during the game last night, bernie miklasz was chiding the cardinal hitters in his online forum (thanks for the link, bellyitcher). "Cardinals haven't even made Wells work hard tonite," he posted at bernie's press box. "He's tossed 80 pitches in seven innings." an inning later: "At least Nunez made him work and throw some pitches. Had his colleagues done some of that, Wells would have been in the shower by now." comes the 9th, and bernie narrates:
beg to differ. the cards weren't impatient against wells; he simply got ahead in the count all night and forced the stl hitters to put the ball in play. of the 27 cardinals who faced wells, 23 saw a first-pitch strike; 11 fell behind 0-2. not much you can do but hack at that point. i also disagree with b re the 9th. eck took strike one, then popped up on what would've been strike 2 -- the pitch was belly high, he just missed it. grud'k also took a strike, then a ball, then took the inning's lone bad hack -- an offspeed pitch at his eyes -- and flew out. at which point foulke started missing badly. three of his first four pitches to albert weren't close; ditto his first three pitches to reggie. it's not as though the boys were making him work; he was making himself work. if wells had hit a similar wild streak, the cardinals would have waited him out; but ol' fatty didn't give them that luxury. he was around the plate on nearly every pitch. wells has 216 big-league wins for a reason.
· re patience at the plate: during his long interview with SB Nation flagship Athletics Nation, former stl farm-system prize daric barton had this to say: "St. Louis we swung a lot and that was a good hitting ballclub. But we work on our patience here, which is good. I think the more guys that are on base, the better the team is going to be. If guys keep walking, it gives other guys opportunities to hit them in and get their numbers up. It's a pretty good organization for me to be in."
· dave anderson had a piece in the the new york times (reg required) yesterday about the storied yankee-cardinal history. "The Yankees have not been to St. Louis since losing the seventh game of the 1964 World Series," he notes (actually that would be the fifth game; the sixth and seventh were at ruth's house), adding that the cardinals are "the ghosts in the Yankees' attic." yankees swept the cardinals at the stadium in 2003, outscoring our boys 23-8.
· if you were surprised that the cardinals took so many high school pitchers in the early rounds of the amateur draft on tuesday, you're not alone. but hardball times' aaron gleeman has an explanation: "With more and more teams focusing on college players in recent drafts, the pendulum of value has swung back towards taking high school players." that view is endorsed, gleeman notes, by he who knows best:
mlb.com beat writer matthew leach has a quick rundown of stl's late-round picks. of note: "St. Louis drafted A.J. Van Slyke, the son of former Cardinal Andy Van Slyke, in the 23rd round, and Jesse Schoendienst, a second baseman from Old Dominion University, in the 40th round. Schoendienst's great uncle is Cardinals Hall of Fame second baseman Red Schoendienst." read also a line or two about each of the high-round draftees . . . .
may / maynot post this aft'noon, depending on what earth-rattling baseball news transpires . . . . . .