Pitching Kills the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series Hopes


Roughly a month before the 2014 MLB Playoffs, many were counting the St. Louis Cardinals out. Most said it was a collective problem of both hitting and pitching. Again, the Cardinals hit another gear and headed into the postseason proving the doubters wrong.  The Cardinals found heroes in hitters like Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, and several others, however, it wasn’t enough to get the team through what at times seemed to be a stagnant bullpen.

In all fairness, I can’t completely blame the Cardinals’ pitching. I’m not the smartest person in the world, but manager Mike Matheny seemed to be completely lost when it came to making the right choices when it came to the bullpen.  There were times that I had no idea what he was thinking, to put it bluntly. How does he leave Randy Choate in when he’s having a meltdown? I can’t say I wholeheartedly agree with the decision to remove Adam Wainwright when he did last night. Wainwright seemed to be getting stronger. He had the look of a champion in his eyes. I would have much rather given Wainwright the opportunity to give one more inning than to start burning bullpen pitchers after the seventh inning.

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The most questionable call Matheny made was choosing to send Michael Wacha into the game when, literally, the season was on the line for those outs. He put an untested pitcher in the game with the season on the line who hadn’t seen mound since September 26. I could only shake my head in disbelief as Wacha walked to the mound. I asked myself “Is Matheny trying to lose this game?”, and then it happened. I turned the channel abruptly to the Blues game and tried to clear it from my mind. I’d say a more experienced manager could have gone further just by handling the bullpen better, but the challenges the bullpen presented against the Giants made it questionable to know if the Cards had the “right stuff” to go all the way.

On a high note, I think we have what is the beginning of an offense of perfection. Oscar Taveras will have some time this offseason to work on his swing, and I strongly believe that Wong and Randal Grichuk will be dominant all next season, along with nearly everyone else. Hopefully the Cardinals re-examine their pitching next season and are able to strengthen the bullpen and perhaps the starters as well. In the end, I look forward to another spectacular season for the Cardinals again.