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Old 01-25-2013, 05:27 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 05-29-2013, 11:58 AM   #1036
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
All right, Chiefsplanet Cardinals fans. I respect the opinions of this contingent of Cardinals fans. Lot of good, hardcore baseball minds in the room (Or thread, whatever).

I have recently seen Cardinals fans on another message board freak the f*** out on a few things and want to get this group's take.

1) Would Alex Gordon start for the Cardinals? This was a very hotly contested point. I'm not sure what team or fanbase WOULDN'T want to find a spot for a guy on pace to hit .330/.370/.500, with 100 R and 100 RBI in a shit-tastic lineup, but apparently the group of Cards fans I was talking to would not. I pointed out Gordon's positional versatility - his ability to play LF, RF or 3B - and that he has been one of the best all-around players in baseball over the past 2.25 seasons.

The debate quickly turned into Holliday vs Gordon, though. (I know where Frazod would weigh in). Even there, the (factual) statement that the gap offensively has closed greatly as Gordon began to figure things out and as Holliday started to decline seemed to insult many, who wanted to point to career stats as the reason Holliday would start NOW.

Thoughts?

2) Wainwright and Shields. This one is fresh. Cardinals fans were talking about Wainwright being "obviously" head and shoulders above Shields. When recent performances - again, each guy's past three years, not a one-year sample size - were compared and it was pointed out that they have been nearly identical pitchers, people flipped out.

Is the suggestion that James Shields and Adam Wainwright are both top 20 pitchers, slotting somewhere in the tier below the Verlander/Kershaw/King Felix/etc. elite group really that crazy or insulting?

3) Billy Butler has a shot at 3000 hits. Someone commented they were shocked Butler already had 1000 MLB hits. Someone else said he had a shot at 3000 hits. Outrage ensued. Being honest, I think we can all say it's unlikely Butler ages extremely well. But he also has been an incredibly durable player and consistent hitter. He would need 12 more seasons in which he averages 167 hits to get to the mark (or about 11 more at his current career hits average). The odds are not great - mostly because that would mean Butler would have to play without injury and at a similarly high level well into his mid-to-late 30s - but there is a SHOT.

There have been a few more (there was an uproar when someone said a year or so ago that they hoped Sal Perez could be as good as Molina, that I still don't get), but those are the main ones.

Interested in reactions of Cardinals fans I know and respect. Thanks, guys.
1. How long have we had Gordon? If the Cardinals had Gordon they wouldn't have signed Beltran before the 2012 season. He's a better hitter than Freese, but from what I remember he was an atrocious third baseman. I can't imagine that they wouldn't find a place to plug him in, even if it was like the way they used Pujols as a rookie: 1B, 3B, LF, RF.

2. Wainwright's last three full seasons:

5.3, 5.6, 4.0 (coming off TJ)

Shields' last three full seasons:

1.7, 4.5, 3.9


This season: WW: 3.0, JS: 1.8

Wainwright's xFIP is also better as well.

Wainwright also has one of the best 2-3 pitches in baseball that he can lean on in a desperate situation. Shields doesn't have that.

I don't view them in the same class at all.

3. No. Bad bodied DHs don't age well. It's just that simple.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #1037
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Originally Posted by ChiefsandO'sfan View Post
This is why Interleague rivalries are dumb. 4 games Cards vs Royals , Pirates vs Tigers , Reds vs Indians. These 4 games could cost the Reds and Pirates, While the Cards get 4 easy wins.
Well why don't ya cry about it, saddle bags?
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #1038
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Well why don't ya cry about it, saddle bags?
He is ****ing douche troll just ignore the idiot.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #1039
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Originally Posted by ChiefsandO'sfan View Post
This is why Interleague rivalries are dumb. 4 games Cards vs Royals , Pirates vs Tigers , Reds vs Indians. These 4 games could cost the Reds and Pirates, While the Cards get 4 easy wins.
Look at the Reds' schedule so far, dumb ****.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:14 PM   #1040
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Look at the Reds' schedule so far, dumb ****.
That will even out with the start of your 2nd half schedule dummy. You cant make up these 4 games.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #1041
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Originally Posted by ChiefsandO'sfan View Post
That will even out with the start of your 2nd half schedule dummy. You cant make up these 4 games.
Did you ever stop to think that the Reds are as close as they are due to their schedule and that these four games may not matter as much as you think once it actually evens out?
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:21 PM   #1042
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Did you ever stop to think that the Reds are as close as they are due to their schedule and that these four games may not matter as much as you think once it actually evens out?
Can you really sit here and say interleague rivalries are fair?
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #1043
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Originally Posted by ChiefsandO'sfan View Post
Can you really sit here and say interleague rivalries are fair?
Show me a post where I said they were.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #1044
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Originally Posted by frazod View Post
I'm okay with Holliday. I mean, I'm never going to rush out and buy a Holliday jersey, but he's our No. 1 guy, like it or not. I just hope he's still useful in October.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:29 PM   #1045
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Did those games help us out in 2011 when we were 11.5 games out in late August and went on to take the title?
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #1046
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Appreciate the responses.

1) Alex Gordon's defensive value at 3B was basically the same as David Freese (neutral to slightly below average). His worst seasons defensively - 2009 and 2010 - also happened during seasons Gordon was injured and in small sample sizes. He could definitely play everyday there. He also can play 1B and would be an upgrade over Craig or Adams.

Like you guys said... They would get him in that lineup.

We'll see how Holliday closes the year, but right now Gordon is a better offensive player (and defensive and baserunning abilities are really not close). How much time is left on that Holliday contact? I remember he's making $20 million/year or so...

2) I was looking at 2011, 2012 and this season when comparing Shields and Wainwright initially (because I was lazy and that was the default in the StatsPass setting I was using). Since wainwright didn't pitch in 2011, I was comparing 2010, 2012 and 2013 for Waino to 2011-now for Shields (stupid Tommy John).

I don't have a problem saying Wainwright is better historically or that he is a few slots higher on the totem pole in the grand scheme of things. Assuming he fully recovers from TJ (and it looks like he has), Wainwright is one of the top 15 pitchers in baseball, easily and without any debate. I think you could comfortably say Shields is one of the 20-25 pitchers in baseball, easily and without any debate. Especially considering that he is a career AL and AL East pitcher.

It was the claim that Shields wasn't even in the same zip code (and, subsequently, pointing out that the two pitchers are closer/more similar than some might realize of late) that touched off the hysteria and anger.

3) I full expect Butler's career to start to slide downhill once he reaches his mid-30s. No argument there. I know that Bill James' whiz-bang career projection tool spits out about a 24 percent chance that Butler reaches 3k hits. I think that's high and would say it's more like a 10 or 15 percent chance.

People over there were giving it a "winning Powerball" chance, though, which is silly.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:40 PM   #1047
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Holliday makes about 17 MM. He's just been "blah" to start this season. Never had an extended hot streak, but he's never looked completely helpless either. He's also been a little unlucky to start the year. His K rate has dropped precipitously and his BABIP is .267, but his GB rate is up while his LD rate is a touch down, but at the same rate it was when he was a 6 WAR player in 2010.

Gordon's near .400 BABIP is a might ridiculous.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:47 PM   #1048
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If he could play an equal defensive third base, I'd put Gordon there, put him in the 2 hole and forget about it.

I don't think I'd take him over Craig and/or Adams at first simply because I'm not sure he would have the thud to hit 4th as they do/can.

But to put him and Carpenter in front of Holliday, Craig, Beltran, Yadi, would be pretty impressive.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:08 PM   #1049
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If he could play an equal defensive third base, I'd put Gordon there, put him in the 2 hole and forget about it.

I don't think I'd take him over Craig and/or Adams at first simply because I'm not sure he would have the thud to hit 4th as they do/can.

But to put him and Carpenter in front of Holliday, Craig, Beltran, Yadi, would be pretty impressive.
Gordon is a better hitter than Craig, and he has proven quite durable, something Craig has yet to really do. He's a .300/.370 OBP guy who is going to hit around 20 HR and 40 2B (and that's in a lineup where he has much less help than he would in St. Louis, and much more pressure). If you don't like him 4th, hit him 2nd or 3rd and drop Beltran and Holliday down a slot.

Or forget about Gordon at 1st or 3rd. Play Matt Holliday at 1B and leave Gordon in left. Keeps Holliday's bat in the lineup and moves him off of a position where he is below- to fringe-average. Holliday might also be able to avoid the nagging injuries that always seem to steal a couple of weeks from each of his seasons.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:11 PM   #1050
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Holliday makes about 17 MM. He's just been "blah" to start this season. Never had an extended hot streak, but he's never looked completely helpless either. He's also been a little unlucky to start the year. His K rate has dropped precipitously and his BABIP is .267, but his GB rate is up while his LD rate is a touch down, but at the same rate it was when he was a 6 WAR player in 2010.

Gordon's near .400 BABIP is a might ridiculous.
His BABIP each of the past two seasons has been Jeter-esque. Something like .357.

At this point, I'd expect the .396 BABIP to correct down but probably end up a smidge higher than in 2011 and 2012 since we're already through nearly 1/3 of the season.
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