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Game 11 Open Thread: April 15, 2006

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ok, let's take stock after the first 10 games:

  • isringhausen's a bum
  • encarnacion's a bigger bum than we thought
  • looper stinks
  • rincon stinks
  • the 2bmen all stink
  • and now edmonds is no good anymore?
15 whiffs in 38 at-bats; 3 errors in 2 games. cripes, he's junior spivey.

we've seen him go through stretches like this before, but there was always a drew or sanders or renteria in the lineup to pick up some of the slack. nobody like that this season, though; it's all up to the 3 big wheels. when one of them isn't rolling smoothly, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. in 9 games since the 13-run outburst on opening day, the cardinals are hitting .223 and slugging .317.

in spite of which, st louis could very easily stand 7-3 or 8-2 or even 9-1 at this moment. the two bullpen failures vs the cubs, edmonds' errors on thursday, some great defense by carlos lee and tony womack. when you don't hit, little things like that turn wins into losses. we've been saying all winter that the cardinals' margin for error will be thinner in 2006 than in years past, and that's been the case so far. when the bats do pick up and izzy gets himself straightened out, some of the frustrating losses we've seen the last week will turn into wins. but it's still gonna be a grind. only 10 games into the season, it's pretty clear that the cards have come a ways back to the pack. after pummeling the nl central the last two years, the cards have started out 2-5 within the division.

in last night's game thread, salvomania made this observation:

Worst trend so far: The number of balls our guys swing at---ESPECIALLY the number of strike ones that are swinging strikes at balls out of the zone. In that 9th, both Encarnacion and Edmonds swung at balls out of the zone for strike one, before eventually striking out. It's a trend I've noticed a lot with this team so far this season . . . .
i made a quick count using mlb gameday; 15 of the cards' 34 batters swung at the first strike. can't tell how many of those 15 would have been ball 1, but in the aggregate that's not an inordinately high swing percentage. (see this piece from last year.) however, starting with molina's at-bat in the 3d inning, the cards went through an entire lineup cycle and had only batter look at strike 1 -- encarnacion. all 8 of the others guys hacked at the first strike they saw. between them, molina and taguchi only took 1 strike the entire game. . . .

so salvomania's basic point -- ie, lack of discretion at the plate -- may be on the money.

ponson williams
0-0, 5.40 0-1, 3.00