St. Louis Cardinals: I am genuinely worried about the bullpen
The St. Louis Cardinals have shown a severe weakness of late: a shaky bullpen.
Two losses this past week came at the shaky hands (and arms) of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. This has me genuinely worried.
My worry does not bleed into the postseason (maybe). I do believe in this team and believe in the turn-around that has been witnessed thanks to Mike Shildt and company. I believe the St. Louis Cardinals will work through this issue and be stronger for it, but I do worry that the “stronger” will arrive in 2019 rather than here in September and October when a solution is so deeply sought.
If you’ve lived under a rock this past Labor Day weekend, let me share with you that the St. Louis Cardinals have lost two games after leading going into the latter innings thanks in large part to the bullpen and walks. That’s right, walks.
Let me take you on a fantastic voyage through two potential reasons for my worry.
If you have ever read my material you know that I hated Mike Matheny as the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. You know that I had nothing against the man but thought that a monkey throwing sh*t could manage as well if not better.
That brings us to the bullpen and Matheny’s miserable management of this valuable asset. I blame Matheny for the disasterous overuse of arms like Matthew Bowman and Tyler Lyons among others. This is the time of year when arms of this caliber would have been nice to have.
Likewise, Matheny did all he could to ruin John Brebbia and he just about did it. Thanks to some rehab and the staff in Memphis, Brebbia is back and looks ready to contribute.
Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals were told that this season Mike Maddux would be given the keys to the pitchers. Then we all watched as Matheny would leave pitchers out too long, would warm-up idiotic pitchers, and- in fact- destroyed the arm of Trevor Rosenthal.
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With Shildt taking over, perhaps the promised Maddux-as-the-boss is showing. Perhaps the disaster that is the current bullpen is the workings of Maddux.
If this is so, then Shildt needs to correct this immediately. Of course, fans will never know for sure if a change is made, but this would be an opportune time for Shildt to earn his three-year contract.
Regardless of who is at fault, something needs to change. Perhaps we are seeing a change in action tonight with Carlos Martinez. Either way, if this is a change, it might not be enough since there are others who need an improvement as well.
Without worry, I am terribly worried about this ‘pen. I want to be wrong but every single time that the ball is handed from the starter to the bullpen, I hold my breath.
What do you think? Where is the blame best placed? Will the St. Louis Cardinals turn things around?