St. Louis Cardinals: One win is great but doesn’t change much
The St. Louis Cardinals pulled out a win on Friday after dropping seven. The win came on the heels of several changes to the team. Was the one win enough to change the Cardinals mood?
I was very excited to see a St. Louis Cardinals win on Friday. I was glad to have heard of the changes forced by Mozeliak during the press conference on Friday. I was even once again impressed by the performance of Seung-hwan Oh to close the door on the one-run victory. But, I’m still not sold that things are “different.”
Let me be clear about this: the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies which is the worst team in the NL-East. So, like I said, I like a win but must point out that Friday’s win was NOT a landslide victory but instead ended by the score of 3-2.
Is it fair to assume that the changes experienced yesterday would have immediate impact? Absolutely not. In truth, the changes made yesterday- specifically the coaching changes- will take a while to impact the team.
A perfect example of this will be the extent to which Mike Shildt can teach and impact the running game. I believe in this statement, but I’m also forced to recognize the fact that Shildt has been with the team since spring training; shouldn’t he have had impact to this point? Perhaps the lack of his impact says more about Mike Matheny than it does Shildt…?
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Another perfect example of the need for patience for change is the addition of Mark Budaska as assistant hitting coach. Buda is the hitting coach genius who I have so often sung praises about in Memphis. It was Buda who got Randal Grichuk hitting again in 2016. It was Buda who got Kolten Wong hitting again in 2016. And it was Buda who got Matt Adams to hit again in ’15 and ’16. See a trend?
It is easy to say that I am a big fan of Mike Shildt and Mark Budaska, but being a fan does not mean that I believe their changes will make a huge difference for the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals. Because I don’t believe this. I think they CAN make a difference but I’m afraid they will be roadblocked by those above them.
To this point, I believe that Matheny and John Mabry will be the road blocks preventing real impacts. In other words, I had advocated for the removal of these two names and will continue to do so until we witness them make and allow real changes.
Back to the title then, I adore a good St. Louis Cardinals win but I must warn that Friday’s win wasn’t that: it wasn’t a “good” win. In addition, this one win, to me, is not enough to completely change the mood about and within the St. Louis Cardinals.
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In closing, this line of thinking leads me- and I’m sure I’m not alone- to believe that this series with the Phillies will be a tough one in which to make judgement calls. Even if the Cardinals sweep the series, and even if the organization touts the wins as positive evidence for their changes, I don’t see the competition enough to make such statements.