What I have is speed, it gets the job done
The smartest thing I did was bunt my way on and then run
'Cause I did kill 'em; went to steal and I made Gattis throw
It's my life, I'd like to welcome y'all to the Kolten Wong show
Not sorry A. Braves!
I really meant to hurt you!
I really meant to make you lose; and tonight
I'm running 'round the bases
Today's game started out pretty rough. In the top of the second, the Cardinals made a bizarre defensive error that I actually still don't understand. After Simmons got on base with two outs, Harang singled to left field, and Holliday threw the ball into second base. Wong tried to get Simmons at third and the ball went...somewhere other than Matt Carpenter's glove. Simmons scored and I immediately worried that Wong would be back in the doghouse. Luckily, he redeemed himself later on. Cue a bunch of clichéd crap from Ricky about how the Cardinals want to see Wong be himself and not worry about being perfect and BLAH BLAH BLAH. In my game notes, I literally wrote, "Rick needs to shut up."
Speed was the name of the game today, and it wasn't just from Kolten Wong; Peter Bourjos joined in the action, too. It was bunts galore and I wasn't even mad about it. Four bunts, four base hits: Wong in the 4th and the 6th, PB in the 3rd and the 7th. Wong did even more damage in the 4th when he tagged up to score from third base on a pop up to very shallow right field. Pastornicky was backpedaling (Heyward probably should have come in to catch it so he could have the momentum going forward), and Wong was looking home all the way.
Bourjos' bunt hit in the 7th was beautiful, too. With Adams on third after hitting a lead off triple (!), PB dropped down a beauty between the pitcher and the first base line. New pitcher Anthony Varvaro couldn't handle it and Adams scored fairly easily. Bourjos got to first without a throw. A friend of mine says Peter Bourjos is the second fastest guy in baseball, behind Billy Hamilton. What say you, VEB?
I know there are members of this community who think speed is overrated and the collective VEB makes too big of a deal about it, but today's game is a stellar example of what an enormous difference it can make when utilized properly. Cards win 4-1, and we can largely thank Flash Wong and Lightning Bourjos for that.
1. Yadi made a fantastic play in the 5th on what appeared to be a very lucky break for the Cardinals. With a runner on second, Harang bunted right on home plate, and Yadi wasted no time grabbing the ball and whipping it to third base. Peralta got the out there and threw to first to get Harang who was still standing in the batter's box scratching his head. Replays showed that the bunt was probably foul, and since it isn't a reviewable play, Fredi Gonzalez argued his way right out of the game. Twice.
2. Shelby Miller pitched well today. His final line: 7 IP, 0 ER (1 R), 5 H, 2 BB, 7 K. He did miss his spot a few times, including to Simmons in the second, which led to the Braves' only run. But the breaking ball looked much better, and he seemed to be more confident. According to Buster Olney, after Shelby's last start, he showed reporters a video he got from a former coach of a bullpen session before the 2013 season. He showed them the footage as an example of what his front hip looks like when he's locating his fastball, and stated that he was spinning out of his delivery too soon last Sunday. I was hopeful that maybe Shelby had solved the problem. Or at least identified it. I'm not entirely convinced, but he did look much better today.
3. Rosie looked great again in the 9th. Three up, three down, velocity was up, location was good. After Gattis flied out, Chris Johnson and BJ Upton both struck out swinging. Notwithstanding the fact that those guys may be prone to the strikeout, I think we can collectively exhale now.
4. During the broadcast, Dan and Ricky mentioned that Tony LaRussa has taken a position as Chief Baseball Officer (that sounds like a made up title) with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tony La Russa, on joining the #Dbacks: "I wanted to get back in the action ... The reputation of this organization is outstanding."— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 17, 2014
I was aware that Dave McKay was with the club, but I did not know that Dave Duncan is now the Special Assistant to the General Manager (really? this sounds like a job you give someone with no discernible skills). It's a reunion right here in my town! But seriously, guys, PLEASE FIX THE DIAMONDBACKS.
Tune in tomorrow at 1:15 CT as the Redbirds go for the sweep.