Confidence building time should be over

The Cardinals had 2 of the 3 games against the Phillies in the bag.  A 3-run lead to start the bottom of the 8th inning with Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte coming in to nail down the series win.  For some reason, Mike Matheny decided that a lefty-lefty matchup outweighed the dominance that Boggs has shown all year, and went with Marc Rzepczynski instead.  I’ve yet to be critical of Matheny, but his decision to pitch Scrabble instead of Boggs to start the inning cost the Cards the game and the series.  At this point in the year, he shouldn’t be messing around with close games like this.  Also, with 3 lefty relievers in the BP now, why use the weakest one?  Matheny put Scrabble ahead of the team, and with less than one-quarter of the season left, confidence building sessions should be over.

Of course Boggs gave up the 3-run HR and will take the heat from the short attention span crowd, but Scrabble put the first 2 on by walking them.  I know they’ve been struggling, but Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were not two bats to take a chance with, not with a guy who hasn’t had command for most of the year in Scrabble.  If the Cards miss out on the playoffs, he will be one of the main reasons why.  It wasn’t just this game, it’s been happening all year save for the last 2 weeks.  Why in the hell did the Cards bring in Brian Fuentes if they’re not going to use him in spots that Rzep hasn’t handled for most of the year?

Moving on, Lance Lynn had a rough first inning and a down game by his standards, and may be suffering from a dead arm period.  His velocity is down on an average of 1.7 MPH on his fastball over the last 5 games according to  The Cards have no choice but to continue to ride him until the end, though.  The talk of Jaime Garcia coming back to join the rotation should mean that Joe Kelly is heading to the BP.  The continued talk of Lynn back to the BP needs to stop, because it just isn’t going to happen.  As for Garcia, I’ll believe it when I see it.  I have searched everywhere, and have yet to find a pitcher that has pitched effectively with a torn labrum.  More than likely, Garcia will be shut down just like all of the others before him.  The Cards are handling this in the same way they handled Mark Mulder, and I’m not expecting a different outcome.  Hopefully I’m wrong, and would be happy to be so.

I could go on and on about wasting offensive explosions and a number of other topics with the Cards leading in most statistical categories, but right now, this team is wearing me out.  They’re tough to watch when 1 or 2 players take away from the collective greatness, and the fear that a team this good won’t make the playoffs due to this is too much.  Thank goodness for the Olympics, which seemed to help a bit.  Maybe Scrabble can change professions and row for the U.S. in 2016, surely his paddle can hit the water.  Better yet, he should try an event that doesn’t require the use of an object from the arm to hit a spot on something.

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