on trees either. Watching Yadi and Jon celebrate the 200th career victory might be morse code being telegraphed to the front office they really should consider at least approaching this newest addition too. Thoughts?
    A deal for Adam Wainwright was inevitable the second Wainwright decided he was coming back next season. It was just a matter of when and for how much. Lester's a different situation. I've suggested the Cardinals should pursue him as rotation depth if he's up to pitch again in 2022. I don't expect that to be ironed out one way or another before the season ends.
    I don’t think a successful run will stop a substantial number of fans from questioning FO moves - but will cut down on the rhetoric about MO, hitting coach, development of players, etc.

    This will still be a vital offseason to find more quality pitching and another left handed bat.

    Hopefully they won’t rely on the strategy of hoping everyone returns to their better years and go out and make a significant move or three to really be able to compete with the Dodgers, Giants and Braves in the NL
    They're about to get a chance to really compete against those teams you just mentioned, in this postseason. Maybe see how it goes first?
    Drinkwitz has been making some flashy signings and flips with the skill positions, but unless he starts making some progress with the line, especially on the defensive side, his team will flounder. See any progress being made there?
    He should have ample leverage for recruiting those positions based on the first four games. "See kid, I need you. Now!" Jethro Franklin, the new defensive line coach, is going to be on the hot seat before people even figure out his name if this keeps up. Marquis Gracial is committed to the 2022 class. Big D-lineman out of St. Charles. Legit top-tier SEC interest including Bama. Will be a fight to keep him from getting flipped.
    There should be more blame on the Cardinals for the play on Sunday. DeJong was less than 6 feet from the 3B Ump when he called the infield fly so he should've heard/seen that and understood he needed to tag the runner, not the base. If he does that OR if Edman tags the runner before he reaches 2B then there is no debate. Obviously the umps messed up the situation but if the Cards had reacted properly to the infield fly call then it would've been a non-issue
  • It's a non-issue now. They got the final out. Twice.
    Ballplayers are not perfect. Umpires are not either. The Cardinals took a bad situation and worked around it to keep the streak alive. That's the story from that game.
    If the umpire called it like he should have, the second base umpire didn't hear it either. Lots of blame to throw on DeJong, in my opinion. On a play where the umpires screwed up along with the Cubs baserunners.
    I will remember Nolan Arenado having the presence of mind to make the whole thing possible by scrambling up to his feet and making the throw. And Goldschmidt for hollering at Edman to make the tag. Good to have Gold Glovers on your corners, and behind the plate.
    Wainwright starting pitcher for play in game.
    Lester is starting pitcher in best 3 out of 5? Followed by ?, ? and Wainwright?
    How do you see the rotation for the 1st series?
    The Cardinals could have some tricks up their sleeves in the NLDS if they get there. And they know it's possible to be bounced from the playoffs in a bullpen game. They lived it against the Padres. Mikolas has been moving in right direction. Flaherty, Hudson, Reyes, Woodford are ready without set roles. Kim has been really good against the Giants this season. Throw the kitchen sink at it, with nothing to lose.
    Is this the real O'Neil? Or enjoy it while it lasts?
    He's turned a corner. I'm a Bro-liever. As long as he stays healthy. That's been a challenge for him.
    Yadi now has 400 2B and needs 2rbi's for 1000 to go along w 2000+ hits. Next season he should end up 2nd all time in games caught and set his record w Waino. Adding this to 9 GG and stellar reputation as one of the greatest catchers ever why is there still chatter outside of St. Louis that he isn't a lock for first ballot HOF?
    Only by trolls at this point
    Ben ---whose defense is worse.....the last place in the SEC Mizzou Tigers or the last place NFL KC Chiefs. Both are last in defense in their divisions....although the Chiefs are last in the NFL.
    Show-Me some defense!? What did Nick Bolton do to deserve this?! He deserves better. I will give the Chiefs some credit for finally trying to get an offensive line that might help protect Mahomes a little bit better, but you have to occasionally tackle someone, too.
    MLB Central: Question by Mark DeRosa, “ How anxious are the Dodgers to play in the wild card game?”

    Answer by Robert Flores, “The Dodgers should get a bye”

    Sorry Robert, it really doesn’t work that way.
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