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Game 123 Open Thread: August 20, 2005

Update [2005-8-20 13:39:12 by lboros]: larry walker's back !!! mahoney sent back to memphis

i missed most of the game, raced upstairs to watch the finale in when i saw (per espn's ticker) that the cards had closed to 4-3. fair weather fan? whatever. all i saw was nunez's single, albert's popup, and edmonds' game-winner; haven't had a chance to cue the game up on mlb tv and take a look. so i'll limit my thoughts to this: in most years this would be the comeback of the season, but because of the cincinnati thing it ranks no better than 2d this year. i might also rate it behind eckstein's slam vs atlanta and albert's walkoff v houston, simply because those came in more important games. albert's dinger halted the astros' momentum and helped protect the divisional lead; eckstein's averted a series loss to a potential playoff opponent. last night's comeback was certainly more improbable than the other two, and at least as much fun. but i think the others were more important.

rob saw the whole thing and has some entertaining quick-hit insights at the birdwatch.

you also might be entertained by the game thread at McCovey Chronicles. scroll down about 2/3 way, to the 9th inning. turns out stl fans aren't the only ones who question the sanity of a "genius" manager. the mccoveyans are in open revolt over felipe alou's endgame bullpen moves. a couple of them noted immediately that walker's fastball was only hitting 89 mph. "I don't like the look of it," WalrusMan said -- and this was before molina's homer. "where is Armando?" pleaded somebody else, ref'ncing sf closer armando benitez, just activated from the dl. he apparently was warming up in the 9th but had to sit down -- something must not have felt right -- and as the rest of the inning unfolded such were the remarks:

  • does anyone understand anything felipe does?
  • I told you, I told you, I told you. Damn you felipe you old worthless has been.
  • Another exciting night of WHEEL OF BULLPEN with your slightly off his rocker host, Felipe Alou!
  • bile rising . . . .
  • What the hell is Felipe doing?
  • Another one of Felipe's brilliant moves
  • I hate you Felipe
And, after the game had ended:
  • He deserves to be fired tomorrow for this game.
  • I don't get this "genius" reputation. He treats pitchers like machines . . . . It's cookbook rote managing and it's the sign of a lazy mind. I'm disgusted.
  • I can't even think straight right now, I'm still so pissed at his complete ineptitude.
a while later somebody posted a petition to fire felipe alou. it wouldn't surprise me if losing pitcher jason christiansen signed it. check out his postgame remarks:
"We have some guys here who have been overworked," Alou said, "whose arms are tired."

Christiansen didn't take the comment lightly.

"Really?" he asked. "He's just now figuring it out?"

Alou has gone to the bullpen 389 times this year, tops in the majors. Scott Eyre appeared in his 65th game, also tops in the majors. Afterward, Alou said he's going to give Tyler Walker a few days off because the closer seemed drained.

He's not the only one.

"Of course our arms are weary," Christiansen said. "We're getting run through like a turnstile."

speaking of weary arms, we'll get another read on matt morris this afternoon. his last truly good start came against the giants on july 9, a 2-0 loss to the same brian hennessey who shut the cardinals down last night. that was also the only good start morris made after yadier's injury. yadi's back, so we'll get to test the theory (popular in some quarters, though not here) that morris's main problem has been molina's absence.

as for la russa, maybe this latest debacle with marquis has finally opened his eyes to the perils of pitcher-win obsession. he needs to concentrate on how morris is throwing, not whether he gets a decision. it's officially tune-up season, and the top priority for today is getting matt sharp for october. if that means denying the guy a chance at career win #100, oh flippin well.

mattmo correia
12-5, 3.83 2-3, 4.91