The month of September brings all of us some refreshing weather temps, signals the end of summer, and turning off the AC….but it also carries some real significance to the StL Cards and the Mizzou Tigers…. let’s take a closer look to get a better feel for the situation…
First of All…..the remaining schedule……
…for the Cards….thus far the Cards in 10-9 in September….it looked they were ready to be knocked out after dropping the first two games in SF but a 4 game win streak has revitalized their energy and put them in a solid position in the 3 team wild card race…after today’s get-away game in the Rocks…the Cards have these games remaining…3 -Cubs, 4-Reds, 3-Pitt..I see 6 of 10 wins there…meanwhile the Mets have 7 games with the Phillies and 3 versus the Marlins; the Giants will spend their last 10 games in this way—3 vs San Diego; Colorado for 3 and wrap up the season against the Dodgers. ….
So who REALLY has the best schedule….well according to ESPN team rankings….
the Cards are facing the #1 team(Cubs 3x), #18 team(Pitt-3x) and the #26 team (Cincy 4x)
the Mets are playing the #23 team(Philly) seven times and the #17 team—Marlins 3x
the Giants have the the #27 team-San Diego 3x, #5 Dodger for 3x and Col #19 team-3x
The Cards DO have the Cubs for 3 games and the Giants face the #5 Dodger for 3 games.. I’d have to say that the Mets have the best schedule in the last 10 games with the Giants schedule just slightly easier than the Cards…thus StL has the toughest.
StL Personnel Performance of Late….
For the last 30 days….Yadi continues his superior work for 2016…he leads the regulars with a .362 mark. Randall Grichuk (Mr Yo-yo—up & down so much)…is the only other regular over .300 …he’s at .301….some of the others make one cringe a bit…Piscotty .255, Gyorko .245, Carpenter .242,Peralta .210, Diaz .174, Moss .143, Hazelbaker .138…phased out of the picture have been Wong .238 and Adams .233
It’s clear Peralta & Diaz are not hitting…. I assume Diaz is still suffering from the injury that apparently has not completely healed….Peralta is fighting it on two fronts…recovering his strength from injury and …more significantly…..age. I do think that Peralta will be benched during the playoffs (unless he’s a DH in series). Carp @ 3b with Gyorko/Wong playing vs LHP or RHP respectively. LF is still be a sore spot….so Holliday may…may…make a return with Yo-Yo and Piscotty rounding out the lineup. Moss’ complete falling off of the batting cliff has caused me to lose my faith in his dependability in post-season against good pitchers. The Rotation has already dumped Wacha & Garcia…so its Martinez, Wainwright, Reyes, Weaver and Leake in that order…at least to me…Reyes has been spectacular of late.. he’s 2-1 in his 3 starts, 28 IP, 17 hits, 15—BB and 31-K. His control issues seem to be his only Achilles Heel….if I were coaching against him…I’d tell all my batters to “lay off” the high Fastball that rises out of the strike zone. Leake may never get a start with the many days off in post-season. This is not to knock Leake..he’s been as advertised…9-10, 4.54 era(lower than Wainwright, Garcia, Wacha and Rosenthal this season) Remember the Giants acquired Leake late last year as the Reds began their salary dump….Leake was 2-5 with 4.07 for them. Ya know we didn’t acquire a Rolls-Royce in Leake…more like a Taurus J ….but it’s an $80mil Taurus….ouch…
The Tigers are 1-2 going into this week’s cupcake game against Delaware State….but…really not as bad as one may think…
….the retooled Tiger offense is generating some plays…Drew Lock looks like a different person…he’s no longer scrambling for his life and getting rid of the ball likes it’s a “hot” grenade..offensive coordinator Josh Heupel must take the credit for this pleasant, and very positive turnaround…the O-line has provided ample time for Lock … a drop-back, pro-type QB to throw his longer patterns.
…the defense doesn’t seem as dominate to me..some teams have run the ball with some degree of proficiency…and the final Georgia drive didn’t have the pass pressure when we really needed it.
…..a look at our opponents –W. Va was too quick for us…. Eastern Michigan ran the ball in the 1st half…until the Tiger’s athleticism took over the game….and we really don’t know if Georgia is good…or really good….I’m ducking as all those SEC fans are throwing stuff at me….N. Carolina a key 1st game win…. graduated many players from the 2015 edition ..cupcake Nichols state means nothing….the late heroic win over Mizzou may be the springboard for the Bulldog to catapult upwards into the top echelon of SEC east..we’ll have more of a determination this week as the Dogs bark at the Ol’ Miss club….who’s licking their wounds after a Bama drubbing….short of it….it was a strong game for the Tigers… but ya gotta win those type of games to get into a major bowl…losing close doesn’t do it.
…Mizzou still has the same challenges as one glances at the conference standings after just 3 weeks….sitting atop @ 3-0 are Florida and Georgia, S. Carolina is 2-1, Tenn is 0-0 in SEC but an improved 3-0 overall…Mizzou, Kentucky & Vandy are all 1-2 as they were last year….I DO think that the Tigers are vastly improved over last year due to their offense …which should enable the defense to defend the pass better since if an opponent is behind…they usually don’t run as much. I’m actually thinking that the Tigers could…..could…upset LSU…if that happens…the electric around the Tigers will be juiced up again…so that game in 2 weeks against a different set of Tigers (LSU) looms as a key to the season.
Some other September notes…
…..who would have thought that the powerful USC Trojans would ever be getting points against Utah (3-0) in a football game?…..the Trojans are still suffering from the Pete Carroll recruiting violations…maybe they’re trying to make the Rams feel good by being so bad J
…the best hitter in the last 30 days of the MLB is Boston 2B—Dustin Pedroia at .411…this 33 year old has spent his entire 11 year career in Boston and has a lifetime average of .301
….another phenom has emerged as Carlos Santana (Clev Indians) has powered his way into the 30+ HR club as he belted #33 this week…I thought he’d been around since his name-sake was playing Black Magic Woman back in the 60’s….but no…he’s only 30 years old
….I must admit….somehow Jeff Fisher has Pete Carroll’s number….the exiled Rams 9-3 win over the Seahawks sounded much more like a baseball score but again…the Rams offense hasn’t scored double figures yet in a game…..I know that makes most of you happy to read how inept the Rammies are in LA
….Blaine Gabbert is already in his 6th season in the NFL…his first 2 games in 2016 have not been spectacular but….he’s still 1st string
….#4 Hazelwood Central (5-0) is the only unbeaten top 10 team in the StL rankings ….many of these other top 10 schools have faced each other in the early weeks of the season
…proud to see that the two former schools that I coached football are both highly ranked….Trinity (It was called Rosary while I was there) is #2 small school @ 5-0 and CBC is #3 large school with a single loss to the #1 East St Louis.
…it’s time for me to wrap up the summer….since it’s Sept 21 .. but I still have some summer stuff waiting for me….like the lawn J