CARDS BEAT KERSHAW AGAIN, EVEN SERIES
*They didn’t bust up Clayton, who is now 4-5 against us lifetime, but we did just enough and got a couple timely hits. We manufactured some runs tonight early on and nicked the kid for 2 runs in 6 IP. He doesn’t have a sub 2.00 ERA for nothing. He’s really good and would have 15 wins right now if not for terrible run support in April and May. I said get a win against either Kershaw or Greinke and we did, so the rest of the series is open season to win or pull out even.
*Joe Kelly matched Kershaw and held the Dodgers to less damage in 5.1 innings. He required defensive help and labored like Jake Westbrook but got the job done. He outdid Kershaw for long enough and got another win. He validated to the home crowd that he deserves to be in the rotation from here on out. In 24 starts, he has pitched decent in 75 percent of them.
*The Cards got some great defense. Jon Jay ran to the wall and tracked down a deep fly from Mark Ellis. We turned 4 double plays, including the 12th from Seth Maness. Sometimes it’s like he types “DP on this pitch” into his Predator arm band and just gets it. Tony Cruz threw out a runner at third on a failed sacrifice attempt. Edward Mujica stoppped a line drive and fell to his back before firing a strike to Craig in the 9th inning.
*The Pirates won so we remain a couple games out, but there is time and this was a close win. This season, we are only a game over .500 in 1 run games. Those kind happen a ton in the postseason and we must get better. The one thing the Cards don’t do is come back late or win in extra innings. In August and September, close wins are gritty and stress inducing but frequent.
*Yasiel Puig is a marvel and a fun kid to watch. He swings with majestic pride, has a cannon in right, and includes a little flair that implies, “I’m good so deal with it”. He doesn’t approach Bryce Harper arrogance or Ryan Braun snark and is a player to watch and be in awe of. He is hitting .376 and can big time power. I’d like to contain him for two more games and worry about him in October.
*Hat tip to Don Mattingley. His job was under fire in May and now his team is in first place by 4 games. Good for him. The team came together, Puig came by and the season has taken off. They are tough. They hit well, field good and pitch great. We aren’t seeing them with the .361 hitting Hanley Rameriz either. Be glad.
*My take on the Carlos Beltran bunting crappola from Monday. He did it on his own. So what? It’s still a bad move. He has 20 HR after tonight, hitting above .300 and is capable of changing a game with one swing. He told the media that he bunted in the 7th inning and moved the runners over. Why give away an out? If it’s a one run game, I can maybe see it but still not with Beltran. It comes down to using your head. You have 2 runners on, zero outs, a 2 run deficit and you give Zach Greinke an out. He needs to swing the bat. There’s no place for excessive bunting in winning baseball. It’s not just bad baseball. It’s stupid logic. And Mike Matheny bunts way too much. The Cards rank 5th in the league in bunts attempted and are 3rd worst in execution. Basically, they suck at it yet try it a ton. Unless Matheny wants to make them practice more in BP and do it against splitters and cutters, then stop attempting so many easy outs. I don’t get it. Also, Mike can be more candid with the media about it. If you feel so avid about it man, then back it up and discuss it. Quite little league for Matheny to go all Tony La Russa on the media when asked about Beltran’s bunt. He gave away three outs in Monday’s ONE RUN Game. It’s the media’s job to ask questions Mikey so be nice and answer them or we will ask you about your real estate investments again.