Not much to talk about from last night’s game. Edwin Encarnacion continued his ownership of Anthony Reyes and Reyes continued not to give any reasons to keep him in the rotation. Young pitching is supposed to be inconsistent, and I wish Reyes was a little more inconsistent. That means we’d see some good starts out of him as well as bad and have a little more encouragement. My personal feeling is if Tony LaRussa comes back for 2008 (and I think he will), Reyes probably gets traded in the off-season. And he’ll possibly bloom somewhere else, but I think he may have worn out his welcome around St. Louis, especially if there are some young guys in the minors that look to be ready to make the next step up.
Pujols goes 0-4 and runs his homerless streak to 20 games. He had a 22-gamer right before the All-Star Break this year. Coming into this year, his longest had been 18 games. It’s astounding that we are talking about an off-year for El Hombre and it’s still a .318/30/89 year, with a chance to hit his 100 RBI total and, with 12 runs, 100 runs for the 7th year in a row. Hopefully he gets healed up this offseason and comes back with a vengeance in 2008.
In fact, if the schedule was different, I’d be advocating a shutdown of AP starting now. The Cards aren’t going anywhere and milestones aren’t worth risking more injury for. However, you have to respect that TLR is going to play the game the right way. With both Chicago and Milwaukee coming up, LaRussa is going to put the best team that he can out there and make those teams earn their division crown.
That includes shuffling the rotation to get Wainwright to face Zambrano in the opener of the Cubs series, which means that former 70ATB hobbyhorse Kip Wells gets another start. My personal feeling is that a good outing today could go a long way toward Wells either staying in the rotation the rest of the way or potentially being asked back for next year. If he can do well in the GAB bandbox, that could be saying something. Though when TLR has determined that Kip’s issues are “between the ears”, as he said on last night’s pregame show, they may have already decided they don’t want the headcase back for 2008.
Which, unfortunately, could easily segue into a discussion of the outfielder, Mr. Ankiel. Nice to see that he finally stopped his 0-19 slump last night. I’m still of the opinion that a lot of that was due to people getting a book on him and less to do with the whole HGH story, but the story didn’t help anything. We’ll see if he can continue to adjust to how teams are pitching to him and give a little bit of a spark to the rest of the season.
You know, as bad as this team has been for so much of the year, this is the first time they’ve lost six in a row. And even though they’ve fallen out of the Central race during this time, I don’t think there has been nearly the angst in Cardinal Nation over this as there were the eight game streaks last year. Granted, one of those streaks in ’06 was at the end of the year and threatened to leave the Cardinals home for October, but even the mid-year streak was agonizing. This one, well, I think we’ve divested ourselves emotionally from this team. If they make a run, great. If they fall back more, well, it was to be expected. When the expectations are lower, it’s easier to stay sane. And expectations couldn’t be much lower for this team.