Well, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs Saturday afternoon 5-4. This despite the usual occurrences that seem to be plaguing the club lately. They allowed the Cubs to rally late with a three run homer and the Cardinals squandered multiple chances
But, instead of another gut wrenching loss, at the hands of one of the worst teams in baseball, the Cardinals won in dramatic fashion. Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer to tie the game in the ninth inning and Jon Jay hit a run scoring double to win the game in the tenth inning. And with Jason Motte “available” to close the game out, he struck out the side for his 39th save with Mitchell Boggs getting the win. And as a result of the win, the Cardinals helped their playoff chances as the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies all lost.
The bad news that put a damper on things was twofold. One, Yadier Molina had to leave the game in the ninth due to back spasms. The other bit of bad news; it looks like Jake Westbrook may miss the remainder of the season due to an oblique injury. He tried to pitch a bullpen session earlier on Saturday and stopped the session early due to pain. So while Molina’s injury is hopefully minor and he won’t miss more than a couple games, the Westbrook injury may be more of an issue. With a bullpen already piling up the innings, it looks like Lance Lynn may return to the rotation permanently to replace Westbrook. So, who do the Cardinals put in the bullpen? I guess the determination will be made soon but I’m guessing it will be Lynn and Joe Kelly will remain in the bullpen.
I still have an issue with how manager Mike Matheny manages the playing time of the team; including the bullpen. There was nothing physically wrong with Motte or Boggs and they could have pitched if needed in the Friday game. And in my opinion, they were needed. To borrow a semblance of the phrase “…I’ll get plenty of rest when I’m dead”, the team will have plenty of time to rest after they defend their World Series championship. Until then, let them play on.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!