What a wild game last night. I’ve seen plenty of overreactions to the game, so I’m going to quote The Duke from last night’s game thread.
I couldn’t have said it any better. Did the game feel like a gut punch? Sure. Especially Sosa’s double play and Garcia’s homer off Helsley. But that’s baseball. Sometimes your best players lose games. That’s okay, It’s an 162 game season. It’s important to not lose the perspective that a single loss is just one of around 70 per season for the St. Louis Cardinals. No matter how gut wrenching it is, it’s really not that big a deal.
Now, carrying on from Sky’s last open thread. Let’s talk about pitching. Don’t let Helsley’ first homer allowed this year make you look at him differently. He may still be the best reliever in baseball.
Also, you know how many saves he has? 6. That’s it.
Does that mean (*gasp) the Cards manager isn’t just sticking his best reliever into ninth inning situations? Yes it does. We all know that from the games that we’ve seen, but Marmol isn’t using a closer. He has a high leverage group and a lower leverage group.
The Cardinals saves leader is Giovanny Gallegos, with 9. That means that the team’s leader in saves has just the 22nd-most in the league. None of the players above him belong to the same team, so there are 21 teams who have given more saves to a single player. That’s different, especially for the Cardinals.
Marmol is a savvy, modern bullpen manager. He uses long stints and he manages each situation uniquely; J.P. talked about this in his last article. What do you guys think about Marmol’s bullpen management?
Besides that, there are some young guys establishing themselves as reliable arms. Junior Fernandez, Johan Oviedo, and Zack Thompson all stand out? What do you make of them? Can they fortify the bullpen enough or are more bullpen arms needed?
Oviedo looks like a completely different pitcher in the ‘pen. I think his best role is in the bullpen (J.P. and I talked about that on the last Saturday Single), so I think this is who he is now. What do you all make of his improvements? All they real or is he going to turn back into a pumpkin?
Same with Junior Fernandez. He seems to have flipped a switch and earned a lot of trust. His fastball velocity has taken a leap since he debuted in 2019 with a 97 mph heater. Now he’s sitting 99. Will he be the next one to breakout?
Should the Cards trust the internal guys or turn to the market to fix the bullpen?
Discuss with yourselves as the Cards take advantage of their off day. The next game is 5:05 CDT against the Phillies on Friday with Miles Mikolas slated to pitch against Bailey Falter. Anyone have a series prediction?
I’ll see you all tomorrow! Good luck figuring out what to do with your night tonight.