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Old 01-25-2013, 04:27 PM  
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***OFFICIAL*** 2013 STL Cardinals Thread

From Bernie's column:

People have asked me why weíre not more emotional,Ē Matheny said in his office after Sundayís game. ďThey say that we look subdued, always intense. That our actions are methodical, robotic at times. Thatís what got us here. This isnít the time to change it.Ē

Itís hard to argue with the managerís assessment. The Cardinals finished with 97 victories, most by a Cards team since 2005, and tied with Boston for No. 1 in the majors this year.


Their 54-27 showing at Busch Stadium matches the 1985 team for the best single-season home winning percentage (.667) by the Cardinals since 1944.

A postseason theme has emerged, and it echoes the mantra that surfaced before the start of 2013: remember the fall of 2012. Remember falling to San Francisco in the NLCS.


The Cardinalsí veterans still havenít forgotten. They still arenít over it. Itís why Matheny resists GM John Mozeliakís urgings to smile and put on a happier face.


Here's the most impressive aspect of the Cardinals' division championship: they prevailed over two other outstanding teams, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.



The 97-win Cardinals were better this year (regular season) than they were in 2011, when they won 90 games, and 2012, when they won 88.
Here are a few numbers that help put the Cardinals' Central title and No. 1 NL seed in perspective:



* Since MLB switched to a three-division format in each league in 1994, this was only the sixth time that a division had three 90-plus win teams. St. Louis won 97, Pittsburgh 94, and Cincinnati 90.
* Since the format change, this was only the second time that an NL division had three 90-win teams. In 2002 the NL West had Arizona (98 wins), San Francisco (95) and Los Angeles (92).
* The 2013 Cardinals faced more esteemed and difficult competition at the top of the division than any of the division-winning teams managed by Tony La Russa.

The Pirates were hardly pushovers; the Cardinals had to work like mad and kick in with a strong finish to put the division away, and didn't clinch until Game No. 160.



The Cardinals went 9-10 against Pittsburgh this season and were 11-8 vs. Cincinnati.


The Cardinals won only three of 10 games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and split the 10 games at Cincinnati. The Cardinals were 6-3 against both teams at Busch Stadium.


The Cardinals (1st), Pirates (3rd) and Reds (5th) ranked among the top five in wins in the NL. The three teams were among the top 11 in wins in MLB. All three teams finished in the top five in the majors for best overall ERA, and each were in the top five MLB for best starting-pitching ERA.


The original purpose to this piece was to point out that the Cardinals managed to finish with the league's best record while competing in a division that had three 90-win teams for only the second time in the last 19 years of National League baseball.



The Cardinals really earned this.
Thanks for reading ...
ó Bernie

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Old 04-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #466
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:20 PM   #467
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I'm still not comfortable with Boggs up 4.
I wouldn't be comfortable with Boggs up by 14.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:21 PM   #468
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:25 PM   #469
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #470
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:06 AM   #471
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Winner. But still, **** you Boggs.
The closer job is up for someone to grab now. I still think we let Rosenthal learn on the job because of his huge upside.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #472
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The closer job is up for someone to grab now. I still think we let Rosenthal learn on the job because of his huge upside.
Disagree. You give the job to Mujica because he's earned it. If Rosenthal starts blowing people away then you can move him into that spot, but he hasn't done that this year, and the last thing the organization needs to do is obliterate his confidence.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #473
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The closer job is up for someone to grab now. I still think we let Rosenthal learn on the job because of his huge upside.
Rosenthal's huge upside remains as a starting pitcher and he's not going to develop the 3rd pitch he needs trying to get high leverage outs as a closer. You keep trying to shoehorn him into a job that he's done absolutely nothing to earn while continually spitting the bit this year when asked to get key outs.

I still think he should be in AAA learning to throw his breaking ball in fastball counts and developing his secondary offerings. I don't want the kid pigeonholed as a reliever just because he excelled in the role last September. He's been a starter his whole career - continue to develop him as one.

The more I look at Mujica, the more I can't understand why I was against him in the 9th and why others are as well. What are the two most damaging thing a closer can do in the 9th? Walks and HRs - does anyone disagree with me there?

Mujica doesn't walk anyone and he rarely gives up HRs. Moreover, Boggs is killing us because he has no command within the strike zone - he's centering everything. Well Mujica's also outstanding at hitting his spots. If you started with a guy that virtually eliminates the 2 things that you can't have a closer doing (free passes and HRs) and said nothing else about Mujica's arsenal, you'd be doing cartwheels at the possibility of him closing.

People are a little anti-Edward because of the scouting reports; most notably his velocity. But does anyone else realize that Mujica throws 92 mph on his average fastball? No, it's not rocketfuel, but there's some giddyup there. And I'm pretty sure it was Hamas that said it, but when you watch Mujica come in after Kelly or even Rosenthal, it's like someone sets the difficulty mode to difficult with him. Everything he throws moves like crazy. If you're dialied up to catch up to high heat and in comes Mujica throwing 92 with whiffle-ball movement, you're going to screw yourself into the ground trying to hit him.

Meanwhile, Boggs and Rosenthal are similar enough pitchers that you're going to have a better feel for that kind of guy.

I'm a huge believer in promotion on merit in major league baseball and all Mujica has ever done in St. Louis is attack the strike zone, keep the ball in the yard and get key outs for us in tight spots. He's a savvy veteran that's easily been the best pitcher in the 'pen this year. He's earned a crack at it.

Give Mujica a shot. I think he'll run with it and we'll get a year extremely similar to the year we got out of Ryan Franklin in 2009. He'll do a great job for a year or two, IMO. If Rosenthal still hasn't been able to transition to a starter's role at that point, then you put him at the back of the bullpen and tell him to fire away.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #474
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And by the way, Mujica was warming last night when Boggs put the runner at 2b. Had there been another single and that run scored, Mujica was due to come in...with a 3 run lead....in the 9th.

That's a save-opp, kiddos. Sure looks like Matheny has made the switch to Mujica, at least for the time being.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #475
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And by the way, Mujica was warming last night when Boggs put the runner at 2b. Had there been another single and that run scored, Mujica was due to come in...with a 3 run lead....in the 9th.

That's a save-opp, kiddos. Sure looks like Matheny has made the switch to Mujica, at least for the time being.
About time....
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:31 PM   #476
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I wouldn't be surprised if he had success.

Only the Cards could acquire a turd like Mujica and have him end up locking down games.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #477
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I wouldn't be surprised if he had success.

Only the Cards could acquire a turd like Mujica and have him end up locking down games.
Eh, Mujica was never a turd, really.

His 2011 season was actually an excellent year; getting a 1.8 WAR out of a setup man is damn fine work. He also had a couple of decent years in SD before that.

At his worst, he was an average relief pitcher but a guy that has clearly improved as he's aged a bit and developed that funky split-finger that people are really struggling with.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #478
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:33 AM   #479
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Disagree. You give the job to Mujica because he's earned it. If Rosenthal starts blowing people away then you can move him into that spot, but he hasn't done that this year, and the last thing the organization needs to do is obliterate his confidence.
I'm okay with Mujica getting a shot first. But, does anyone think he can still be the closer all season and into the playoffs? Rosenthal could pull that off.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:34 AM   #480
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And by the way, Mujica was warming last night when Boggs put the runner at 2b. Had there been another single and that run scored, Mujica was due to come in...with a 3 run lead....in the 9th.

That's a save-opp, kiddos. Sure looks like Matheny has made the switch to Mujica, at least for the time being.
He has said publicly that the job is not Bogg's alone anymore.
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