Tagged: St Louis Cardinals

Meet Michael Wacha; near no-no in the ‘Burgh

The St. Louis Cardinals held off the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh in large part to Michael Wacha’s near no-hitter and Matt Holliday’s 2 run blast. This is Wacha’s first postseason start and this 6’6″ rookie is making quite a name for himself in Major League Baseball.  Wacha was a first round pick (19th overall) out of Texas A&M in the 2012 draft. A pick which the Cardinals received from the Los Angeles Angels for the signing of Albert Pujols.

Wacha

Wacha, 22, made 11 appearances in 2012, making it all the way to AA Springfield. 2 of his 11 appearances were starts and his 2012 statistics looked a little like this..

2012: 21 innings pitched, 4 walks, 2 earned runs and a whopping 40 strikeouts with an ERA of 0.86.

This gave plenty of reason for Cardinal fans to be excited about their young arm and he continued his success this season at AAA Memphis in 15 starts posting an ERA of 2.65, 73 K’s and 19 walks in 85 innings.

St. Louis had brought Wacha up a few times this season and he made 15 appearances, 9 for starts for the red birds and just keeps dealing. He’s averaging a K per inning and his ERA sat at a nice 2.78 by the years end. His 15th MLB appearance was probably the most notable of his career almost no hitting the Washington Nationals… Up until today, facing elimination against the Pirates and at PNC Park, he picked up where he left off. Wacha carried a no-hitter into the 8th inning up until third baseman Pedro Alvarez hit a pitch into the seats, bringing Pittsburgh a run closer to tying the game. Ultimately the Pirates fell short in what was quite a pitchers duel between Wacha and Charlie Morton.

 

The series will go to a very exciting game 5 which will be played in St. Louis on Wednesday 10/9. The winner will play either the Dodgers or Braves in the NLCS.

-Tim Williams

Game 1: Pirates Vs. Cardinals NLDS

Surely by now you have realized or heard by now that this is the first time the Pittsburgh Pirates have made the postseason since 1992. A lot of things has happened over the last 21 years in baseball but it’s finally time for baseball fans in the steel city to throw on their eye patches and root for their Pirates as they take on the division rivals and champion, the St. Louis Cardinals.

First the Pirates had to survive the one game playoff game against another division foe, the Cincinnati Reds to get the shot to move on and play the National League’s best record (97-65) St Louis Cardinals. Francisco Liriano spun a gem and Russel Martin smacked 2 home runs en route to a 6-2 victory over the Reds, the first postseason victory at PNC Park.

Starters: The St. Louis Cardinals closed out the regular season with 6 straight victories and are putting their ace, Adam Wainwright on the hill for game 1. The NL leader in Wins (19), will face the Pirates for the 4th time this season and owns a 3.00 ERA over the first 3 starts. The Pirates are throwing AJ Burnett on the mound who has faced the Cards 6 times this season, posting a 3.67 ERA.  I give the Cardinals the starting pitching advantage in game 1 of the NLDS.

The two teams have faced each other 19 times this season, with the Pirates taking the booty 10 times. But the Red Birds have won the last 4 of their match-ups. Pittsburgh has displayed more power, hitting 14 more home runs than the Cards in their 19 games but give St. Louis the upper hand if you’re talking recent postseason experience. I do feel that if it is close late in the game, the Pirates can do a better job keeping the lead close with their bullpen arms.

Statistics really only go so far when it comes to October baseball. Who will be the hero? I think the St. Louis Cardinals will take Game 1 but mark my words, without Allen Craig I think the Pirates have a legitimate shot at taking the Cardinals down in the NLDS.

-Tim Williams 

 

 

 

Great Scott! A Look Back on the Signing of Kyle Lohse.

Get in the Delorean and strap on your seat belts, we’re going back in time! All the way back to March 25 of the year 2013. Okay so maybe not that long ago but on that day, Kyle Lohse finally found a job. With the Milwaukee Brewers, for 3 years and $33 million. Which I still think was a mistake on the part of General Manager Doug Melvin. Maybe the scorpion sting got to his head.

kyle lohse 2

 

I’m going to be quite honest, I really didn’t see the Brewers to be the team signing Lohse. Sure they needed pitching but was it really worth it to sign a 34 year old to a 3 year contract and lose your first round pick in the upcoming draft? In 2012 the Brewers finished 3rd in the NL Central with a record of 83-79. Not too shabby, so I can see why they would think they have a shot to compete in the 2013 season. Respectfully Milwaukee has some nice pieces to build around but after losing Zack Greinke, having a bullpen that was struggling and a weak farm system, maybe it’s time to load up the system through the draft in the next few years. Lets face it, the NL Central has become a pretty competitive division as of late.

Don’t get me wrong, Kyle Lohse is a descent pitcher and coming off a great year but by signing him, Milwaukee forfeits their 1st round 28th overall pick to division rivals, St. Louis Cardinals. Their first pick in the 2013 draft came 54th overall which the Brewers drafted high school pitcher Devin Williams.

Push it to 88 MPH and travel forward to June and Lohse currently owns a 4.03 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 73.2 innings this season with a record of 2 and 6 through mid-June. The Brewers currently sit 4th in the NL Central with a record of 26-37, 15 games behind the team with the best record in baseball.. the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kyle Lohse

 

Overall I think when the time came, Doug Melvin shouldn’t of made the offer to Lohse, kept the extra pick and went after an innings eater at a more affordable rate. Although baseball is unpredictable and who knows what can happen, but I just don’t see the Brewers contending for a little while.

-Tim Williams

 

Texas Rangers, Singled Out?

Every team needs a hug once and a while, right? A series of breakups followed the 2012 season for the Texas Rangers which include Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Mike Adams, and Koji Uehara. While their hitting still remains pretty potent and good, it wont be the quite the same as a few years past. Texas will need to rely more on their pitching this season and to me, their starting pitching is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. Okay, it’s not that bad but it has some loose ends. So maybe a late signing of Kyle Lohse wouldn’t be such a bad idea? It’s been reported that Martin Perez had been stuck by a line drive that fractured his left forearm. He wont be able to resume throwing for the next 4 weeks. Here’s how their rotation shakes out.

The obvious number one here is Yu Darvish. Followed by Matt Harrison and Derek Holland who try to repeat past successes. Even though the Rangers lost bullpen arms in Adams and Uehara to free agency, they plan to make Alexi Ogando a number four starter. Alexi has been successful in the past as a starter but really only has two fantastic pitches in his hard fastball and hard slider. He has thrown a changeup in the past, just not that often. Can he harness it this spring? I’d love to see him stick in the pen . Don’t forget Texas still has Colby Lewis who won’t be back until around mid-May recovering from a torn flexor tendon.

Now who will round out their rotation? Now with Perez out, possible in house candidates are Robbie RossJustin Grimm, and spring training invitee Kyle McClellan. To me this just isn’t enough. Not if the boys in blue want to keep up with the much improved Los Angeles Angels and the young scrappy Division winning, Oakland Athletics.

Enter Kyle Lohse, who patiently waits by the phone for some team to call. He had a career year last year pitching to the tune of  a 16-3 record, a 2.86 ERA, 143 K’s and only walking  38 in 211 innings with the Cardinals. If the Rangers can even sign him to a  1 or 2 year deal, chalk it up as a win. A veteran presence like Kyle’s will boast a thin starting pitching staff. An opportunity like this doesn’t just fall in your lap.

Kyle Lohse will have a better year than Ryan Dempster.

-Tim Williams

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