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Tony La Russa cost his team Game 5

Oct 25, 2011, 6:50 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pulls relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski after he gave up a two RBI double to Texas Rangers' Mike Napoli in the eighth inning of Game 5 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in Arlington

When it comes to the managerial matchup in this World Series I was right and wrong. First the wrong part, which I wrote last Wednesday when comparing Tony La Russa and Ron Washington:

A managerial mismatch? No way. At least not one that will determine the course of this World Series.

Inasmuch as Game 5 determines the course of the World Series, yeah, the managerial moves mattered. Managerial decisions cost both teams outs and opportunities last night, but they cost the game for the Cardinals. Which leads us to the part I was right about:

But at the same time, as a lot of Cardinals fans will tell you, La Russa can over think things. Anyone who thinks deeply about things is prone to that, actually.  For all of the moves that work, he’s just as capable of making moves that don’t work, such as intentionally walking a guy when it makes little sense, going too crazy with pitching changes or double switches to gain a platoon advantage when the advantage is far outweighed by the loss of the players he has burned through …

Yeah. That happened in spades last night. La Russa gave away an entire inning’s worth of outs with bad decisions with Allen Craig alone, bunting with him despite the fact that he is one of the team’s best hitters and running him — twice — with Albert Pujols at the plate. Albert Pujols, whose job description does not and should not include “getting some wood on the ball to make the hit-and-run happen.” Craig shouldn’t have been even taking a lead off the bag with El Hombre at the plate, let alone running.

And of course the pitching change fiasco in the eighth inning which Aaron described last night. La Russa’s explantion was that bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist didn’t hear La Russa correctly when he asked for Jason Motte to warm up. Twice. Once when he asked for Marc Rzepczynski to warm up — La Russa said he wanted both Rzepczynski and Motte getting ready — and once when, later he realized that Motte wasn’t getting ready and called down again, only to have the bullpen mess up and get Lance Lynn ready instead of Motte.  The explanation doesn’t seem terribly plausible.

In the first instance, when Rzepczynski came into the game there was no one else warming up in the pen. The shots from the Fox camera made that pretty clear. A miscommunication on that first call from La Russa would have conceivably had the wrong right hander warming up, but not just one guy when La Russa asked for two.

So La Russa’s story is that he called again. And the bullpen coach misheard again, getting Lance Lynn up instead of Jason Motte. Which also doesn’t make sense because who on the planet — especially the bullpen coach of the Cardinals who gets more calls from the dugout than the next five bullpen coaches in baseball combined — wouldn’t question why La Russa would want an unavailable pitcher (Lynn was listed as emergency use only before the game) getting warm with Mike Napoli looming rather than Motte who is clearly the best option?  How does that simply go mis-heard? How doesn’t someone say to La Russa “dude, you sure you want Lynn here?” only to have La Russa clarify “No! I want Motte!”

If you’re answering that phone and you hear the manager say he doesn’t want a righty up when a righty is truly called for, and then you later hear “Lynn” instead of “Motte” when that makes no sense, you clarify. You’ve had over 170 games of this stuff this year and you know how things go. I believe it way more likely that the folks down in the bullpen heard La Russa loud and clear and followed the man’s orders because he’s the boss. It’s just that the orders were totally FUBAR.

I suspect that La Russa had a brain lock and simply didn’t anticipate or believe that David Murphy would reach against Rzepczynski, necessitating a righty to face Mike Napoli. I also suspect that he was hoping to save Motte for a save in the ninth or in extra innings or something. I believe that these brain locks — in addition to all of the base running stuff — cost the Cardinals the game.

Tony La Russa is one of the best managers ever. But he is not infallible. He overmanaged last night as it is his wont to do. He made a pretty major blunder last night because not even he is immune to doing so.  It’s also possible that he threw his bullpen coach under the bus last night on that telephone stuff, which is pretty sad if you ask me.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 25, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    Well, I guess he can go back to Sarah Palin again to receive an award for screwing up in a major way. She’s qualified to offer one.

    • skids003 - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:34 AM

      I think Nancy Pelosi would be a better choice for that.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        Pelosi is easily a better choice Skids.

      • Matt - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        Palin is clearly the choice for receiving an award for screwing up…Pelosi would be disqualified from such an honor because she’d have to actually get something accomplished in order to screw that something up.

      • mkd - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        Right. Because Palin has achieved so much…

  2. The Baseball Idiot - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    I agree, LaRussa lost them the game last night. The same one that Washington tried to lose for his team.

    But ‘getting ready’ does not necessarily mean ‘throwing in the bullpen’. Pitchers prepare in different ways. That includes getting mentally prepared, stretching, getting loose, even using the toilet so they won’t have to in the middle of an inning. Some pitches loosen up in the tunnel or batting cages, and only get on the mound when they are read to throw pitches, not just play catch.

    Just because Fox Sports didn’t show someone throwing doesn’t mean someone wasn’t getting ready. Some pitches need 2 dozen pitches at game speed, some need 5.

    As stated, LaRussa lost the game with lots of bad moves. But Fox not showing someone throwing a ball isn’t any kind of proof that LaRussa was lying about anything.

    • phillyphreak - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:51 AM

      TBI, the point about pitchers getting ready is moot because TLR said he called down twice to tell the bullpen to have Motte get ready. I’m willing to bet that LaRussa knows his pitchers warm-up routines and if it were just a case of him going into a tunnel then he’d probably know.

      Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a reliever come in without first seeing him warm up in the bullpen…..

      • The Underground Conservative - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        When he was managing the Chicago White Sox, Terry Bevington actually motioned to bring a pitcher into the game with no one warming up in the bullpen. Under the rules of baseball, someone had to come into the game.

  3. paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Well…the Cardinals played both bad and stupid baseball. They gave away 5 of their 27 outs (3 sac bunts and the 2 inexplicable stolen base attempts), and somehow managed to go 0 for 83 with RISP…but, in their defense, it is hard to hit with both your hands wrapped around your own throat. The Rangers appeared to very generous hosts and did everything they could to help the Cardinals win (bad fielding, 9 walks), but the Cardinals declined the generous offer.

  4. paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    I’ll also call BS on LaRussa’s explanation….before the game he told the Fox guys not to be surprised if he brought Scrabble in to face right handers….and after the game we are supposed to believe that he had no intention of Scrabble facing Napoli? He screwed up by not having his best relievers pitching in the highest leverage situation, but this is the way TLR always uses his bullpen…he has never ever EVER used his best guy(s) in the highest leverage situations…those guys are always for the 9th inning….the order of guys coming in last night is exactly how he always does it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      I fully anticipated those on the TLR “Hatetrain” refusing to believe anyone other than TLR was to blame for the bullpen disaster. I also fully expected everyone would be a conspiracy theorist with regards to the explanation. But if you watched the postgame interview you would absolutely believe it. He didn’t call out his Bullpen coach. If anything…he made excuses for him. He gave the Rangers fans credit for the noise…talked about how loud they were and how close they are to the Cardinals bullpen. He also compared it to issues in Philadelphia. He also admitted (which shocked the hell out of me)…to having the same issue arise a few times during the regular season. Further, he said there isn’t anything you can do if the guy doesn’t hear you. Pretty simple…if he doesn’t hear you…he doesn’t hear you. When he called for Scrabble and Motte to warm up…Lilliquist didn’t hear Motte. The 2nd call…while Motte and Lynn certainly don’t sound similar…they are both one syllable names. With the noise…I can believe it. Should Liliquist have called back to clarify? Without a doubt. But he didn’t. Asked what he could do to prevent it from happening again…TLR said “I guess send smoke signals.” I thought wow…the old guy is lightening up a bit. Regardless…L.L. came in a threw an IBB to the ONLY batter he faced (BECAUSE HE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO PITCH). This alone should remove any doubt for those on the “Hatetrain.”

      • phillyphreak - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        Tony? Is that you?

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        According to you TLR never does anything wrong. I will give him credit and blame when deserved. I am not blaming last night’s loss on TLR…but I am saying that he was lying in his post game….because what he said contradicts his stated intentions before the game.

  5. Jonny 5 - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    He pretty much gave away game 2 as well. I thought so anyway when he pulled Motte for Rhodes. Basically LaRussa gave away the WS so far. If they can still pull it out I’ll be shocked.

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:04 AM

      I also think the moves in game 2 were more egregious. In this game, it wasn’t TLRs fault that the entire lineup choked when it mattered….a large number of horrible ABs…the Ranger’s pitchers were no where near the zone most of the night, but you could see guys guessing and swinging at crap instead of just taking their base….they were patient with the bases empty or a man on 1st…as soon as there was a RISP, they were dead set against walking and hacked their way into a lot of outs….it was ugly.

      • cemdinc - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:46 AM

        Yeah you’re spot on here I think. The Cards offensive approach the past two games has been terrible. It’s almost like they wanted to replicate game 3 for the rest of the series and just swung for the fences with no patience and no discipline. It’s baffling.

        I’m a huge Cards fan but I honestly stopped watching after the top of the 7th because it was apparent to me that it was one of those nights where the Cards controlled the game, let the Rangers hang around, and it was gonna come back to bite us later. So I didn’t even see the bullpen fiasco and quite frankly it shouldn’t have mattered. I counted 3 times in the game when a Cards hitter made an out by swinging at the first pitch when a player or players in front of him had been walked. The Rangers couldn’t find the zone all night and that’s what they do? It’s beyond awful.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      Paper: You are mistaken with regards to me “thinking he never does anything wrong.” As I have stated many…many times…he drives me absolutely nuts with his tendency to think to much. Additionally, most recently I question the decision in game #2 to NOT pitch to (or even around Hamilton). This would have put the double play ball in order, resulted in a force out every base and potentially prevent more than one run from scoring in that fateful top of the 9th. Again…L.L. coming in and IBBing the ONLY batter he faced should dispell any perceived un-truths or mis-guidings (regardless of what his statements prior to the game happened to be). He manages pitch to pitch…out to out…inning to inning. So to think any previous statements prior to a game proves anything is just plain wrong. Hell…as mentioned the Guy has a frequent tendency to over think things (see pitch to pitch…out to out comments). As a result, any previous statements have no bearing on an in game decision (with regards to TLR anyway).

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        So…to clarify, he drives you nuts, but you will defend him to the death when he screws up, which he does a lot…in part because the more decisions you make, by chance, the more bad decisions you will make (plus he regulary employs strategies that are bad ideas in most situations). Perhaps I am just forgetful, but I can not recall a single instance where you said, “yeah, he screwed that one up”….you launch straight into a defense of the bad managing.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        Paper: I just pointed out an instance (see game #2 comments). He pulled Motte and brought in Rhodes. He should have (in my opinion) pitched to Hamiltion with Motte…or at the very least…pitched around him to load the bases and bring up the double play ball and force out at every base. Your comment “you launch straight into a defense of the bad managing” is incredibly ironic. You see…I feel you launch straight into finger pointing anytime something goes wrong (regardless of the circumstances). So much so I feel you tend to make shit up in an attempt to blindly try to prove your point.
        Latest example…and one I have seen from you numerous times “he regulary employs strategies that are bad ideas in most situations.” Yeah…for 30+ years numerous career Baseball Men have routinely been wrong about him. They continue to employ a man who “regulary employs strategies that are bad ideas in most situations.”
        Comical. Truly comical.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        …but he does employ strategies that are dumb. You act like for some reason people that run baseball are dynamic and change when new information comes to light. They most certainly do not…most are old white dudes who (like most of us) will die believeing the same things they believed when they were 25…despite the fact that many things had changed over the previous 50 years and that many of the old standard “strategies” have been shown to decrease chances of winning.

        TLR does regularly use strategies that decrease his team’s chances of winning, the fact that old guys still believe in old philosophies has no bearing on this fundamental truth. Either you learn new things or you get left behind, many in the Cardinals organization have been left behind.

        In the last week you have said 1) that Berkman was a better defensive OF than Holliday and 2) that Theriot was very good for the Cardinals in 2011. Both assertions are so hilariously wrong that I can’t take any of your baseball opinions seriously because they simply are not grounded in reality, but are your fancy.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        Paper: At the time…I pointed out that I intended to reference Theriot’s productivity during the NLDS…NOT the entire 2011 season. Yeah…Theriot was doing so well the Cardinals went out and picked up a 52 year old SS in Rafael Furcal to replace him. That is exactly my point. You have reached a level where you are now fabricating things (see previous reference to you making shit up) to try to prove a point. Clarification: I suspect you have always done this as it is now apparent (to me at least) after reading your posts and communicating with you over the last few weeks. My comment in regards to Berkman’s defense was simply made to illustrate my feelings with regards to Holliday’s defense (or lack thereof). Matt Holliday’s defense is horrendous (and yes…he recently made a nice flat footed throw to nail the Catcher at home plate) . I don’t care about his WAR…his UZR…his AKC…his UKC or any other statistic related accronym. According to me EYE rating (and years of Outfield experience) his defense is bad. That is why he is in LF to begin with. Yes…TLR “regulary employs strategies that are bad ideas in most situations.” It is too bad that you aren’t running a MLB team yourself. You could have saved all kinds of people monies over the last 30+ years TLR has been employed. Yeah…they have ALL had it wrong over his incredibly long career. After all…they are mostly “old white dudes” who resist change are incapable of acknowledging a better way of doing things. 30+ years…and they are all wrong.

  6. dohpey28 - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Tony LaRussa wasn’t 1 for 14 with RISP or whatever ridiculous number it was. That is why the Cardinal’s lost the game. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a LaRussa fan, but they never should’ve been in the position to let him make dumb moves pitching wise.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      It’s a combination, doesn’t the manager call for the hit & run and the sac bunts?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        Typically yes. But when A.P. is in the box…he has the green light to do so on his own (and has all year). Which is exactly what happened last night. He is one of the rare hitters who doesn’t mind to hit and run (most absolutely hate it because the runner can easily distract you). You could read between the lines when watching TLR’s reaction after speaking with Craig in the dugout…and in everyone’s answer in the post game interviews. TLR said…”just a mix up.” “This team isn’t going to throw anyone under the Bus.” Asked to elaborate…”it was just a mix up.” When Craig was asked about it…”it was a mix up.” When A.P. was asked about it…”it was a mix up.” Sounds like a mix up to me.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        Giving Pujols the green light to call a hit and run is 12 kinds of stupid…why in the world would you tell a guy that it is okay to take the bat out of his own hands…which is essentially what you are doing…and it was 13 kinds of stupid for Pujols to do it last night….and 14 kinds of stupid to have Craig running on the 3-2 count in the 9th….seriously…what did they hope to gain with that…it wouldn’t put the tying run in scoring position…it just gave away a precious out…which was highest likelihood outcome for that play.

        You are right, they aren’t going to throw anyone under the bus…I doubt it was a mix up, if it was, there wouldn’t be anyone to throw under the bus, someone screwed up and they aren’t saying who…and they shouldn’t…but it was probably AP.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        According to what I read on, the 1st time Craig got gunned down the Hit & Run was called by AP but the critical one in the 9th was called by TLR not AP.

    • easports82 - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      Totally agree. If the Cards got one more hit with all the guys they had in scoring position, then the bullpen stuff becomes mute.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        They have been doing it ALL year Paper. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you have been watching their games this year. When you hit into 515 Double Plays you tend to want to get the runners moving. It was definately a mix up. You could tell when Craig looked back at A.P. while running to second. You could tell by A.P’s reaction when Craig was running. You could tell by TLR’s reaction when speaking to Craig in the dugout and you could tell by everyone’s reaction in the post game interviews. It was blatantly obvious by the ”it was just a mix up” Company line. They circled the wagons during the 10 minute cool down period and this is the answer EVERYONE game. I am with you though…no doubt in my mind it was A.P. Why in the world would you NOT swing after giving the freaking hit and run sign? Unbelievable.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        I don’t buy it. Again…you could tell by TLR’s reaction when talking to Craig in the dogout (as well as everyone’s response in the interviews). The 1st hit and run was ball four (literally about 6 inches off the plate) that AP swung at. The 2nd one…he didn’t even swing the freaking bat. Unbelievable. You can say what you want about TLR…but he has NO problems whatsoever admitting when he makes a decision. Notice I stated “decision” and not “mistake.” Reason being…he feels he NEVER makes mistakes. With this thought process…why would you ever not admit to making a decision? Early in the game Craig sacrificed Furcal over to 3rd. When asked about this opening up 1st for a potential IBB to A.P. his response was “if you don’t get him in or move him over and 1st base is open they are going to IBB Albert regardless.” “With one out…a guy on 3rd and Carp pitching we felt good about it.” For this reason I fully believe had TLR called for the hit and run he would have gladly admitted it. You see…(this will come as a huge shock to a lot of people) players love playing for him for many reasons. One of which is him owning up to his “decisions” and in a great number cases actually deflected blame from his players…to himself. Makes a lot guys feel real loyal. Just ask A.P, Edmonds, Lance Berkman, and many…many..more. Just don’t ask Scott Rolen or Ozzie Smith.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      Can’t the offense have sucked AND LaRussa managed a stupid game? I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Absolutely Falcon. But in this case…I don’t disagree with anything he did. In fact, he saved the players and the BP Coach from a great deal of heat with his post game comments.
        All aboard!

  7. cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Sure seems to be al about the managers this morning. I agree, some inexplicable stuff went on with bullpen use and play calling. Lets not forget something though; there was some amazing baseball in there with the errors, mental lapses, shaky pitching, and plain goofy steal attempts.

    How about Mike Napoli, eh? Just doing what he does, behind the plate and with the stick. If there was ever a guy more disrespected by a major league manager this season it was Napoli and there he was, showing everyone who was right and who was wrong. Some arm on Napoli, eh?
    Then let us not forget Mitch Moreland. Not only makes a nifty stretch to get his pitcher out of another jam and save a run from the ball being thrown into the dugout, but also cue the come back Mitch, and tomahawk one into the seats. Talk about coming up big when you had to. McCarver’s words were literally hanging in the air “Moreland has some power. 16 homers in the regular season” and Mitch goes off “boom”.

    What a great series.

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      Sorry cur, I didn’t see any amazing baseball last night….both teams sucked most of the game, bad pitching, bad defense, bad approaches at the plate. Carpenter was great. Molina was great, every Ranger was on base at least once…but not a lot of good baseball was played last night….the stakes were high, but not the quality of the play.

      • cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        Running diving catch by Murphy; ends inning & redemption for double boot.
        Timely hit by Murphy; gets the Rangers a needed baserunner.
        Stretch catch by Moreland; ends inning, saves an error, a run and redemption for a boot
        Homerun by Moreland; speaks for itself. No one but Tim McCarver saw that coming.<- You DON'T see those words everyday.
        2 excellent throw outs on 2nd by Napoli, clutch hitting by Napoli. All around Napoli greatness: 2 words "MIke" & "Scoscia"

        Since I don't wear Cards Coloured Glasses I saw some excellent baseball in there with some really strange, goofy and bad baseball. On the big stage, some guys came up big. Even more sweet considering how they were fixin' to ether be the goat or irrelevant. To top it all, the bullpen phone is the front and center in the story. Same day as Craig writes a nice little homily about the disease infested thing. How cool is that?

      • dohpey28 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:18 AM

        Not everyone can be right all the time. Scioscia is a great manager, but like most people he has blinders on about certain people, good or bad. It’s human nature. Some guys just don’t get along. He and Napoli didn’t get along, so he was sent packing.

      • cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Doesn’t change the fact that its “advantage, Napoli” at this point. Frankly, I think if Scoscia had been a pitcher, or any other position player, he loves what he sees in Napoli. The guy is what Mike Young gets billed to be: a leader who doesn’t bitch about his lot in life, comes up clutch, fields his position with the best of them, and man, did he show up to play or what? No one takes Young’s hitting credentials lightly but he’s been mostly invisible this post season. No one saw Napoli being the offensive beast he’s been. Add in the defence? Man, it aint even close.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        And to think my dearest mongrel, the Bluebirds were supposed to benefit from Napoli, alas they traded him before they could announce his acquisition to the press, although J.P is no slouch I think having both around might have been Farrel’s answer to E5.

      • cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        FC I think about Naploi as a Jay every time I see the guy. It would have meant giving up a Molina, though. Anytime you have a chance to have a Molina on your team I say you go for it. Also, no Napoli post season greatness. He could not have overcome the lack of a closer and late relief in general that saw the Jays lose so many games that they had lead after 5 innings. Even with his ace bat to tomahawk homers all over the place, one guy doesn’t get them out of that. The Jays should have got more or him though. He’s an absolute steal for the Ryan Express…but you are correct; he’d have made a great beaver wrestler…

  8. cemdinc - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    One thing that that isn’t being talked about because of the bullpen disaster:

    Matt Holliday is hitting .167 in the series. That’s what $120 million will do for you apparently. But what’s even more confusing is why TLR doesn’t realize that Washington is going to walk Pujols every chance he gets as long as Holliday continues to be inept. So when the Rangers are actually pitching to Pujols — he once has Craig bunt, taking the bat out of AP’s hands, and twice tries to hit and run. What??? If they’re actually pitching to Pujols then have Craig stand on first base for all I care, and if they don’t, then get Holliday out of the cleanup spot and put Freese or Berkman there.

    This is a weird World Series. Now I know I am biased, and credit the Rangers for finishing games much better than St. Louis, but does anyone else feel like if Texas wins this series it’s more about the Cardinals blowing it? They were 3 outs away from going up 2-0 and gagged away Game 2, and then obviously had tonight’s meltdown. The only game I felt like Texas controlled from start to finish was Holland’s gem in Game 4…

    • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Agree 100%, except for game 4, it has felt more like StL gave away games….Holliday’s plate approach has been bad most of the series…but he’s pretty much always been a hot and cold player, sometimes he just starts guessing and his approach goes to shit…unfortunately, right now is one of those times….nonetheless, his contract has been great value the first couple of years…he’s been one of the top 10 position players in the NL each year on the Cardinals…I’ll take that for $16.3M/per.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Whoa…now hold on a second Cardinals fans. Weren’t you the same guys calling me names for saying that Cliff Lee gave the Cardinals game 2 of the NLDS and that if he had only pitched to his ability, the Phillies would have won that series? Now you are going to whine about how the Cardinals are giving the series to the Rangers? How about the Rangers are taking it from the Cardinals? Just as you all ganged up on me and said the Cardinals offense took it from Cliff Lee.

        Just saying…….#hypocrisy

      • cemdinc - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        Chris, I haven’t been signed up here long enough to have complained way back when about Cliff Lee. I’m not trying to take away credit from the Rangers, b/c at the end of the day the final score is what matters, not so much how you got there. All I am saying is that if you’ve watched every game, the only game I can think of where the Cards weren’t in the drivers seat was Game 4, when Holland pitched a terrific game and shut them down.

        Also, this isn’t twitter.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        No Chris, I did no such thing….I may have said that it was silly to say that Lee gave the game away when there was plenty of blame to spread around (the lineup did nothing the last 6-7 innings), but giving a game away and blaming a particular player when it was a team effort are different things.

    • dohpey28 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Atleast Holliday hasn’t dropped any easy fly balls yet.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        Chris…you need to read my post in regards to the Rangers having the lead for maybe 12 – 13 innings combined in this World Series yet being up 3 – 2. About them being clutch. About the good teams always finding a way. I call it like I see it (regardless of whether anyone agrees or not). When a team is flat out roping the ball and one tries to put the focus on the pitcher in lieu of said team roping the ball it disrespects the team hitting and makes one look like a pompous ass.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      I’d like to point out that this exact scenario played out against the Cardinals in ’09 when they were in the NLDS against the Dodgers. Pujols would get intentionally walked and then Holliday would choke. Washington is just ripping a page from Torre’s playbook after being burned by Albert in game 3.

      While I know stat-nerds poo-poo the notion of protection in the line-up you can’t say that with Berkman behind Pujols, there isn’t a noticeable difference. Maybe it’s a short series thing and in a long season it normalizes but real or not, at the very least, right now giving AP a pass to face the next hitter is paying dividends for Texas.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        Wait a minute FC. It is absolutely foolish to IBB anyone. It just doesn’t work out. Crazy…crazy way to manage. You just don’t do it. You absolutely pitch to everyone regardless of the situation.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        You’re being sarcastic right?

        3rd Inning: Man on 3B, Pujols Walked, Holliday hits into DP (end of inning).
        5th Inning: Men on 2B, 3B, Pujols Walked, Holliday gournds out (end of inning).

        Seems like it worked out last night.

        The only occasion I disagreed with walking Pujols was in the 7th after Craig was gunned down. Keep pitching to Albert, why the heck walk him with nobody on? At that point Holliday then had a hit!

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      “Matt Holliday is hitting .167 in the series. That’s what $120 million will do for you apparently.”

      It also buys a batting line of roughtly .300/390/.530, a 150 OPS+ and 5 WAR a year. How quickly people turn on a guy for a bad series. Yes, he has sucked in the WS, but the Cardinals would have never made it to the post season without him.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM

        Without a doubt Falcon. Well stated.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Sorry Cards fans…I decided to switch over to check on the game after the 15th punt of the football game, and unfortunately, my first at bat watched of the Series was Na-Po-Lee’s big two-run double. My apologies for the jinx.

    Cards in 7.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks alot Chris. Can you do me a favor? Either watch the next game in it’s entirety or don’t watch it at all. Come on Man!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        OK, when is the next game and what time does it start?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      FC: Of course I was being scarcastic. I apologize as I thought you knew where I stood on the issue in general. I would never…ever…ever pitch to AP (or Barry Bonds for that matter when he was still playing). Unless of course my team is up by about 10 runs late in the game and no one is on base. Then I might pitch to them so the fans get a chance to see them swing the bat.
      I should have been more obvious. Again…sorry.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Don’t quote me on this people…but if my Math and/or memory is correct…as we head to game 6 Texas has had the lead for 12…maybe 13 innings COMBINED in this entire World Series. Yet…they are up 3 games to 2. Last night the Cardinals were something like 1 – 12 with RISP and the Rangers were maybe 2 – 3. This is what you call clutch…clutch baseball (game #2 was also a wonderful example). The best teams always find a way to scratch, claw and will their team to a ‘W.’
    Now…St. Louis has to win (2) straight. But you know what? Texas just won 2 straight to go up 3 – 2. St. Louis’ backs have been against the wall for the last two Months so this shouldn’t come as a great surprise. This is shaping up to be a classic World Series.

  11. broncsfan72 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    cards still win in 7. go cards

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      I sure hope so Bronco’s. Gotta’ win two more.

  12. drunkenhooliganism - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    After the game one of the espn or mlb network guys said that this may have been caused by the guys in the bullpen having no idea what their roles are.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      Pretty simple really. When the bullpen phone rings and your name is called…start warming up.
      This of course…is assuming your bullpen coach is listening, hearing and/or fully understands the request.

  13. getgary - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    All this chatter about Tony blowing it, makes we wonder if we watched the same game. The loss was because the Cardinal hitters failed to score runs with men on base — numerous times. Tony’s decisions didn’t help things especially the Craig/Pujols at bats but the game was lost because of lack of hits with men on base. The relief pitching screwup didn’t lose the game.

    • unlost1 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      yeah, people are acting like Motte would have guaranteed a shutdown.
      Anyway it’s over. We can take game 6, but game 7 will be an uphill battle that Texas has the advantage in since any pitcher we start can only go 3 innings

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Two failed hit and runs and giving the opposition free outs on sac bunts. That’ll lose a game for you every time.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Sure…unless the next guy in the lineup actually does his job and Sacrifices the guy in from 3rd. Or…unless the next guy (or 15) in the lineup actually does their job and gets a base hit to drive the guy in from 2nd OR 3rd. Other than that…I agree Falcon.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      Absolutely Gary.

    • ms72lbc - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      Exactly right. Cards were 1 for 12 with RISP and I don’t remember see Tony taking any of those 12 at bats. Lack of timely hitting is what cost the Cards, not phone gate!

  14. electstat - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    La Russa’s made some suspect calls, but Pujols has really been a shocker for me. Other than the big game, he’s hitless and has been out of position four times that I have noticed. Just last night the pitcher got the error, but did anyone notice that had he come up with the ball, Pujols was no were near the bag? He didn’t have anyone to throw it to.

    • electstat - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      And…if the hit and run was called, no matter by whom, you have to swing, even at a bad pitch. It could be enough to throw off the catcher just a little. You can’t leave the runner out there to dry like that. At least swing and miss or swing and foul it off.

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        The entire game was a Cardinal fiasco to the nth degree.

        Zero execution with RISP and silly strategy decisions with the offense and bullpen.

        A total organizational loss from the game itself to the whacky explanations afterward.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Yep. The 1st time…AP swung at ball four (easily 6 inches off the plate as they also pointed out during the telecast). The 2nd time…he doesn’t swing. Unbelievable.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      Yeah…I noticed it initially. But after the reply…he was there at the last second. Had Carp fielded it cleanly the second time he could have made the play as that is what allowed A.P. to recover in time to get to the bag. Doesn’t matter though…the Rangers got clutch hits the very few times they were presented with the opportunities (and I mean that literally…they had maybe 3 chances). The Cardinals didn’t the 25 times they were presented with opportunities. The Rangers were clutch…Cardinals…not so much.

  15. vanmorrissey - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Agree completely. Did not believe for one second they got the wrong guy up. Don’t they have pre-game meetings to go over this especially in a World Series and since Lynn threw so much in earlier games they wanted him to rest? Makes no sense.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      Yeah…which is precisely why Lilliquist should have called to confirm Lynn. For whatever reason he didn’t. As a result. L.L. they IBB the batter he faced to give Motte more time (since he wasn’t warming up as instructed.).

  16. wgward - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Momentum changed when the Cardinals third base coach prevented Pujols from scoring…. The Rangers then got out of the inning…and the rest is history.

    • txnative61 - Oct 26, 2011 at 1:57 AM

      There you go, exactly. This is the World Series, no tomorrow, all the marbles, etc. and they’re backing off, waiting for another hit, which hasn’t come all game, and doesn’t come this time. Make them make a play! Its all about pressure, and the Cards didn’t apply it or respond. The Rangers did. Now it for all the marbles one last time and we’ll see, but the Cards need some urgency.

  17. richmondhokie - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    LaRussa didn’t cost them the game. The inability to hit home 12 different runners who were in scoring position killed the Cardinals. 12! Had just one fourth of them been hit home, we’d be asking what Texas has to do to beat the Cardinals, not the other way around.

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