(Pitcher Batting) Eighth Is Enough

June 30, 2009

It was reported that one of the first questions asked of Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak during last Saturday’s press conference to announce the Mark DeRosa trade was essentially, “Okay, so we got DeRosa. What’s next?”

Which to those of us at Grubb Hub, begs the obvious question: Why can’t the St. Louis media grill Tony La Russa the way they do Mozeliak? Is it because Mozeliak has a generally nice disposition, and is at least tolerant of legitimate criticism?

This, of course, is in stark contrast to Ton E. La Russa: Super Genius, who grows as huffy as if he’d just had his third-favorite dog kicked the few times he’s actually questioned about his latest head-scratching move or lineup configuration.

Case in point: That same day, the Cardinals were leading the Minnesota Twins by the score of 5-3 in the bottom of the third inning – thanks once again to the super-human talents of Albert Pujols, who had homered his first two trips to the plate.

Relief pitcher Josh Kinney, who was batting in the eighth spot (*sigh*), came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs.

Let’s toss aside the obvious point for the moment that if the pitcher wasn’t batting eighth (*sigh*), once again you would’ve had an actual hitter at the plate for this crucial at bat.

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Is Tony La Russa Insane?

June 19, 2009

The staff of Grubb Hub enjoyed its yearly company baseball outing at Busch Stadium 3-D last Wednesday night from one of the many posh luxury boxes available at the new stadium. And by staff I mean myself, and by posh luxury box I mean free right field bleacher tickets.

Anyhow, we noticed a peculiar set of stratagems employed by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa during the bottom half of the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 4-3 triumph over the Detroit Tigers which we found quite perplexing to say the least.

Yadier Molina singled to lead off the inning on a sharp ground ball that pitcher Edwin Jackson deflected to third baseman Brandon Inge. As the Tigers are oft to do while in the Gateway City, Inge promptly chucked the ball into the stands, allowing Molina to advance to second.

So with Molina in scoring position and nobody out, third baseman Joe Thurston stepped to the plate. Now, mind you third base is typically a run-producing position. Ah, but Joe Thurston (.234, 1 HR, 18 RBI) is not your average third baseman. In fact, he is very much below average.

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