Saturday, April 23, 2005
The Houston Solution
For the last few games, the Cards' pen has been, for the most part, above reproach. But last night they let the 'Stros tack on two more runs to the five ERs Marquis gave them. Flores and Reyes and Tavarez are relievers, and like other players they have bad nights. People don't really panic when a superstar hitter has an 0-4 night, or even a 1-4 with a single night, so it only stands to reason that people shouldn't panic when a pitcher has a game where they put some men on base and give up some runs. The important thing is that they bounce back, and not let a bad night or two throw them off for a lengthy strech. For the record, I haven't heard any panicking in the media or in blogland, but I think most others can recall other times where there has been panicking. (This is also, I confess, assuaging my own concern). There's always going to be some ugly wins in any season, whether it's a 105 win season or an 80 win season. A good team finds ways to win. Now, on the subject of relievers, I wonder just a little, tiny bit if there are a few ghosts this early in the season or the Cards and the Astros. Given the tough NLCS win in seven games, where we all released a HUGE sigh of relief when Edmonds made that catch on Ausmus' hit and again when the game was over and the Redbirds had won the NL. Clearly, some of the hitters may have nightmares of Brad Lidge, but you just wonder if they need to beat the Astros a few times to exorcise the ghosts and be reminded that there is little threat from the NL Central's perennial exercise in Texan mediocrity. This afternoon the Cards face the mercenary Roger Clemens, and it will be an important key to Birds finding their Houston solution.