I honestly think Mike Matheny has done an excellent job as manager this year. He has kept this team in contention despite significant injuries to star players. He has kept this team in contention even though at least a third of his lineup got off to miserable starts. He has kept this team in contention even though the relievers that the team expected to perform key roles have either been injured, ineffective or both. Fans should quite whining about the past and judge Matheny on this season. Every game in every city a fan can pick apart parts of the game and rip the manager. These are humans making the best decisions possible with the tools at their disposal. Fans tend to forget that the guys on the other side are major leaguers as well. The other guys take bats to the plate as well. The other guys on the mound are trying to get you out. Once Matheny makes out the lineup, it's up to the players.
Bill DeWitt Jr. is in constant contact with John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch. Mike Matheny is in charge of making out the lineup, but Girsch and the front office stuff do speak with him and give suggestions. I bet every manager in baseball these days gets some sort of input from the front office.
I still think the Cardinals are a playoff team. They've had quite a few things go against them in terms of injuries and ineffective performers for long stretches, yet they are still within striking distance. Now that Holland is on the disabled list, they can send him on a rehab assignment and keep him down for as long as 30 days to build him back up and get him ready for the season. I assume that Holland will play a pivotal role on this team once he's right. Remember, Dakota Hudson and Ryan Helsley may also play pivotal roles on this team, whether as starters or relievers. Heck, perhaps Reyes can be a key bullpen arm in September. The bullpen has been a hot mess in part because it has been decimated by injuries.
I wasn't at his locker when he gave those comments, so I don't know the complete context. I was a tad surprised by those comments, though. Most of the guys I've covered would have simply said something like, "My bad," even if they didn't think it was completely their fault. Unfortunately, whether he meant it or not, Pham's comments had prompted some fans to wonder who was to blame for the pickoff out if it wasn't Pham.
Last night was the type of night that you just throw out and forget. It was a sloppy day. There was plenty of blame to throw around, though. Martinez should have popped up and made a strong throw to first on the throw he lobbed over to first. Carpenter made a poor throw to first. Pham got picked off. Ozuna ran through a stop sign while scoring. Carpenter got doubled up at first from left field. Preston Guilmet provided no relief. Martinez walked five. Gomber gave up some runs. The Cardinals are human, and you're going to have ugly nights like that one over a 162-game season. The key is to not have multiple nights like that in a month.
Trust me, the Cardinals wouldn't have thrown him out there if they thought he had a lat issue or fatigue. This was another lesson learned for Reyes.
Judging by what he told us, he was ready physically. That's all I can go by. His command was poor, but he also got some key double plays and retired the side in order in the fourth inning, his last frame. The trainers and the front office can only go by what he tells them. He said he was ready. He was tentative, which is somewhat natural, but he was adamant that he was fine and confident after the second inning.
I think that point arrived about two weeks ago. If I were making out the lineup, I would play Harrison Bader consistently, but take a look at how he has played this month. He is 0-for-8 this month, going hitless in two of his starts. If he's going to get consistent playing time, he has to produce.
I don't think it will be season-ending, but we have to wait until we find out what the doctors say after he gets his second opinion.
I thought that was extremely odd. I still don't understand what the heck happened on that front.
This Cardinals team has been a lot of fun to watch this year. I don't understand why some fans are so negative about this team sometimes.
Folks, thanks so much for participating in this week's chat. I have to try to rush to get to Busch Stadium. See you next week for our chat.