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Leave Matt Holliday alone (and other supplemental observations)

Oct 9, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

Matthew and Bob did an excellent job of recapping yesterday’s games, but I have a couple of random observations knocking around my head:

— Look, I know all you Cardinals fans want to kill Matt Holliday right now, but (a) your guys may not have made the postseason without him; (b) he did hit a homer in the game last night; and (c) after the error, in order to lose that game, Ryan Franklin still had to walk Casey Blake, give up a single to Ronnie Belliard, walk Russell Martin, give up a single to Mark Loretta and deal with a passed ball. And it’s worth noting that Tony La Russa let that slow-motion car crash all unfold. Does that absolve Holliday? No. Dude messed up; no gettin’ around that. But rather than make him the biggest goat since Bill Buckner, maybe the allegedly smartest and bestest fans in baseball should acknowledge that last night’s ninth inning collapse was a  team effort.

As Matthew noted, Red Sox Nation is none too happy with the umpiring of last night’s game, particularly as it came from C.B. Bucknor. It’s worth repeating however, that (a) none of those mistakes led directly to Angels runs; and (b) none of those mistakes added any velocity or movement to the 114 John Lackey pitches that the Sox’ batters couldn’t do a damn thing with.  If it was a close game, sure, I’ll listen to some complaints, but you don’t get to moan about umps when you get shut out like this.

Also, from the AP game story:

Despite the Angels’ ominous playoff history against the Red Sox, the noisy Orange County crowd didn’t seem to be anticipating
disappointment while clacking its ThunderStix and easily drowning out
the surprisingly small Boston fan contingent on a slightly chilly night.

Holy crap, they’re still doing the ThunderStix thing out there? I went
to an Angels game in 2003 and it was played out then. Angels fans, take
it from a Braves fan: you don’t want to continue to be identified in the
world by a group cheering thing that, while possibly amusing when it
started, grows more and more ridiculous as time goes on. No,
ThunderStix will probably never be as bad as the Chop, but you don’t
even want to be half as bad as that, OK?

— Finally, congratulations to Cole Hamels on becoming a dad. Yeah, running out of the stadium to head to the maternity ward makes for a stressful day, and yeah, he got roughed up a bit before he ran out, but as a father, I can tell you that no bad day at work can make you feel as bad as a good day with your kids can make you feel good. And even a bad day with your kids is better than a good day at work.  Added bonus:  Hamels now actually has a use for that minivan he’s been driving around in for the past few years.

  1. Rick Allison - Oct 9, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    Ryan Franklin was a marginal pitcher with Seattle. He had difficulty getting AL West hitters out, and got caught with steriods. He was shipped out of town, mostly for the former offense, and nobody missed him. I find it difficult to believe that a streaky pitcher with mediocre stuff like him could be anyone’s closer. Cards have zero chance after last night. Pujols can’t overcome the LaRussa — Franklin Axis of No Talent.

  2. harv39 - Oct 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    In such a critical game ,why would you pull Wainwright? Does anyone doubt that he was not capable of pitching to three more batters? The entire playoff series hinged on this game. Holliday made an error. These things happen and can be overcome in many cases. What is unbelieveable is LaRussa putting Franklin in a must win situtation. He hasn’t gotten anyone out in two months. I long for the day when he is gone from the cardinals.

  3. Chris - Oct 9, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    I think it is amazing that Tony LaRussa has now been privy to watch two of the biggest Dodger playoff wins and two of his biggest defeats at Dodger Stadium now. 1988 with Kirk Gimpy Gibson throttling Dennis Eckersley and now yesterday with the Holliday drop 2 out Rally with 95 year old Mark Loretta getting the big hit….Classic

  4. Tommy - Oct 9, 2009 at 10:59 PM

    wait…what is not cool about the tomahawk chop?
    and you call yourself a braves fan…

  5. russell - Oct 10, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    hey dude! i meant to kick that ball down that winos nose torrie! and then do the manny dance!. mannys a regular balerina out there such a clown with that long hair and big ole clown uniform and clown shoes. he a funny guy.

  6. Shely - Oct 10, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Hey listen. Wainwright has only so much gas in the tank. He is a great pitcher, but I don’t know of any game he went the full 9. he was over 100 pitches, and probably could not continue. He knows his limits. He needed help, but without a closer, what can you do? Franklin can not close after September 15 of this year. If Broxton was a redbird, no problem. Lites in the ninth.

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