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UCB Progressive Game Blog: Second Inning…

Welcome to the 5th Annual UCB Progressive Game Blog project! If you’re unfamiliar with the progressive game blog, it’s kind of like this: The UCB writers each take an inning and write about that inning throughout the game. That’s pretty much it. EXCEPT! This year we have an added twist…the UCB will be teaming up with a host of Mets bloggers to bring you both sides of the match-up. So gear up, grab hold of the internet with both hands, and LET’S GET INTO IT!

(To read Nick’s account of the first inning at Pitchers Hit 8th, CLICK HERE. To read the pre-game post by C70, CLICK HERE.)

After a quick first inning, the Cardinals come to bat with the score tied up at nothing. Hitters seem to be ready to hit today…let’s see if the Cardinals can get an early lead with the heart of their order due up in the second.

TOP

Wow. The Cardinals are clearly coming out aggressive against Dickey. After a no-hitter, I always expect the team that got shut down to come out with a chip on their shoulder and ready to reclaim some pride. The Redbirds seem to be swinging from that place today as they jump on early strikes from Dickey. No one seems willing to “work the count” today.

Carlos Beltran drilled a pitch for the first Cardinals hit of the series and scampered into second base with a double. David Freese followed that AB with a quick line drive to left field – once again jumping on an early count strike – and Yadier Molina wasted no time in shooting a ground ball to David Wright at third base. It should have been out number two, but Wright couldn’t handle it smoothly enough to convert an out with either Molina at first or Beltran, who advanced to third on the misplay. With runners at the corners and one out, the Cardinals looked poised to take an early lead as left-handed slugger Matt Adams stepped into the box against the soft-tossing righty. Alas, Adams seems to have made the most of his time with the big club…he’s already picked up on their maddening tendency to leave runners stranded at third base with less than two outs. The rookie grounded to second for an inning ending double play.

NOTE: Did anyone else notice how much Yadi was crowding the plate in that at-bat? The “over the top” camera angle by FSN-MW showed him hanging WAY over the plate. The Cardinals are obviously not intimidated by the knuckle-baller.

BOTTOM

Here we go again. Lynn is once again working from behind in the count. A bad break or two, sloppy fielding, and a ridiculous approach to hitters by a hard-throwing starting pitcher have the Cards in an early hole. It’s taken two runs, two bases-loaded situations, and a coaching visit to the mound for the staff to slap some “get ahead” sense into Lynn for St. Louis to finally record an out in the second.

Individual Notes:

If Descalso can’t be counted on to make the reliable play at second base…why is he on the team again? The utility man for the Cardinals has earned a reputation for being defensively sound, gritty slash scrappy, and clutch in critical situations. In that misplay at second, he had the chance to show all three…and he flubbed it. Pitiful.

Matt Adams may be a rookie from triple A, but they still require first baseman to catch the ball before they count the out down there, right? I mean…there’s not some “gimme” rule I’m not aware of – like in golf where you get to count to count it if it’s “inside the leather” – right? Chaotic play or not, Adams has to make that catch. My grandmother could make that catch. Al Gore could make that catch. But Adams drops it. Sad.

Lance Lynn has all the tools in the world, but he still has a tendency to lose command of his pitches and fall behind in the count. Unlike other pitchers who may nibble at the zone, Lynn’s issue seems to be in trying to overthrow against hitters. The kid’s competitive…maybe too competitive at times…and he hates the idea of getting beat. It makes him sloppy. If Lynn is going to “be all he can be,” Matheny’s crew is going to have to find a way to help him remember to stay within himself and throw strikes.

WRAP-UP

The second inning could be a perfect example of what’s wrong with the Cardinals during this losing streak. Sloppy defense, lack of focus on the mound, inability to offensively execute when it counts, and letting a game get away when bad breaks go against them rather than learning to work around them and minimize the damage. This is a powerhouse team that should be pulling away in the division – even with all the offensive injuries. Instead, pitifully awful baseball has them fighting tooth and nail just to stay above .500.

I wonder how many Cardinals fans realize that…

If the Redbirds lose today…they will be just 1 game above .500 for the season and potentially as far down as third place. Welcome to life with a rookie Major League manager at the helm.

NY Mets 3. Cardinals 0.

GO CARDS!!!

To read the 3rd Inning post by Bill at I70 Baseball, CLICK HERE. To read all of the progressive blog posts by inning, CLICK HERE!

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