The Cardinals are trying something new this year

We’ve talked about the Cardinals a bunch lately. And right now I’m ‘watching’ the CBS GameCenter of the Reds v. Cardinals, and I have to ask… how much longer are the Cardinals going to try to win games with a 5-man lineup before they decide the experiment has failed? In our ‘Welcome to the wacky fun house that is the NL Central‘ post, we discussed the faults in the Cardinals rotation. Now we’re going to talk a little more about that interesting lineup of theirs…

Fun Fact #1 – The only player on the active roster with an average above .300 is Adam Wainwright.
Adam also has a 5.12 ERA. So maybe they should go Rick Ankiel on him. Anyway, the Cardinals’ lineup tonight, which I assume to be pretty typical, at least statistically, is as follows: Eckstein, (.288) is leading off, which is where you want your best hitter. Followed by Chris Duncan, Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Spiezio. Then you have Encarnacion (.231), Gary Bennett (.254), Adam Kennedy, (.224), and your pitching spot. That’s really a 5 man lineup. And it’s one of those things that’s just going to roll over itself and get progressively worse. As more and more managers realize that Jim Edmonds/Scott Rolen is no longer as sharp with a bat as he once was, no one will pitch to Albert anymore. It’s bad enough already. How much farther can you get from not protecting the best hitter in the game when you put a .244 hitter behind him? Typically, Rolen will hit behind Pujols. He is batting .258 so… no difference.

Fun Fact #2 – The Cardinals offense ranks in the bottom four of 16 NL teams in 10 of 12 categories.
This one is really unbelievable, folks. And it’s according to baseball-reference, (which, though I have no way to prove it, is quickly becoming the most frequently cited website in the world.) There are 16 NL teams, so here are all 12 categories and the Cardinals’ respective ranking: AB (16th), Runs (15th), 2B (16th), 3B (16th), HR (13th), BB (16th), SO (16th), Avg. (11th), OBP (13th), SLG (15th), SB (16th), SB (16th). Keep in mind that for SO, 16th is technically first place. So they’re not striking out a lot, which is good. But they’re also never getting on base, which nullifies that. Keep in mind, this is for the entire National League. You know, the same league that the Pirates, Marlins, Red, Nationals, and Rockies play in.

Fun Fact #3 – Apparently, Barry Bonds is a better hitter than Albert Pujols.
And five times better, in fact. Bonds has 20 intentional walks this season. Pujols, with the solid-hitting Scott Rolen batting behind him, has 6 intentional walks. Furthermore, Adam Kennedy – whose OBP (.292) is higher than his SLG (.286) – has 5 IBB. Bonds has better protection. And heck, Kennedy, who is ‘protected’ by the pitcher’s spot, is pretty much the same matchup as the pitcher. So, the first person who can explain this gets a prize.

Then again, asking for your guys’ input lately is a downright waste of time. I appreciate the CBox comments, Kaylee and Mark. Definitely appreciate the praise. What is strange is that, on Sunday, we logged 3,157 visits. And 0 comments. So… I’m thinking of shifting to a shorter-post, more frequent model. Which has always been the opposite of what we’ve been doing here at BHGM for the last 2 years. But I think it may be time to get more concise.

UPDATE: Too soon for another post, but I just couldn’t keep this to myself. Nate Robertson got bounced around the yard this evening. Actually, the problem was more that the balls he was throwing were bouncing… in the seats. Nate went exactly 0 innings before he was ‘yanked.’ He allowed 6 runs, all earned, without getting an out, on 4 hits and 2 walks. Sammy Sosa hit a bases-loaded single, followed by a Victor Diaz grand slam, followed by a Marlon Byrd (of course,) triple. Game over, Nathan. He saw his ERA rise from a decent 4.25 to a frightening 5.07. There’s that Texas offense for you.

Also, Carl Crawford is just killing me in this week’s fantasy matchup. So far tonight, he’s 3-5 with a 1B, 2B, HR, 3RBI, and 3R. That’s 13 points against. I’m 9-0 in this head-to-head pay league, and Crawford might ruin it for me. In other news, Andruw Jones is a respectable 0-7 in today’s Braves-Marlins doubleheader. Guess that would be a "bad day," huh Andruw?

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