Returning From the Wilderness

I’ve been away from the computer for a while – life intervened (semi-annual program review, travel, school).  If you still check out this blog, after I’ve posted twice in 3 weeks, thanks for your loyalty.

We enter the first phase of Interleague play for 2010.  In case you’ve forgotten, this abomination was foisted upon us 14 years ago.  I maintain the only reason interleague play exists is so the Mets/Yankees, Cubs/White Sox, and to a lesser extent Dodgers/Angels can play each other six times a year.  Some cross-state rivalries exist, too (Cardinals/Royals, Astros/Rangers, Marlins/Rays to name a couple), but there’s no historical animosity for any of those pairings.  I guess the thing that really irks me is the artificiality of some pairings.  For instance, why must San Diego travel 1500 miles to play Seattle every year when there’s an AL team 140 miles up the freeway?

Like St John the Baptist, however, my cries to end the whole farce are just a voice crying in the desert.  So the Cardinals play California (er, Anaheim, whoops, Los Angeles of Anaheim) this weekend.  I trust Joel Pineiro didn’t enjoy his return trip to St Louis, what with Brad Penny hitting a grand slam off him enroute to a 9-5 loss.

Here’s another reason I hate interleague play.  Fourteen years, and the Cardinals have NEVER played in Anaheim or Baltimore, and the Texas Rangers have NEVER played in St Louis.  So much for the ‘it gives the home fans a chance to see all the other teams in baseball’ theory.  You’d think the schedulers could have figured out how to get the Cardinals out to Anaheim or Baltimore, or how to get the Rangers up I-35 to St Louis.

Today was a different story.  Lohse didn’t get out of the fourth inning, giving up 6 ER on 7 hits and walking 3.  Bernie Miklasz recently said the Cardinals shouldn’t make any more excuses for Lohse’s bad pitching, and I nodded in agreement.  Lohse has not been the same pitcher since being hit on the arm by Joe Blanton a year ago.  The league had an OPS of .822 against him the rest of 2009, and has an .783 OPS against him this year.

If it becomes necessary to take Lohse out of the rotation (and I’m not advocating that – yet), who do the Cardinals plug in?  McClellan has returned (and settled in) to the set-up role, so I don’t see LaRussa pulling him out of there and back into the rotation.  That means someone from AAA – Lynn, perhaps?  With Penny probably headed to the DL for his strained back, the Cardinals have to keep Lohse in the rotation for now.  I don’t see them calling up two starters from AAA to fill out the rotation – that would leave the rotation with Carpenter and Wainwright (good), Garcia (who’s been awesome but is probably due to regress), and two rookies.

At any rate, the Cardinals, despite losing 7 of their last 12 are still only a half game out of first (trailing Cincinnati).  They can win the series against the Angels today with a win (Carpenter vs Jered Weaver should be a good game), then they head out to my neck of the woods for 3 against the surprising Padres.  As it currently stands I should be at the Wednesday and Thursday games.

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Filed under Cardinals recap, St Louis Cardinals

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