Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cards Capitalize on Brewers Blunders

Game five between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers should have been close.
It wasn't.

Cardinals score 7.
Brewers score 1, commit 4 errors.
The Brewers pitching staff allowed four earned runs, but their defense was responsible for the other three unearned runs. The team shared the blame across the diamond with four errors, one short of the postseason record of five. The only positions in the infield who didn't contribute to their failures were the first basemen, Prince Fielder, and catcher, Jonathan Lucroy.

Jaime Garcia seemed to be pitching well, but found himself in a small bind in the top of the fifth inning. Tony La Russa continued his latest managerial trend and called for relief from the bullpen early, pulling Garcia from the game after 4.2 innings and recording only 68 total pitches.

I did not personally agree with the decision.

There were men on first and second with two outs in the fifth inning and Garcia had been sharp up to that point. It was a quality start worthy outing, especially when compared to game one.

Game One: 3 BB,1 HBP, 2 HR allowed, 5/6 extra base hits, 62% strike to pitch ratio.
Game Five: 0 BB, 0 HBP, 0 HR allowed, 1/7 extra base hits, 75% strike to pitch ratio.

La Russa seems to be very excitable after Garcia's meltdown in game one, which probably cost the Cardinals the win. Garcia should not have pitched to Fielder in that situation and La Russa received the blame for it. He seems to have taken that criticism to the extreme to try to prevent a repeat performance.

I understand the desire to preserve a lead, but it makes me wonder how this is affecting the starting rotation mentally. What will happen when the bullpen becomes too tired from being overworked?

Game six lands back in Milwaukee on Sunday where the Cardinals lead the NLCS 3-2.

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