Wow. Just wow.
This is, without a doubt, the most frustrating baseball team I have ever followed in all my years. We watch them rattle off eight consecutive wins, looking all the while like the juggernaut we had hoped for, and then the last week we get this. This. All along, through the good times and the bad, the starters have carried this team. Then Adam Wainwright goes out and lays an egg, and it just seems as if this squad simply can't get it right no matter what they do.
Of course, what makes it all the more maddening is the fact the Cardinals were once again shut down by a middling sort of pitcher. Jon Niese is a perfectly fine pitcher, and I wouldn't mind seeing him taking the ball every fifth day for the birds. (I certainly wouldn't lose sleep over kicking Suppan or The Hawk out of the rotation in favour of Niese.) As perfectly fine a pitcher as he is, though, the Cardinals just shouldn't be getting their asses handed to them by hurlers of this ilk. This offense, with this collection of talent, should chew up back-end starters as a matter of course. Niese was fine last night, but let's face facts: the Cards are not taking very good at-bats right now, and I don't know what happened to flip the switch back to OFF.
I will say this for them: our boys only struck out three times total in the game last night. Unfortunately, that seemed more a reflection of Niese not having the stuff to put the ball past anyone than a particularly good approach by our hitters. They still chased plenty of balls well out of the zone, it just so happens most of the time they put the ball in play weakly.
Early on there seemed to be a bunch of hard-hit balls right at fielders (and by fielders I mean David Wright), but as the game wore on our offense seemed more and hypnotized, lulled to sleep by another lefty who refused to throw the ball over 90. Sigh.
Oh well. I suppose some nights it's just going to be that way, and last night was one of those nights. Maybe I'll just look at this current skid as a couple tough losses to a division foe and a blowup by your ace instead of something systemic that seems to keep cropping up time and time and time again this season.
Anyhow, I'll be here today and tomorrow, filling in for our vacationing capitan, and I have a few hours to spare today. So let's run a little chat. Topics include the offense, how much I hate the offense, how much the offense sucks, and how irritating it is that Orbit decided to replace their previous spokeswoman with a new, much much less interesting blonde Brit. Very disappointing. We can talk about anything else, too, if you like. Austin Wilson, maybe? Or Austin Wilson?
Anyway, I've got until about 10:00 or 10:30. I'm eating a bowl of rice. Let's have us a chat, shall we?
The Baron's Playlist for the 28th of July, 2010
"Have Mercy" - Loretta Lynn
"The End of the World" - Skeeter Davis
"Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That" - Dolly Parton
"Crazy Arms" - Patsy Cline
"I Don't Wanna Play House" - Tammy Wynette
"Boulder to Birmingham" - Emmylou Harris