Each month, the United Cardinal Bloggers put together a project that we get to work on, and this month, we’re doing a progressive game blog. Each inning is given out to a blogger, who writes up the specifics, and then they get posted to the site together. For more info, the preview and the other blogs that are doing the other innings, click this link.
As it is, we decided on Saturday’s Cardinals-Dodgers game, and I was assigned the 6th inning. Most likely, you’re coming here from the 5th inning at Fungoes. Watching the Dodgers has become very interesting to me because it is the one other team that I really have ties to. The first is that A.J. Ellis is one of the only players that has gotten to the big leagues from my Alma Mater, Austin Peay State University. They generally have a decent baseball team, and usually have a chance to go to regionals or super regionals in the College World series, but they haven’t had many success stories. I got to meet with a relief pitcher on the Braves AA team earlier this year, but we’ll have to see how his career ends up.
Secondly, I have been lucky enough to work with the Chattanooga Lookouts, writing some of their game stories this year, but the last couple of years, I have been going to games as a fan, and enjoying the team. One of the guys that I paid a lot of attention to when he was in Chattanooga was the first player to come to bat in the 6th: Yasiel Puig.
Last year, he grabbed the media’s attention out of spring training, and there was national media reporting that the Dodgers almost scrapped their plans to send him to the minors and just put him in the majors anyway. They thought twice about it and sent him to Chattanooga. Since I caught wind of that, I thought that if he was that good, it might be worth trying to see him, especially if he was going to move up quickly, and he certainly did. 40 games was all he would play in the minors before going to LA.
He’s a bit of a polarizing figure nationally, as many hate his bat flip and his exuberance, but I saw him first-hand excite a team and his energy was infectious. Those 40 games that he was with the Lookouts were the only reasonably-sustained success that I’ve seen from them in the 2 and a half years that I’ve been following them.
In any case, Puig had a rather uneventful at-bat, popping up to the foul side of first base. It was a bit of a run for Adams, but he ended up securing the ball after a small bobble. The other two batters both struck out, something that you don’t really see very often when Kelly is the pitcher.
When it came to the home side of the 6th, it was a bit interesting. It started out with a Kottaras single, in his first start as a part of the Cardinals, and it was his only hit of the day.
What was interesting was that Jay also made his first hit of the day right after. Jay has been interesting to say the least this year at the plate. What I find most interesting is that he has hit lefties better than righties so far this season. He’s hitting lefties at a .396 clip (19-for-48) on the season. on the other hand, he’s hitting righties at a .269 clip (50-for-186). That’s a difference of 127 points. There is a bit of a small sample to compare one to the other, but maybe Jay should be starting vs. lefties and not righties.
That made me curious about Bourjos’ splits, and surprisingly enough, he’s hitting righties at .250 (25-for-100) and lefties at .189 (14-for-74). So he’s doing better against righties at nearly an even sample. Maybe they should reverse the platoon and let Bourjos hit righties and Jay hit lefties. If the right-handed sample holds (which is the larger sample), then Bourjos would hit just 19 points worse against right-handers. That’s just less than 1 less hit every 50 ABs. If you think that Bourjos’ defense can take away one more hit than Jay’s defense every 3 weeks or so, then it would even out (which I guarantee it would or be even better). I doubt it ever happens, but again, if the numbers hold, it would be better for the team.
The inning was for all purposes killed when Kelly tried to sac bunt and failed. Kelly popped it up, but it only went about 5 feet in the air. Greinke caught it, and fired to second to double off Kattaras. Nothing he could really do there, but that was basically the end. It was only 2 outs, and Greinke did get pulled right after that with Matt Carpenter up to bat.
Greinke settled in well after the first inning, and ended up without giving up any runs after that long first. He threw 110 pitches, and between that and a lefty coming up, Mattingly went to Paco Rodriguez, who ended up striking out Carpenter to end the inning.
I think that maybe Carpenter is taking too many pitches. He is a good 2-strike hitter generally, but he’s been striking out a lot this year. He needs to look for a pitch that he can hit and take care of it no matter when it comes in the count. Many times, he doesn’t even swing before two strikes, and after that, it might be too late for him to get a pitch that is in his wheelhouse. I’m no professional hitting coach, but that’s what I feel like I’m seeing from him.
Well, that’s it for the 6th inning. Might have been a little long for the fact that only 7 batters came to the plate, and nobody scored, but I dug into a little more detail than I usually do, so there’s that. Make sure to check out the other innings as well, I hope they’re not all 1000 word essays, but that’s what you get when you read my stuff, apparently. Looking for the next inning? Check out Baseball Geek in Galveston.