Monday, July 21, 2008

St. Louis series

I had this half written before tonight's game started, so I'm going to just keep going that way and not let the start to tonight's game effect what I'm saying.

I was on a message board reading someone else's "keys" to this series and one involved Ned Yost not trying to "out manage" Tony LaRussa. The point of this is that Ned is NO Tony LaRussa.

And yet every time we play the Cardinals, it feels like Ned is trying to prove that he can run with the big boys and it often feels like LaRussa is just shaking his head and wondering what the heck Ned is doing.

This led to a pretty hilarious mental image in which Ned is furiously in the clubhouse trying to plan his managing beforehand and Tony is in his clubhouse planning ways to screw with Ned. I imagine LaRussa looking forward to these series all season long.

No matter how much Ned tries to do his matchups, LaRussa has no problem burning a pinch hitter so that Ned has trotted out a reliever for a matchup that doesn't exist anymore.

LaRussa is the kind of hitting the pitcher 8th. Tonight already he had the hit and run on with his pitcher on 1st. He'll be unusual. He'll be unconventional. And he will totally screw with and out-manage Ned.

Ned Yost, you are not smarter than Tony LaRussa.

Speaking of our manager, if Seth McClung and Jeff Suppan do not have short leashes today and tomorrow, I'll be very upset. We have CC and Sheets for the final 2 games of the series. There is no need to save the bullpen. Please be quick with the hook if McClung or Suppan struggles. We've got Bush and Villanueva in the bullpen, well-rested and able to eat up more than a couple of innings.

It's crucial that we take at least one of these first two games. We cannot rely on CC and Sheets to be the only pitchers that can win games for us. This is a huge series and we need to take every chance at winning it, not just splitting it. Please Ned, have the hook out and ready to go.

And if Guillermo Mota even sniffs a warmup in a game where we have less than a 12 run lead, I will personally drive to St. Louis and do bodily harm. He is not ok. A few days rest didn't fix him. Do not risk this crucial series. Do not start this 11 game swing against division opponents with a blown game by the mediocre parts of our bullpen.

The Cards bullpen is worse than ours. Please strike early and force them to pull their starter early. This is our best chance.

[redacted part about Rickie Weeks in leadoff as he just hit a 3-run homer to the third deck to give us the lead]

Please force the Cardinals to get us out. Do not give them easy outs on the bases as we've done all season. Yadier Molina WILL throw us out when we stray too far from the bag. He WILL gun down either Rickie or Cameron. A bit of a judicious hand in regards to baserunning would be appreciated and appropriate here.

(Ok, so the game played a little part in the rest of the entry)

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