The cartoon figure in the clip art above is Alfred E. Neumann, the mascot of Mad magazine. Alfred’s catchphrase was “What, me worry?” The Cardinals’ bats are starting to catch fire, but I still have some concerns this early in the season. Let’s discuss.
The Cards’ pitchers are giving up too many walks. The son and I were gifted with 2 free tickets to Saturday’s (4/6/19) game. (Thanks, Sandy!) Before we left in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Cards’ pitchers had given up 9 walks. That’s too many. What’s especially bad is when the first batter in the inning gets a walk. Then the next batter moves the first batter to second base, etc. What’s even worse is if the walks put runners on base and a batter hits a home run, like in Saturday’s game. The walk creates a run that didn’t need to happen and could cost the team to lose a game. Let’s tighten it up, guys, and not give up so many walks.
What’s up with Marcell Ozuna? The play he made in the outfield in Tuesday night’s game was truly bizarre. He climbed the wall to try to catch the ball and the ball landed two feet in front of him. He caught one of his spikes in the turf when he landed and he could have gotten hurt. This wasn’t the first oddball play he’s attempted to make. And in last night’s game, he had a baserunning gaffe. Has Marcell had his sight checked lately? Sure, his hitting has improved but his fielding and throwing are sorely lacking. It makes me wonder how he was ever awarded a Gold Glove. And he came to spring training overweight and out of shape, plus his shoulder wasn’t quite where it was supposed to be. This is not a good look for a player in a walk year. If he keeps it up, he may not get a contract at all, let alone a good one.
Michael Wacha. He’s been giving up a lot of walks (7 on Saturday when we were there) and home runs (3 in today’s game alone). Is Wacha having problems with his shoulder again?
Dexter Fowler’s hitting. The season started on March 28, and Dexter just got his first RBI during last night’s game (4/10/19). This is not ideal at all.
Lest you think I’m a complete Debbie Downer, however, there are some good things happening this spring. I’m glad that the Cardinals signed Miles Mikolas, Jose Martinez, and Matt Carpenter to contract extensions. It’s best to get contract extensions out of the way early in the year, or even during spring training, I think. It gives the players confidence that the team wants them and has confidence in their abilities, and that reflects in their performance. The players don’t wonder all season whether their contracts are going to be renewed or not.
Center fielder Harrison Bader has made some dandy plays, considering he not only has to cover his position but back up Marcell Ozuna as well. And Kolten Wong has done a great job this season. Having Paul Goldschmidt at first base gives Kolten confidence to make those incredible plays. Kolten’s bat is on fire this year too. And speaking of bats on fire, Paul DeJong’s bat is smokin’ hot.
The Cardinals swept the Dodgers this week, and now they’re on a happy flight to Mexico, where they play the Reds this weekend. One word of advice – don’t drink the water, guys! Montezuma’s Revenge is painful!
Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!