Two games in San Francisco. Two blown saves for Ryan Franklin and two games ending defensively with Colby Rasmus front and center.
On Ryan Franklin: yes he’s blown 3 saves in his first 4 chances after blowing 2 saves all of last season. Yes it is highly frustrating to watch. But it is still early in the season – we’ve only played 8 games total. And with Kyle McClellan in the rotation I’m not sure who LaRussa would hand the closer role to today. If Jason Motte was throwing like he did to finish 2010 then perhaps Motte. But other than that who do we give the ball to? By ERA our best relievers so far are Miguel Bautista, the LOOGYs, and Bryan Augenstein. LOOGYs are LOOGYs for a reason, Augenstein’s a great story but certainly not mentally ready to close, and if Bautista becomes the closer I may start rooting for the Cubs.
OK perhaps not, but he’s 2 years older than Franklin and has proven to be much less reliable over his career out of the bullpen. So LaRussa’s hands are kind of tied now.
Rasmus? Well that’s more difficult. Is it an effort issue or a concentration issue? I do not know; only the guys with clubhouse access would have a better sense there. But again we don’t have a lot of options to replace him in CF defensively, and so far this season he’s swinging the biggest bat in the lineup. Warts and all he’s the guy right now. We can only hope he has the mental makeup of a cornerback (lots of confidence, bad memory) and returns to the defensive CF he was 2 years ago.
Cardinals try to salvage one game today of a series in which they should have already won the first two.