Monday, August 6, 2012

Cardinals Preview, Plus Good Reasons to Cheer for the Pirates and the Rockies This Week

Since a four-game series in St. Louis sounds pretty serious, I thought I'd scout the Cardinals in advance. So before dinner last night, I turned on their game against the Brewers. Here's what I came up with:
  • They're not the Rockies.
  • They have a record that is currently identical with the Giants: 59-49.
  • Lance Lynn occupied what could have been Ryan Vogelsong's spot on the all-stars.
  • These guys can hit.
I also wrote a preview for the two games in May that the Giants and Cardinals split. I mentioned two things of note:

First, I figured that Krukow and Kuiper wouldn't be able to resist talking about Carlos Beltran or possibly comparing him to Melky Cabrera. At the time, Beltran's slash line was .295/.407/.648 with 13 home runs (1.055 OPS), while Cabrera's was .333/.380/.487 with two homers (.867 OPS). And then Beltran didn't play much (one pinch hit appearance) and the point was moot. At this point in the season, the judgment that Melky would add more to the team bears out (and note the slugging percentages): Beltran is currently batting .286/.357/.537, while Cabrera is hitting .352/.397/.530. Melky's OPS is .927, Beltran's .894.

Second, I noted that Charlie Culberson's call-up probably indicated that the Giants wanted to know their infield depth with Freddy Sanchez out for the season. It turns out, with another injury to Pablo Sandoval, that they'd rather have Marco Scutaro, and I think that is a good decision. If you haven't noticed, he's put up some solid numbers as a Giant: .353/.410/.441. I don't expect him to continue such lofty production through the rest of the season, but he's been miscast as late-season bench-depth.

All this being said, I'm not sure what to expect from this series. While the Giants play the Cardinals, Jim Tracy is taking his extended spring training show on the road, and, of course, the Rockies are playing the Dodgers. We must ask of Colorado to do us a solid, and play the spoiler against the Dodgers, and then come to San Francisco to be swept over the weekend. That's not too much, right? Somebody's got to do it. 

Before Coors field, the Giants had scored 414 runs, and allowed 417, earning them a Pythagorean W-L ratio of 52-53. Going into St. Louis, they've scored 449 and allowed 430, tipping that ratio over to a winning record of 56-52. Now that I've typed it out, I've forgotten why I thought that was important.

Hey, look at that, the Diamondbacks play the Pirates. Go Pirates!

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