So who is the better Reliever

July01/ 2017

Who is the better reliever? St. Louis Cardinals fans usually agree on a lot of things. This can get a bit trickier than you might think.

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If Christmas came in May, a shut-down bullpen would be on every St. Louis Cardinals fan’s wish list. But, can we agree on what that is? As Cardinals fan we DO agree on a lot.

Such as:
We cherish anything related to the word “Stan.”
We all love The Arch?
We NEVER gave up hope in GAME SIX? … you didn’t, did you?

I have a special puzzler for you today. Let’s see how many of “us” agree on this one.
The Cardinals’ currently have “bullpen issues.” So do ninety percent of MLB teams but all we care about is OUR bullpen. Right?

Last October the “flavor of the month” around MLB was Find An Andrew Miller Andrew Miller…. A shut down reliever who can throw BBs for THREE innings – 4th, 5th, 6th – 5th, 6th, 7th – or maybe 6th, 7th, 8th. The ninth would still be your evil-eyed flame-throwing gunslinger named Aroldis Chapman or something similar.

Anyone seen a list of how many clubs found “that guy?” It is a VERY short list.

Who cares BobLee? All we care about is what John Mozeliak was smoking when he signed Brett Cecil. OUCH!

I’m still wondering who Johnathan Broxton is related to in the DeWitt family. OUCH again.

So anyhoo… here’s my test to determine which one of YOU should be in charge of our bullpen. Two scenarios:

SCENARIO #1: 7th inning. Cards have a one-run lead on Whoever. Lets arbitrarily use Matthew Bowman here. I like him. No clue what “Rule Five” means, but I like Matt. …..

Pitch #1 …. Long towering fly to Randal Grichuk in Left. Back against the wall he hauls it in. One Out.
 Pitch #2 …. Deep to straight away center. Dexter Fowler on a dead run scales the wall and makes ”a snow cone” catch. Two Outs.
 Pitch #3 …. Screaming line drive down the 1st base line into the corner. Stephen Piscotty diving makes a circus catch crashing into the right-field corner. Three Outs
Three Pitches – Three Hard Hit Balls – Three Outs

SCENARIO #2: 7th inning. Cards up by one. We will go with Miguel Socolovich this time. I like him too. I “like” most of our team.
Pitch #1 …A squibbler in no-man’s-land dies 5’ in front of a charging Jedd Gyorko. Runner on first.
 Pitch #2 … A “tweener” in that 3’ gap between Aledmys Diaz and Kolten Wong. Runners on first / second. No outs.
 Pitch #3 …. A “dying quail” blooper falls between Wong, Matt Carpenter and Piscotty. Bases loaded. No outs.
Three pitches – Three coulda shoulda been outs – Bases Loaded
Two relief pitchers…. Three pitches…. Three very different results.

Which reliever did the better job? Who gets cheered? Who doesn’t. Notice I didn’t say “gets booed”. Cardinals fans don’t boo.

So you want to be a major league manager? You get paid very well and get to be in the dugout wearing a uniform and everything. And EVERY mistake is YOUR fault. But but but…


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