Welcome back to the game thread.
Last night was a little bit awkward, but it doesn’t worry me too much. See, the Cardinals’ bullpen has been effective so far this season, and it was the thing struggling last night. I blame this on the pitchers that were brought in (Axford, Westbrook, and Martinez), and on the odd situation.
Axford was ejected shortly after coming into the game, Westbrook had to come in basically cold (after being on the DL, no less), and Martinez needs some more experience (but man can that breaking pitch be nasty). So although the Cards did give the Pirates eight runs last night, it felt surreal and fake. They didn’t hit our bullpen, they hit our backup bullpen in a strange series of events.
What does bother me is the fact that the Pirates didn’t suffer the mental burden of a 12-1 loss, as they should have. But I don’t think that will be much of a factor tonight.
Because Adam Wainwright is going to be lights out.
Why do I think this, even after his two really rough outings? Because of two things:
1. Waino thinks he figured it out. He says he was tipping his pitches, but that he’s fixed it now.
2. The unique thing about Wainwright’s two bad outings is that they were against the same team. If he was tipping his pitches, then of course the Reds could pound him two consecutive times. But do the Pirates necessarily know what he’s doing to tip off his pitches? No. And the Reds ain’t sharin’.
In addition, Wainwright is the Cardinals’ ace. And he knows it, and he will win when he has to. Tonight, he has to.
The other reason the Cardinals should win centers around Jeff Locke. He has been bad since the All-Star Break, with a 6.18 ERA and a 1-2 record. He has been so bad that he recently earned himself a trip to the minors.
If the Cardinals’ offense can click tonight like it did last night, then St. Louis should take the Pirates down again, and regain sole possession of first place in the NL Central.
Let’s see it happen. Go Cards!!!
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