Rants Daily: Cards rally after Wainwright falters


Adam Wainwright had begun the spring with a wonderful streak of scoreless bliss. That all came to an end in the third inning of yesterday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers got to him for four runs, three earned. off six hits. He walked one and struck out none. This is probably the bigger concern than him allowing the runs. He was not fooling anyone. He was in the zone, throwing 50 of 77 pitches for strikes, but the Tigers had no trouble making contact. His fastball topped out at 88-89 mph. In his last start he was reportedly throwing the fastball in the low 90’s. At this point in the spring, pitchers are usually going more or less at full speed. Hopefully there is nothing wrong here. Wainwright said he felt fine according to MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch.

"“I’d like to see some good adjustments made between my next start and go out and feel my delivery where it should be and how it’s been,” said Wainwright, who allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings in Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Tigers. “Today just wasn’t a good day, all the way around. That’s OK. It’s Spring Training. As long as adjustments are made, I’ll grow from this.”"

A one-out walk followed by consecutive singles gave the Tigers a three-run lead. They tacked on another run, unearned, in the fourth. Wainwright was lifted in the fifth with two outs.

Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday had RBIs in the bottom of the third. Tyler Greene hit his second home run of the spring. He raised his average to .275 with two hits total. In the seventh the Cards scored three more runs making it 8-5. In the eighth, the Cardinals worked yet another double-steal which scored the final run making it 9-5.  It was the fourth time this spring the Redbirds pulled this off.


While there has not been an official statement from Mike Matheny, it looks as if Tyler Greene has finally nailed down a starting role with the Cardinals. After three failed auditions, he hopes that the fourth time sticks. Matheny professed early in camp to give Greene every chance to win the job. After a skittish start at the plate he is starting to show signs of life. The speed has been present as expected from the start and he popped his second homer of the spring in yesterday’s win. Greene will probably have a long leash, so long as he is not killing the club in the field and holding his own at the plate. He does not have to be a top flight second baseman with the slew of productive hitters before him in the lineup. For the time being he just needs to be adequate. That should afford him more time to develop and get comfortable in the position.


Jaime Garcia was featured in a minor league game on Tuesday while the rest of the Cardinals enjoyed an off day. Pitching for the Memphis Redbirds, he went six innings giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and zero walks. He stays in line to work the second game of the regular season. Xavier Scruggs cranked three home runs on Tuesday for the Springfield Cardinals.


Lance Lynn is on the hill today against the Miami Marlins. Seems like the Cardinals play them every other day, which is another good reason for the regular season to begin. Lynn is looking to bounce back from a rough start when he allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits, including two home runs. This will be his last start of spring training. He won’t be on the mound again for a start until April 9th assuming the rotation stays in order.


For what it’s worth, the decision to scale back on Allen Craig shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place. About a week ago, it was reported that Craig could possibly make the opening day roster and be available for pinch hitting duties. Everyone got excited, especially the Cardinals and Craig. A little too excited. He pushed it too hard too quick after taking his initial string of at-bats at a regular pace. Someone allowed him to take 10 at-bats in one game. The result? A swollen knee and a new timetable. Apparently, this isn’t a real setback, but it sure could have been.

Disabled list rules stipulate that so long as Craig does not play in a major league game from here on in Spring Training, his DL retroactive date would be March 26, meaning he could be back as early as April 10th. He would miss 5 games. I like Craig, a lot. I think he needs to get as many at-bats this season as possible. But he didn’t need to be on the bench for a few pinch hit opportunities with the cost of suffering a true setback a possibility. The organization has seemingly, for now, gotten away with a mistake. They should have never considered getting him back on the roster until he could play a full game. No one’s bat is that important off the bench when the alternative is the chance of losing more time because he’s not ready to play the field. This is not a DH league, remember?

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