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9.17.16 Recap: Pace of drain-circling quickens

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it's not fast, yet, but it's getting to the point where look, let's fish the thing out if we're gonna fish it out

how do i lead these men?
how do i lead these men?
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

I hate important baseball games. A lot of the appeal of baseball for me, in fact, is that the individual games barely matter. Because they don't, day to day: really good teams still lose 40% of them. Sure, we root for one team over the other, and that makes watching baseball entertaining for a few hours, but watching baseball's a nice hobby precisely because your favorite team can lose and it doesn't (or shouldn't) affect your mood at all.

So single games that matter, from my perspective, are almost a perversion of the sport. It's fun to play rock-paper-scissors, knowing that it'll all more or less average out in the end. But it's a sick feeling to play rock-paper-scissors knowing that if you lose, the fun's all over until next spring.

Anyway, the carefree days of shrugging off daily results are over for Cardinals fans. The games matter now. The Cards need to win most of them, or they'll miss the playoffs (for the first time in a long time). They especially need to win their remaining games against the Giants. But they played them last night and lost badly, and played them tonight again and lost badly again.

The Lineup

Matt Carpenter at the top, with everybody else right-handed because Matt Moore was pitching for the Giants, and he's a LHP. You can pretty much get to the lineup from there. Tommy Pham actually got a start, if you've forgotten he existed.

The Game

Luke Weaver struck out the side in the 1st, and looked great. He was at something like 25 pitches through two innings. He continued to look promising, basically.

The Cards briefly thought they had a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, when Aledmys Diaz was called safe on an infield hit to score Tommy Pham with two outs. But the umps convened for a replay review and called Diaz out -- I didn't really see the replay evidence as clear enough to overturn, personally, but they're better at their jobs than I am (and it takes some sting out that I thought he was out live). So, no lead for the Cardinals. Turned out that ephemeral non-lead would be the only lead there was.

A rare Yadier Molina error eventually led to the Giants going up big in the bottom of the 3rd. With one out, a man on first, and the pitcher up, Yadi fielded a bunt and went for the lead runner -- and he would have had him, but he threw the ball into center field. Weaver proceeded to throw seven straight balls (the first four of which loaded the bases) before giving up a sac fly, a little blooper barely over Gyorko, a double into the LF gap, and a RBI single to make it 6-0 Giants. And I'm telling you: I started writing this list of bad events when it ended with "and a little blooper," but I just kept moving and moving and moving that "and."  1/10 experience would not do again.

Miguel Socolovich came in and couldn't throw strikes. Jaime Garcia came on in relief (Alex Reyes is taking his next start, if you hadn't heard) and couldn't throw strikes (but in keeping with his recent specialty, could give up a home run to Buster Posey). Jonathan Broxton came in and... was pretty good. But then Trevor Rosenthal came in and couldn't thr-- wait, hold on.

I'm receiving an update.

So, Rosenthal looked great! Threw hard, threw strikes. Who knows, but if some time off has straightened him out, that could be a significant bullpen addition down the stretch.

But regardless, six runs was a big lead and it's hard to come back, and they didn't come back. Giants win 8-2, or some number close to 8-2. The feeling of 8-2 will adequately summarize what your reaction should be, in any case.

KEY NUMBERS

  • Zero: number of earned runs Weaver gave up. Earned runs are kind of a stupid stat, but also, it's not fair to ask a guy to get four (or five) outs in an inning, so okay.
  • One: number of fans who ran out on the field during the game. WHAT DID HE LOOK LIKE, I WANNA KNOW! TV policy robbed me of the only entertainment this game was going to provide, and I resent TV for it.
  • Two: games behind the Mets, who stink right now but are still a bona fide MLB team, and have somehow been scheduled to play independent league teams and fantasy camp squads for the rest of the season.
  • Two again: number of times the Cardinals had enough guys on base to pull within a couple runs with a homer. They didn't do the homer part though. Gotta execute on the homer part of the gameplan, fellas.
  • Three: games behind the Giants, who frankly might be more catchable. Better win the next two though.
  • Five: inches of depletion in your recapper's bottle of mezcal from first pitch to now. If you want this recap proofread, proof it yourself. 87 proof HAHAHAHA
  • Five again: number of the inning in which Jose Martinez received a plate appearance. Think about this for a minute and you will have constructed your own recap of the game.
  • Eight: number of consecutive balls thrown by Miguel Socolovich upon relieving Weaver in the 3rd.
  • Two thousand and eighteen: year in which, mark my words, Socolovich will be the Cardinals closer.
  • Not a number but I'm just saying: Orlando Cepeda's cool and everything, but man, FSMW doesn't do well when they do booth interviews. They hardly bother to call the game at all.
  • ...pretty sure it was 8-2.
The WE% graph is depressing so I'm not posting it. Tomorrow's pitching matchup is depressing so I'm not posting it. Tomorrow's game might be depressing, so I'm not posting the time! Look it up if you dare.