well, that was a ridiculously long game.
rain, thunderstorms, tornados, tsunamis, civil unrest, and a brief cholera scare combined to delay the cardinals-reds game by two and a half hours. it was completed, like a college term paper or drunken coitus with that girl from down the hall in your dorm: sloppily, in the wee hours of the morning, and with ultimately disappointing results, which make the next day much more difficult to get through.
of all the disappointing ways for it to end, a potentially game-tying single to the gap between short and third was fielded by scott rolen (i don't know if you remember, but he's apparently good at this defense thing) who fired to first where tyler greene slid headfirst and was out.
now, i don't know that tyler would have been safe if he'd run through the base. it may be disappointing to the ladies out there and to azru, but it looks like we're going to have to, uh, trade skip, uh, to a farm where he will be happy and can run around a lot, and can slide headfirst into anything he pleases.
and once he's there, he won't be encouraging impressionable young middle infielders to slide into first. sorry, that habit is just poison, like a hen eating its own eggs. you let that go on with one hen, pretty soon they're all doing it. best to stop it before it spreads.
so, you all run along. i need to have a word with skip behind the barn here.
what? the rifle? oh, i was just going to put it away. not sure why i was carrying it.
you run along, and skip and . . . er, i mean I'LL be with you after the jump.
. . .
last night closed out, in a drizzly fashion, a great month for the cardinals. i suppose technically the game ended in may; hopefully, that does not portend anything bad for our karma in the new month. the cards are 15-8, tied for the best record in the NL with . . . no, check it again! that's not right. you're reading it wro. . . apparently, the padres. also, in the east, the mets lead the division, followed by the nats. so, maybe we shouldn't get too carried away with the implications of how well we've done.
we currently have the best team FIP and ERA in the majors. there's some, though not a ton of luck at work in our favor. we're sixth by xFIP and we have a .275 BABIP against. we're third in pitching WAR.
we have the best GB% in the majors at 52.4%, a title we may not cede all season. last season, even with the contributions of christy mathewson, we only managed a 49.8% GB rate. with penny racking up grounders in pineiro's stead, and most importantly JAIME! (69.9% GB) taking over for wellemeyer, we are a kyle lohse away from achieving dave duncan's lifelong fantasy groundball staff.
if anyone is curious, pineiro is touting a 59.1% GB rate and a respectable 4.37 FIP, increased over last year mostly due to a high HR rate. his xFIP is 3.91.
our hitting is dead average, with a .328 team wOBA for a net 1 wRAA. our bad luck is regressing to the mean some, with a .295 BABIP. our defense is fine, making our position players worth 3.8 WAR.
why does wRC+ hate colby rasmus? fourth in the majors by wOBA and fifth by WAR, colby is only TWELFTH by wRC+! file with "tied with the padres" - vernon wells is second. still, the curly-haired enigma has already contributed more than half of his WAR value from last season in a single month.
* * *
if you don't read future redbirds regularly, you should. a bird's eye view of the goings on in memphis:
lance lynn has struggled with walks early in the season, even out-walking rich hill (by one). of course tyler norrick (in our 40-man watch) has 11 walks to their 18 and 17, in less than half the innings. surprisingly, adam ottavino has limited himself to 4 walks in 12 innings so far; he's been hit hard instead, for four HR and 18 hits in those 12 innings. it will be interesting to see how he balances throwing strikes with not throwing meatballs going forward. spring training heartthrob fernando salas has been hit hard too, though his peripherals are also nice. evan maclane continues to be a very solid starter for memphis. brandon dickson is having a great start to the year. rightfielder mark shorey pulled a lopez and pitched two-thirds of an inning giving up only a single walk.
on the other side of the plate, current cardinal jon jay has ruled the PCL early on, followed by bryan anderson (when he's not driving in runs for the cardinals). decent showings from tyler greene and daniel descalso make the middle infield a strength as well. ruben gotay has 15 walks in 90 PAs, giving him a solid 16% walk rate, but without much actual hitting going on. if aaron miles is going to have a role at memphis, he should be taking time away from gotay and a slumping donovan solano. descalso needs and deserves all the time he can get.
we have an early start against the Red Menace this May Day, so i will have an automatic game thread up shortly.