A Stream of Unfiltered Prose

Now that the Cards blog is out, the gym is done, food is down and the body has been rebooted, allow me to fire out a random dose of material.  I can spin yarn about a various amount of topics and dig a little deep when required so consider this your afternoon dose of Buffa.   First, a little baseball news.

*The decision to start Lance Lynn in Game 4 is peculiar and makes me question Mike Matheny’s motives for Shelby Miller in the NLCS.   Lynn threw 29 pitches last night in 2 innings and got the win and now will be asked to head back to the mound on Tuesday for Game 4 when Miller is completely rested and ready to roll.   Let’s look at it this way.  Lance Lynn has worked out of the pen and as we saw last night, can do well there.  Miller has never been asked to come out of the pen on a regular basis and is a much more effective starter.  When Lynn worked last night, I figured Miller was set for Game 4.   If this is an innings limit matter, save me the analysis.   Miller has plenty left in the gas tank and doesn’t need to be shut down or limited.  You see how that went for Strasburg after his Tommy John Surgery.   Why rest and limit young pitchers?  Michael Wacha seems to be doing just fine.  Is there a problem with Miller that we don’t know of or is Matheny showing tough love or what the hell is happening?   Lynn coming out in relief and starting four days later isn’t arm threatening but makes me wonder further about Miller’s status.  He pitched one inning in Game 2 against Pittsburgh a week ago and hasn’t pitched since.  Why do managers always like to play mind games and withhold reasons?  We’ve followed your team for 6 months and deserve a reason.  If Matheny is so loyal to his young players, what is wrong with Shelby Miller?  Don’t answer too quick.  Matheny takes his thoughts one word at a time.  I’ve supported Matheny and defended him for months.  Just want to know what’s going on in his head.

*Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, the last two men to beat Manny Pacquaio, step into the ring tonight to wage war on each other.  Classic boxing match between two guys on an emotional high but still seeking more.   Bradley won a ridiculous decision over Pacquiao but impressed me and fight pundits more when he survived a vicious battle with Russian power punching machine Ruslan Provodnikov.  After getting knocked down and wobbled, Bradley recovered, exchanged blows and fired at will and won a controversial decision.   We all know what Marquez did last.   A little less than a year ago, Marquez went toe to toe with long time nemesis Pac-Man and scored a one punch knockout win.   After three close fights, Marquez left nothing to chance and knocked out Pac cold with one punch.   He saved himself in that fight because Manny was bloodying Juan’s face and busted his nose open.   In my mind, those two men deserve to fight again because of how well Pacquaio was fighting before getting stupid and because they produce such great fights.  That’s for later discussion.   Who wins the fight tonight?  You have two counter punchers who have been to war and made it out alive.   Marquez is 40 years old but fighting like he’s 30.   Bradley is still undefeated(wrongfully) and hungry.   I am going with Marquez because he is too smart and so agile in the ring these days that I think he will be able to control the action in the ring.   Both men can dish and receive and keep coming but JMM is the better boxer and can bang in the middle if needed.  Bradley will be overly aggressive and try to hunt Marquez down and we know what happens there.   I don’t expect a knockout but I think Marquez wins on 2 cards and takes Bradley’s belt.  If Pacquiao defeats Brandon Rios next month, he more than likely gets the winner of this match.  This will be a spirited, action packed and entertaining fight tonight.

*I am eager to see Captain Phillips and will do so this coming week.   The true story starring Tom Hanks as a ship captain who sees his rig overtaken by Somali Pirates is supposed to be one of the better films of the year and I want to see what’s really there.  First, I will address something about the movie’s director, the great Paul Greengrass(who helmed the last two Bourne films), taking some liberty with the true story.   Certain ship mates of Phillips have come out and said the movie paints him as a hero too much.   Well, to that, I say this, loud and clear….IT’S A FREAKING MOVIE.  Make believe, full of actors and made with a budget.  Why do people fail to recognize that just because a film says based on a true story does it mean every little detail will be flushed out perfectly on the big screen.   It’s called creative freedom and a cinematic process of taking something real(actors, story) and turning it into a watchable film.   No one wants to watch something boring.  This is NOT a documentary with interviews and flashbacks(like a movie that opened this weekend called The Summit, about 18 mountain climbers taking on the K2 mountain).  It is a movie, pure and simple.   Phillips wrote a book about his experience and the movie takes its cue from that point of view.  If the crew doesn’t like it, they can get their own movie funded and produced.   Until then, I will watch and enjoy the captain’s version of the story and not worry about fact checking.

*The Blues are 3-0 but don’t get excited.  Chastise me for saying this but last season we opened fast out of the gate and then hit a brick wall.    I like this Blues team and I like Jaro Halak getting the reins this season in a walk year but I will not lose my view of the past.  You got a talented bunch of people here.   Tarasenko is back.   Alexander Steen and Chris Stewart.  David Backes already has two goals.   Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester are a solid defensive duo.   New guys Derek Roy and Brendan Morrow are fine veteran additions.   Brian Elliot is ready to go and will start soon.  Ken Hitchcock isn’t satisfied and who would be in their first full season?  My point is take it easy and go game to game.   Hockey is a brutally inconsistent game and can snap a good mood with one bad bounce.  A few quick thoughts on the Zig Zag Kings.

-I like Halak as the starter bc when healthy he is a great goaltender. Most shutouts, playoff able and a true gamer.

-The Bou-Pietro combo on defense is one of the best in the NHL. Smart stretch passer and a competent leader on the other side.

-When he is on, the baby jesus smooth hands of Chris Stewart are as efficient as any winger in the league.

-Big fan of Ryan Reaves. He can skate, play, exist on the ice for a role AND…pound the shit out of players.

-TJ Oshie is still a Blue because he’s cheap, versatile and is capable of wow plays and doesn’t flop like Perron.

The Blues are once again built to contend and are as talented up and down the roster as Chicago, who they beat in a brutal and exciting final second battle on Wednesday.   They can have a great regular season but won’t have everybody’s belief until they prove to be as strong in the playoffs.   Touche Note!

*This just in.  Hanley Rameriz is sitting out today due to his ribs being sore from Joe Kelly drilling him last night.   Oh poor little Hanley.  Roy Hobbs played with a bullet lodged in his rib cage in the Natural.   Come on baby Hanley.   I wonder if we can get Chris Carpenter to make him piss his pants again.  Skip Schumacher is in for Andre Ethier so the Dodgers look a little naked today.  Go Cards!

*Charlie Hunman, who is great on FX’s Sons of Anarchy as Jax Teller, has abruptly pulled out of Fifty Shades of Grey, a highly erotic and wildly popular sex novel that is being brought to the big screen.   The controversial role of Christian Grey, who liked to spice things up in the bedroom and started dating a young innocent woman, wasn’t for just ANY actor.   Hunman took it on, but dropped it today apparently due to his overloaded TV schedule.  He also could be doing Pacific Rim 2, a monster blockbuster which propelled his name this past summer above the ranks of television stars.   I like Charlie but find myself happy for him and his future for pulling out of a role that may have twisted his career up.  No offense to the guy who does play Grey, but he needs to be more of a nobody to fully inhabit the role.  Just my three cents.

*Music to listen to.   The Heavy, the British band that put out the well known and frequently used track, “How Do You Like Me Now”.   They have a solid collection of bluesy rocking tunes that carry a shade of pop and jazz.   Look for their song Short Change Hero.  Good stuff.

*The Rams scored an ugly layup victory over the hapless Jaguars on Sunday.   Great, now they must go on the road and deal with a pissed off Houston Texans team.   Good luck.  Another test for a team that is 2-3 yet showing as many signs of ugly as they do of progress.   What will Bradford do this week and if he is healthy I think Zac Stacy deserves 20 carries.  Against a bad defense, he rushed 14 times for 78 yards but shows more promise than Darryl Richardson.   The defense will need to find a way to stop Andre Johnson, who is a gametime decision but even at 75 percent a decent threat.

What else?  That’s all I got.  It’s almost time for Game 2 of the National League Championship series and for my Cardinals to go up 2-0 in the series before heading west.   It’s time to take in a little baseball.

Thanks for staying,

Dan Buffa

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