Why do you watch baseball?
I ask that sincerely. I want you all to really think about it. I have. Lately, I have thought about this a lot. I think it is a fair question, one that's answer might also provide a lot of insight into yourself.
The reason I have been thinking about this is entirely due to the Cardinals postseason odds. They are not good. There is still a path to the postseason, but there is a pretty high likelihood the Birdos spend October at home. If that ends up being the case, I will accept it, knowing full-well that was always a possibility. If that ends up not being the case, I will be really happy, because that means the team played really well down the stretch and there will be more baseball to watch.
While some may say "the season is over", it is not. It literally is not. Regardless of whether or not the Cardinals make the postseason, there are still eleven games of my favorite sport played by my favorite team remaining. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I plan on enjoying the hell out of those games. I watch baseball because it makes me happy. Sometimes it breaks your heart - it is supposed to break your heart - but it does because you love it. Would you have still watched the games if you knew in April that the Cardinals were going to fall short? Maybe you would not - hell, maybe you should not have! Perhaps that is healthier. But I would every time. The eventual heartbreak is worth it to me.
Love makes you do strange things.
The Birdos are three games back of the Rockies. There are eleven games left to play. Should be fun.
The Cardinals defeated the Reds tonight by use of three things:
1. the long ball
2. excellent starting pitching
3. the long ball
Some of the most astute readers might have noticed that I cleverly placed "the long ball" in there twice. Great work! Let us review the homers:
First inning: Matt Carpenter off Rookie Davis, solo shot
Third inning: Dexter Folwer off Davis, two-run shot; Paul DeJong of Davis, solo shot
Hmmm... seemed like more than three homers were hit tonight. Probably because of all the doubles. Let us review the doubles:
Third inning: Stephen Piscotty off Davis; Tommy Pham off Davis, one run scores
Fifth inning: Pham off Keury Mella; Yadier Molina off Mella, two runs score
Sixth inning: Jedd Gyorko off Lucas Ferrell
Ninth inning: Carson Kelly off Alejandro Chacin
Sprinkle in some singles, walks, and hit by pitches, and you have the nine runs the Cardinals scored.
So now to the excellent pitching part. Luke weaver was again fantastic. He racked up the punchouts again, this time seven in five innings of work. He ended up allowing two runs at the end of his outing, five hits on the night. The Reds offense is definitely underrated and Weaver was able to navigate it beautifully with the playful four-seamer. It would be nice to see him in a playoff rotation, just sayin'.
lil scooter's lil player of the game:
Tommy Pham receives this honor tonight, just edging out Luke Weaver with a .111 WPA to Weaver's .145 batting combined with -.049 hitting WPA.
Link to Fangraph's Win Expectancy Graph
Matt Carpenter homered and walked tonight, reaching the precipice of what is Matt Carpenter post-shoulder injury.
Apparently a player played pepper to warm up prior to the game tonight. I heard it discussed about five times over the course of the broadcast (both radio and television) and still have no idea who they were talking about.
The series continues tomorrow as Carlos Martínez squares off against Homer Bailey at 6:10 p.m. CST.