I still have some other pressing things to attend to, but I certainly can't allow some hockey player to sit atop the front page for an extended period of time. I do have some dignity. The St. Louis Cardinals lost Thursday, and so far as I can tell a bunch of terrible things happened. Here is a 15-minute rundown of same.
1. Earlier, Lance Berkman was sent to the disabled list, which solves the Skip Schumaker problem for 15 days. Berkman didn't play in 17 games last season; he's missed six so far this year, and with his stint on the DL will eclipse that total sometime in May. Of course, this is how the roster was designed: To soak up all these brief absences with, uh, Allen Craig.
2. Then Adam Wainwright allowed two more home runs, struck out five more batters against one walk, and made his season-to-date line even weirder than it had been before. Now he's got 14 strikeouts, four walks, and five home runs allowed in 13.2 innings—something new for a pitcher who's never allowed 20 home runs in a season.
It's impossible to say whether it's happening or not, but it's easy to imagine what's happening—something about not knowing his post-surgery stuff, and attempting to be too fine with it. In these specific cases, his slider slid from the middle of the plate to a little below the middle of the plate, and Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips were perfectly happy with that move.
There's not reason to worry yet, but there is, I think, reason to believe that Wainwright is in the middle of adjusting to his new arm, and throwing off some very weird peripherals in the process.
3. In the meantime, Jon Jay injured his shoulder, though x-rays revealed nothing. Which potentially creates a Skip Schumaker problem for 15 days. On Twitter bgh has been especially vocal about his worries on the infield, where Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene's continued mediocrity could create the sort of power vacuum that, geopolitically, tends to lead to the kind of dictators who build large statues of themselves building statues.
If Jay spends time on the disabled list that problem could be solved—by Schumaker emerging instead as the primary backup center fielder. Poor Erik Komatsu: He could end up losing his crack at a job in the outfield because he is unable to play second base really badly.
3a. I'd like to preserve what could well be Friday's bench for future generations:
- C—Tony Cruz
- IF—Daniel Descalso
- OF—Skip Schumaker
- OF—Erik Komatsu
- OF—Shane Robinson
I like to think that Tony La Russa would have risen to the challenge of constructing an all-Skip-Schumaker bench by replacing Shane Robinson and Tony Cruz with Adron Chambers and Bryan Anderson, but this is a fine attempt from a rookie manager.
4. Am I forgetting something about La Russa, or is Mike Matheny weirdly and possibly detrimentally devoted to the getaway-day lineup? With Berkman out already I'm not sure I see the wisdom of sitting David Freese and Yadier Molina on the same day, even with the prospect of Wainwright's bat in the lineup.