Let’s get to the good news first. That news is that the Cardinals are still in first place. Now the bad news. Ryan Franklin is still on the roster and the Cardinals just dropped 3 of 4 in a series that should have been the other way around. I guess it’s time for Fernando Salas to get benched. After all, he’s a young pitcher that has now blown one save in 11 opportunities. Once again, the blown save is magnified because of the early season disaster of Franklin. All together, Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez and Salas are 18 for 22 in saves opportunities. Franklin is 1 for 5. You do the math.
Getting back to the series against the Giants, let’s start with game 3. I think everyone out there knew that bringing Franklin in a 5-5 game was almost as bad as a forfeit. There’s just no room for Franklin on this team when you have Mitchell Boggs wasting away in Memphis. He shouldn’t be there, plain and simple. I’ve heard all the excuses, and none of them hold water. I was getting ready to write an article about Allen Craig’s heroics until Salas became human. Still at that point, the Cardinals had options. How much longer can Tony LaRussa really stick with Franklin? It’s not Franklin’s fault, he just doesn’t have it.
After taking a 3-0 lead in the final game of the series in Lance Lynn’s debut, a botched double play at the hands of Ryan Theriot opened the door for the Giants. After hitting Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff connected for the first hit of the game off of Lynn in the 4th inning. That hit was the first of 3 HR’s for Huff on the night. I thought Lynn pitched pretty well up to that point. I could go on and on about this game as well, but I’m ready to move forward. I won’t mention that putting a catcher at 3rd base is a bad decision. I’m not going to talk about Maikel Cleto. I also won’t point out that the Giants were the worst offensive team in the NL until this series with the Cardinals, and that was with Buster Posey.
So what do we have to look forward to as fans? It appears that the Cardinals only have a chance in games in which the starters can go long enough that the only relievers used are Sanchez and Salas. Again, the pressure on both of them is going to be magnified because of Franklin.
The Cardinals DL is filling up quickly. I didn’t expect them to be doing so well without Adam Wainwright and especially not with the struggles of Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter. We are finding out that Craig and Jon Jay can play, as well as Daniel Descalso. If the team can make it through the next 15 days without Matt Holliday, the season still has a chance to be special. The schedule is in our favor during that time, as we will have a 3 game series each against the Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Nationals and Royals. The Brewers should be the only team that gives this team trouble. That is, unless those teams get to see batting practice pitchers.