GAME TIME 8:05 CDTUpdate [2007-6-16 16:32:33 by lboros]: anthony reyes has been recalled; jimenez back to memphis. also: eckstein to the DL, brendan ryan back up from memphis.[end update]
i turned off friday night's game after the bottom of the 3d and went to bed with the cardinals trailing 6-3. slept in this morning, made the coffee, straightened up the living room, went out to get the newspaper; gorgeous day. paged through the paper out on the porch with my first cuppa coffee; then came inside to set up the VCR for "krypto the superdog," my 5-year-old's favorite cartoon show (but one he usually sleeps through on saturday). fired up the laptop and checked my e-mail; answered a couple of those.
only then, after i did all that, did i log on to the cardinals' site to see what the final score had been.
and the sad thing is, it's not that i didn't want to know. it's that i already did know. i already knew the athletics weren't done beating the snot out of looper and that they'd finish with a double-digit run total; i already knew the cardinals wouldn't be able to score enough to stay within 5 runs of the competition. as it turned out, they weren't able to stay within 10; they only got 1 hit after looper's 3d-inning blowup, which isn't surprising. the only surprise in the box score was scott spiezio's scoreless 1-inning stint at the end of the game.
welcome back to oakland, tony.
the last time he managed a game here, it was at the helm of a last-place team --- a one-time juggernaut that had grown old and stale. a lot has transpired between now and then, but last night's homecoming had the feel of a circle closing. he seems to be right back where he was when he left oakland. no, the cardinals aren't in last place, but with a pitching staff coming apart at the seams the rump end of the standings suddenly looms much larger in my thoughts than the crown end --- which as recently as monday still seemed a not-quite-far-fetched objective. but that was four games and 42 runs ago. that was before the shards of kip wells were swept from the mound in kansas city, and before looper walked off last night complaining of tightness in his shoulder. if the latter proves to be anything even remotely serious, the cards will have no choice but to tape the brittle wells back together and keep sending him out to the mound.
and either way, they'll also have no choice but to recall reyes. the decision to send him down really improved the rotation, eh? since he went down the starters have a 6.50 era and an average of 5 innings per start. nice job of problem-solving there, dave and tony. way to control the damage. . . . . i'm getting angry just typing these words, because the disastrous rotation we've watched in the last 3 weeks is something the manager and pitching coach helped to create --- they had better options, but in their opinion reyes lacks some amorphous, but essential, quality of major-leagueness (as if kip wells and todd wellemeyer possess it?) and ryan franklin is more valuable throwing 60 innings this year than 160. both starting pitchers were healthy and available; dave and tony chose not to use them, believing they had better options. it's not their fault that they lost their ace pitcher for half the season, but i do hold them accountable for their decisions in coping with that situation. they took a shaky rotation and made it even less stable --- and that's not good management.