Sometimes, people get perfect endings. Most of the time that’s in stories, though. This series would not have a perfect ending.
Before we get to that, though, let’s finish up talking about Saturday’s game. Since we did the Progressive Game Blog, I’m gonna let you read that instead of recapping the game, only to say that the hero was Joe Kelly and zero was Sam Freeman. Not easy choices for either, but that’s just for the sake of keeping up with both of them.
As for the series finale, it got off to a bad start when Martinez gave up the first run, mainly because Allen Craig couldn’t go back on a ball well, nor could be come up on a ball well, and that caused a run to score. Now, Allen Craig settled the score when he doubled home Peralta in the bottom of the same inning (2nd to be exact), so guess that was even.
Martinez gave up 2 more runs in the third inning, and that was all that he would give up. Mainly because he was pulled after the 4th. He hasn’t been very consistent in his starts, and I would really like to see more from him. It was noted that maybe things would be different had he started the year in the rotation, but I don’t know. It might have been, but it might not have been at the same time. The problem is that he’s got very little command.
I don’t know if he’s trying to take the bullpen mentality to starts and is trying to throw hard and not caring about where they go. That can work for an inning or even a couple, but it looks like he’s throwing pitches up there without any kind of idea of where it’s going. He was consistently missing all over the place. Cruz would set up low and outside, it would go high and inside. Eventually, you’re going to leave something somewhere you don’t want it to be.
In any case, leaving Kershaw with a two run lead is like giving anyone else a 10 run lead, but thanks to last night’s hero, that wouldn’t be the case on this night. In Peter Bourjos’ second AB of the night, I noted that Kershaw got him to swing through 2 sliders in the zone and caused the strikeout. I think Bourjos knew that coming up the next time, and when Kershaw got to 2 strikes, he knew what was coming. Kershaw threw a slider, Bourjos barreled it up, and launched it out to left-center to tie the game up. Easily the hero of the game. This was the 20th day in July, and only his second start. You think that maybe he should get some more playing time after that? We’ll just have to stick around to find out.
Unfortunately, the zero of the game came into the tie game in the 9th, and gave up the winning run: Trevor Rosenthal. I know that the conventional wisdom is to bring in your closer if you’re at home, you bring your closer in the 9th. I understand it, but I didn’t like it at the time because it was his third night in a row of work. I didn’t think that was the wise choice by Matheny, but he wasn’t making great choices most of the night anyway. Hate to give it to him because of the mismanagement, but he did give up the winning run to the other team.
The most interesting thing on the night, at least to me, was the fact that after the loss, all three NL divisions had a tie for first place. I wonder if that has ever happened this late in the season (especially when it’s been 3 divisions, which hasn’t been very long). The Brewers and Reds have a 3 game series that starts tonight, and so the best thing that can happen for the Cards is that the Reds take 2 out of 3, and that would give the Cards all the cushion. I would kinda like the Reds to sweep and the Pirates to sweep because if the Cards can beat the Rays, then the Brewers will be in 4th place, and I would throughly enjoy that.