Lots of folks have been ragging on Trever Miller for putting men on base (via a walk after shaking off veteran catcher Brad Ausmus) so that when Albert came to bat against Chad Qualls he not only hit homerun #25, but also brought two other runs in with him.
Seems to me their beef should be with you.
You see, as a knowledgeable baseball person, the question I’ve been asking (with a semi-smirked sigh of relief) is Why-Oh-Why did Miller come in at all?
The St. Louis-Houston matchup isn’t a new one. No, we have a fairly storied history together, especially of late. So you should know: We (the Cardinals) have the worst time with Roy Oswalt. He stymies us every time. We can hit Qualls, as you know. We can hit Lidge, as you know. Today we hit Miller, as you know. And we have far less trouble with Pettitte and Clemens than we do with Oswalt… as you know.
Seriously, we go into an Oswalt game hoping to be able to keep the game close– within one or two runs– and then pray for an early departure so we can get our bats going on whoever (as in, ANYBODY) else is willing to take the mound against us. And tonight our hopes came to fruition without flaw.
Hey, Dummy. You played right into our hands. And you should know better.
Honestly, are you trying to tell me that Roy can’t pitch past 90 pitches effectively? He was keeping us at bay (as in no action from Pujols, the only time Rolen saw the base paths was via the sole walk RO granted, and induced two double plays) yet you pulled him at 91 pitches… after only six innings on the mound. (We let Jason Marquis toss 106 to get him into the seventh inning, and he was trailing by a run! Maybe our guy is tougher than your guy.)
Anyway, I couldn’t believe it… and was so happy about the exchange that I got up and did a "We’re Going To Win" jig in my living room because that gave us three full innings to swing away at the expense of somebody who wasn’t Roy Oswalt, the bane of our Texas Connection.
Which, by the way, we did. And we got three runs in the process.
I hate to give away our secrets, but anyone with a couple years worth of box scores will tell you: The Cardinals (including the mighty Albert Pujols) have blind bats when Roy Oswalt takes the mound. Long live Miller, Qualls, Lidge and anyone else not named Roy Oswalt.