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Game 18 Open Thread: April 22, 2007

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wainwright

miller

1-1, 3.20

0-1, 9.00

erik's overbooked this weekend, so i'm filling in.

jason marquis is not the enemy here. he's just another pitcher; there's no more shame in getting shut down by him than there was in getting shut down by suppan last weekend, or even by non-ex-cardinal mediocrities like paul maholm and wandy rodriguez. he pitched a typical jason marquis game, and the cardinal lineup produced what has become its typical output. they did hit the ball pretty well, but that's of little consolation. how bad has it gotten? the second paragraph of this story in the sunday p-d says it all:

Juan Encarnacion, who would have been shopped last winter if not for wrist surgery in December, has become the Cardinals' missing cornerstone. The same team that won its final three World Series games with Encarnacion tethered to its bench now looks to him as the May answer for its April drought.
if that's the case, then why wait around for juan? i'm in favor of change for change's sake; gotta alter the dynamic. send schumaker down, bring rodriguez up, and start playing j-rod every day vs right-handed pitchers. move edmonds out of an rbi position until he demonstrates that he's healthy enough to sock the ball; per the p-d article cited above, the team recognizes his current limitations, so why pretend they're not there? bat him 2d, make duncan the cleanup hitter, drop rolen to 5th, slot j-rod / preston 6th. might not make things any better; couldn't make them any worse.

these are hardly overreactive measures; i fully understand the impulse to avoid panic, but there's a difference between avoiding panic and avoiding reality. last summer the cardinals were way too slow to make changes to the starting rotation, giving too much slack to veterans who (they presumed) simply needed time to work through their problems. the cards need every baserunner they can get right now.

wade miller is the type of pitch st louis ought to be able to score against ---- he's right-handed, relies on hard stuff, and lacks command. plus, it's sunday --- hitting day. a series win would make ev'ybody feel better.