The chants for Roy Oswalt will only continue to grow if Lance Lynn puts in performances like he had today. In his first start after being thrust into the starters role for the foreseeable future, Lynn threw a dud. He allowed two massive home runs leading to four runs total (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings. The game ended tied at 6-6 after the Cardinals rallied in the ninth against the New York Mets.
Things started out rough for Lynn in the first inning. Mets’ leadoff hitter Jordany Valdespin singled to start the game. With one out, Jason Bay reached on an error by Tyler Greene at second base, when Greene dropped a throw from third baseman Daniel Descalso. Valdespin went to third base on the play. The next batter was Ike Davis who drilled a homer to left field giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals took a 4-3 lead in the third inning behind a two-run double from Descalso and a two-run single from Jon Jay. In the bottom half of the fourth, Lynn allowed another homer, this one to Lucas Duda which traveled to dead center field.
In the Cardinals’ fifth, Yadier Molina doubled home Jay to put the Redbirds ahead by a run. Once again it didn’t last long as in the bottom of the sixth the Mets scored two runs. After J.C. Romero walked two batters with two outs, Scott Linebrink came in to try and diffuse the threat. A passed ball allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Ruben Tejada then singled in both runners putting the Mets on top 6-5.
The Cardinals tied the game at 6 in the ninth, using some small ball tactics. Ryan Jackson laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Eugenio Velez (pinch running for Bryan Anderson who singled). Velez then moved to third on a wild pitch from Mets’ closer Frank Francisco. Velez scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Mark Hamilton.
CRAIG PINCH HITTER TO START SEASON?
Mike Matheny stated yesterday that Allen Craig could crack the opening day roster as a bench player to be solely used as a pinch hitter according to MLB.com reporter Anthony Castrovince. Matheny added that just having Craig’s bat on the bench could be a major aid for the Cardinals. Craig is not able to fully run the bases now and has yet to play the field in game conditions, but his bat is ready as evidenced by a stellar batting practice session.
KOMATSU HAS TO EARN WAY ONTO TEAM
Erik Komatsu has had a nice spring training. The question is will it be enough for him to become part of the 25-man roster. Matheny was told early on that he was not obligated to keep Komatsu, who was a rule 5 pick from the Washington Nationals. If he is not on the roster he has to be sent back to Washington.
Kyle Lohse toes the rubber against the Minnesota Twins at Roger Dean Stadium. This will be Lohse’s second to last start before taking the Opening Day duties in Miami on April 4th. Matt Holliday and David Freese are set to be back in the lineup after receiving the day off. It was actually the second off day in a row for Freese. Nothing is wrong with him, the time off was considered routine.
MY TWO CENTS
Yes, it is Spring Training so individual results aren’t taken too much to heart. No, not everything that happens in spring training follows into the regular season. But, should we be concerned about Rafael Furcal‘s spring? In Castrovince’s article, we get the impression Matheny is not concerned as he brushes off Furcal’s .194 batting average. I’d pay the average little heed too if Furcal wasn’t returning from a season where he hit a combined .231 in 87 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and then the Cardinals. His OBP in 2011 was .318. Not very good for a lead-off hitter. You know how many walks he has drawn this spring? ZERO! So, his OBP is also .194.
Furcal was given a handsome two-year contract worth $14 million with hopes he can be the catalyst he used to be with the Dodgers. Play like last season and the early part of spring is not the performance of a player deserving that kind of money. If Furcal struggles to get on base it will put added pressure on the number two hitter in the linep, presumably Carlos Beltran, to get on base. Beltran will feel enough pressure as he is the “replacement” for Albert Pujols (even though he’s not truly replacing Pujols). A team goes as the leadoff hitter goes. Based on last season and the early part of the spring I’m not confident in Furcal’s abilities, are you?
Tags: Albert Pujols Allen Craig Carlos Beltran Daniel Descalso David Freese Erik Komatsu Eugenio Velez Ike Davis J.C. Romero Jason Bay Jason Motte Jon Jay Lance Lynn Lucas Duda Marc Rzepczynski Mark Hamilton Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Rafael Furcal Roy Oswalt Ryan Jackson Scott Linebrink Tyler Greene Victor Marte Yadier Molina