2010 UCB Progressive Game Blog: Pre-Game

by Cardinal70 on May 29, 2010

The Cardinals ride a two-game winning streak and some hints of a resurgent offense into today’s game with their arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs.

After scoring only one run in the first two games in San Diego, the Redbirds have been serious the last two games, piling up fifteen runs.  Yesterday, the Cardinals chased Cub starter Randy Wells before he even recorded an out, scoring five runs on six hits.  The Cub bullpen was effective from that point on until Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run home run in the ninth.

However, with Chris Carpenter on the mound, five runs is usually plenty and so it was in the series opener.  Carp may not have been as dominant as he’s been in the past, but it definitely was enough to keep the Cubs from mounting a serious rally.

Today, the Cardinals hope to continue their hitting ways and provide a warm MLB welcome to Adam Ottavino, who is making his first appearance in the bigs due to Kyle Lohse’s injury.  Ottavino, who was 4-3 with a 4.17 ERA overall in Memphis this year, was given a long look in spring training by the club and seems to have made strides recently, striking out 22 and posting an ERA under 3 in his last five outings.  Ottavino becomes the third rookie in the rotation, following 2010 sensation Jaime Garcia and the fill-in for the injured Brad Penny, PJ Walters.

It seems completely possible that the fact that Lohse was supposed to start on Progressive Game Blog day was the final straw in him deciding to go ahead and have the surgery on his forearm.  In the inaugural PGB, Lohse was shelled by the Cubs in Wrigley.  Last year, Lohse also pitched the PGB game, dominating the Kansas City Royals but getting hit in the forearm with a pitch from Ron Mahay, a plunk that may be part of the recurring issues he’s had since then.

Carlos Silva is a long way from his MLB debut, having put in close to 12oo innings since his debut in 2002.  Obtained from Seattle in the offseason in a swap of terrible contacts (the Cubs sent off Milton Bradley), Silva has surprised a lot of people with his performance here in 2010.  He’s 6-0 with a 3.52 ERA and has a WHIP that currently is the second-best in his career.  His numbers across the board are much better than anything he’s put up in recent seasons and there’s no indication that it’s a mirage.

With him pitching that well, it may not be enlightening to see what he’s done historically against these Cardinal batters, but to add to the discussion, here’s the chart:

Jason LaRue 10 8 3 1 0 2 3 0 2 .375 .500 1.250 1.750 0 0 0 2 0
Ryan Ludwick 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Albert Pujols 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Felipe Lopez 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 19 17 6 1 0 2 4 0 4 .353 .421 .765 1.186 0 0 0 2 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2010.

As you can see, not a lot of exposure to him, which isn’t surprising given that he’s spent most of his career in the American League.  Could we see Yadier Molina get another day off, even though he rested Thursday, do to Jason LaRue’s past performance?  Small sample size and all, but Tony La Russa does look for every advantage.

Sit back and enjoy the game, then read the perspectives of the bloggers covering the various innings.  A * next to the blog below means that the site has been updated with their inning.

First: Baseball Digest *
Second:  Fungoes*
Third:  Stan Musial’s Stance *
Fourth: Pitchers Hit Eighth *
Fifth: The Cardinal Virtue *
Sixth: Redbird Rants*
Seventh: Cardinal Diamond Diaries*
Eighth: Intangiball*
Ninth: C70 At The Bat*
Extras/Wrapup: Fredbird Follys*

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