Push To The Half Way Point

The Cardinals had a bit of an up and down week last week. They lost 2 of 3 from the Mets. And they took 2 of 3 from the Reds. And as they enter this final week of the first half of the regular season, they will probably repeat last weeks record. Although they could very well get swept by the DBacks, or just as easily split the series. And in theory they could sweep the Giants. Well it could happen. But of course since this season they do the exact opposite of what I expect them to do, you can throw my predictions right out the window. 

The Dback starting pitching for the series goes like this, Webb, Big Unit, Livan Hernandez, and Doug Davis. Davis is the only one of those pitchers with a sub .500 record, and a ERA north of 5. But since he’s a lefty, and has pitched against the Cards before when he was in Milwaukee, he’ll pitch 8 innings of 2 hit, no run baseball when he takes the hill against them Thursday. Oddly enough the Cards have handled the Big Unit pretty well since he came to the NL. But look for that to change because he’s lost 10mph on that fast ball of his. So their best chance of winning at least 2 games looks like tonight vs Webb and Wednesday vs Livan. It’s too bad Webb almost no hit them late last year. And Livan always handles the Cards fairly easily. Except for that one start he made while pitching for the Giants. Well this week sure is starting off fun isn’t it? Yep, it’s going to be another long week for the *defending World Champions.*

I am sorry I bailed on every one last week. Honestly it was not planned, but I guess it needed to happen. I had just had enough of the Cards piss poor play. After watching that first inning against the Mets Wednesday night, I had just had enough. I had to get away. That was just terrible. I could not take it any more. When Wright hit that homer off of Anthony, I knew the game was over. And with Glavine on the mound, it was. He owns the Cards. So after that first inning, I left and went to a couple stores. Actually right after the ball cleared the right field wall, I got up and left. And when I came back, it was raining, and they ended up calling the game, and the Mets won 2-0. Of course the next nights game was cancelled because the Mets wanted to save their pitching staff because they had a day night double header Friday vs the Fighting Phillies. So it was on to the Natti for 3 against the hapless Red Legs. I had planned on going to one, maybe two of the weekend games in the Natti. But my plans fell through. So I didn’t really feel like blogging about them. So that’s why I have been MIA since last Wednesday. I had hoped HUGE would have been able to pick up the slack and make a post this weekend, but Mrs. HUGE had a birthday over the weekend, so his time was spent on more important things. I on the other hand did absolutely nothing with my weekend. I sat around all weekend long watching TV with dad.

I have a few thoughts about the Reds series. Tony finally had enough and called out the offense after Saturday nights piss poor effort vs Kyle Effing Lohse. For them to almost get shut out by a guy who’s in jeopardy of losing his starting spot is unacceptable. And Tony finally had it. In his post game comments he used these words to describe their at bats vs Lohse. *Weak and soft.* He also said they took a lot of *bad at bats*. So naturally the next day the offense goes out and score 11 runs vs a hard throwing rookie. This was the only game I didn’t watch all weekend. And it looks like I missed a doozy. Too bad Maroth could not repeat his first start he had for the Cards. Mike only went three innings yesterday. But the bullpen had his back and kept the Reds down just enough so the Cardinal offense could try and make amends for that pathetic display of hitting the night before.

And LUD just keeps pissing off most Cardinal fans by keeping Ankiel in Memphis. I swear, just when you think he’s done, he pulls some homer’s out of his butt, and manages to keep his spot on the club. I hate it when he starts. Nothing personal, but the guy is best used as a pinch hitter, or a defensive replacement. There is never, and I MEAN EVER a reason to start him over Dunk when the Cards face a lefty starting pitcher. And yet Tony did that TWICE last week. Tony should almost tell the team he’s sorry for calling them soft, weak, and not giving the fans their best effort. Because he does the same thing as a manager when he starts LUD over Dunk. LUD has far worse numbers vs lefty handed pitching than Dunk. I can see him maybe getting a spot start to give Juan a rest. Especially if Juan’s wrist is hurting him as much as he says it is. But keep LUD on the bench. Despite hitting two bombs yesterday LUD has done nothing to prove he’s an every day starter in the major leagues.

LUD isn’t the only one keeping Ankiel in Memphis. Juan, SKIPPY & SO OLD are as well. I can’t believe I actually believed FSN Midwest’s Pat Parris when he said Edmonds was put on the DL not because he was hurt, but because the White Sox wanted to see SKIPPY face some big league pitching. If that was true, Tony would have had him starting every game. But Pat obviously had some bad intel. SKIPPY has not shown the patience at the plate to be a every day starter in the bigs. He always swings at the first or second pitch he sees. There’s a big reason why he’s never stayed with the Cards for a whole season. Sure he’s a good outfielder, and he’s even an above average hitter at Memphis. But for some reason he has yet to put it all together at the plate when he has his chances. I’m sure when Jimmy comes off the DL after the All Star break, SKIPPY will be on a plane back to Memphis. And there may be some good news about Jimmy. Saturday FSN aired an interview he did with Jimmy *The Cat* Hayes where he said he’s almost 100%. He took a shot in his back to fix his pinched nerve problem. And that’s working well. He also is confident that he can once again be the Edmonds circa 2004. Now if that were to happen, he needs to give Rolen whatever he’s taking. Because that would be a miracle the Cards desperately need. 

Rolen looks like he can’t bend over to tie his shoes, let alone field a ground ball, or hit a belt high change up. The dude is killing us. Albert should really be pissed off, because unless Dunk hits behind him, he has had no protection in the line up. And I blame Walt & DeWitt for that. They should have planned for Jimmy&Scotty to get as old & as busted as they have become. They both throw their bodies around the field with reckless abandon. You can’t do that forever and expect to still be able to mash when you hit your mid to late 30’s. Yes Scotty just hit 33, but you have your shoulders cut on twice and then tell me if you can hit line drives to the gaps, off the walls, and over the walls with authority any more. And the Cards should have known this could be a possibility. But did they plan for it? No. And they should have. It’s their job to plan for the worst, while hoping for the best.

But if you read this article here the Cardinals still think they are in the hunt to land every one’s favorite lefty from the LOU. And they still think they can get another bat or two and turn this season around. I for one am not buying it. In April I quit drinking the Cardinal Red Kool-Aid they keep trying to pour down our throats. This team is almost toast. They don’t have one shut down starter currently in the rotation. And I don’t for one damn minute think Carp is going to come back firing bullets. You just don’t do that when you get your elbow cut on. Will Carp be better than the scrubs and rejects they’ve been rolling out there game after game since he got hurt? Hell yes. But he won’t be the Cy Young type pitcher we need him to be. LOOP’s starting tonight, and we have no idea how he’s going to pitch the rest of the way. Will he be the ace type pitcher he was in April? Or will he be the below average starter he was in May & June before he went on the DL? The Good Lord only knows. Maroth looked like a welcome addition to the rotation Monday. But yesterday he could not get to the 4th inning. Who is the real Mike Maroth? Brad *Puppy Kicker* Thompson is back in the rotation, but for how long? And can he keep inducing ground ball after ground ball? And do the Cards honestly think that if Welley keeps giving up more than 5 runs a game they can keep wining his starts? Sooner rather than later his luck is going to run out. Adam is as inconsistent as you might expect a first year starter to be. Yes he can be AWesome, but he can also fall apart like he did vs the Reds Saturday night. Granted it wasn’t all his fault. That ump’s strike zone was a joke, yet for some reason Tony didn’t stick up for the kid. And what do the Cards do with Anthony & KIPPY? I’m not even going there.

And that’s just the rotation’s problems, our hitting is a whole different story. Albert has no protection when Dunk isn’t hitting behind him. ECK was hot before he went on the DL, but I’m sure you remember how bad he was the two months before that. AK has been a bust. There is no reason to keep starting him over Miles now that ECK’s off the DL. I’ve already talked about Jimmy&Scotty. Juan is, well Juan. Nothing special about him. He’s completely average in every way. He’s streaky too, which is yet another reason why he drives us all nuts. What’s up with Speezer spending time in the hospital for a cut on his finger? In Yadda’s first couple games back he looks like he has not lost his hitting stroke. So that’s one good positive. But there are just too many questions with this team for any one to honestly believe they will make the playoffs. So can you see why I am not at the bar asking a sexy bartender for some more shots of the Kool-Aid? The 2007 St. Louis Cardinals are not a playoff caliber team. And the sooner every one realizes that, the sooner we can all move on and start the rebuilding process.

Well that’s it for today. I’ll be here all week as the Cards make a push to .500 as they reach the All Star break. I’m betting they get no closer than 4 games under. And that’s me being optimistic. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Till next time this is Jonny Bone, reminding every one that the light at the end of the tunnel, may be you. Have a good day now!

And don’t forget, always keep makin it bounce.

PEACE.

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