Posted on: May 21, 2010 6:58 pm
 

Angels @ Cardinals 5/21 Simulation

Well it's time for interleague play, and I've gotten the first game of things taken care of on the simulation, so let's see how it compares yet again. If memory serves me right without looking, the last time I did this for the Reds and Cardinals, it didn't turn out anything like the real game, so it's time for take two.

The starting lineups used are indeed the ones that are in place for tonight's game, so hopefully that helps keep things more realistic, if such a thing exists in a game.

Angels:

SS Erick Aybar
2B Howard Kendrick
LF Bobby Abreu
CF Torii Hunter
1B Kendry Morales
RF Juan L. Rivera
Mike Napoli
3B Brandon Wood
Joel Pineiro

Cardinals:

SS Felipe Lopez
RF Ryan Ludwick
LF Matt Holliday
1B Albert Pujols
CF Colby Rasmus
3B David Freese
Yadier Molina
2B Skip Schumaker
Brad Penny

Well this one again is one I hope that doesn't turn out the way it simulated, both teams cranked out 9 hits a piece, but with 2 out in the top of the 9th inning, Ryan Franklin surrendered a 3 run home run to Howie Kendrick that proved to be the difference maker, and the Cardinals fell to the Angels 5-3.

Some notable stats from the game, Cardinals SP Brad Penny went 8 innings and scattered 8 hits, only giving up 2 earned runs while striking out 8. Joel Pineiro turned in a quality start as well in his return to St. Louis, but was pulled after 6 and a third innings and giving up 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, and struck out 4 batters. Fernando Rodney and Brian Fuentes pitched the final 2 and 2 thirds, with Rodney just giving up one hit.

As far as the hitting goes, Yadier Molina and Colby Rasmus had the only extra base hits for the Cardinals, both with one double and one RBI a piece. Bobby Abreu recorded the only double for the Angels, as well as their lone error. Morales and Kendrick both hit home runs, the Morales shot being a solo home run off of Penny.  Matt Holliday was the only Cardinal starter to not record a base hit, Lopez and Schumaker were the only ones to record two hits, however. Those fortunes were nearly reversed for the Angels, with Aybar and Wood the only starters to not record a hit, and Kendrick, Abreu, and Kendrick all recording 2 hits.

Rodney picked up the win in relief, with Fuentes getting the save, and Ryan Franklin was charged with his first loss of the season.

Let's certainly hope this is another simulated failure, and hope the Cardinals start off the series with a win.







Posted on: May 15, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 3:40 pm
 

Cardinals @ Reds 5/15 Super Sim

Well I thought I would try something new, just for the fun of it and to see how these things actually hold up, so I popped MLB 2K10 into the Xbox and just simulated tonight's game with the starting pitchers and default batting orders, it looks something like this:

Cardinals

2B Skip Schumaker
RF Ryan Ludwick
1B Albert Pujols
LF Matt Holliday
CF Colby Rasmus
Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
SS Brendan Ryan
Adam Wainwright

Reds

SS Orlando Cabrera
2B Brandon Phillips
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen
RF Jay Bruce
LF Jonny Gomes
CF Drew Stubbs
Ramon Hernandez
Mike Leake

The super sim has the Reds winning this one 7-6 on a walkoff home run in the 9th by Scott Rolen. Interesting stats to note, both starting pitchers only went 5 and a third innings, Leake giving up all 6 runs, 5 earned before being replaced by Mike Lincoln for two innings. Wainwright was battered for 12 hits and 5 earned while striking out 6. Trever Miller then came in and pitched two scoreless, and then Ryan Franklin got the last two out in the 8th before serving one up to Rolen to end it to lead off the 9th.

As far as the hitters stats, for the Cardinals Yadier Molina was the offensive star, going 2 for 5 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI, and the only Cardinal to collect multiple hits. On the Reds side of things, Rolen and Hernandez both had 5 hit games, Rolen with 3 RBI and Hernandez with 2 RBI.

Again it's just a for fun simulation thing, so we'll see how it turns out, but interesting nonetheless to keep an eye on how well they compare. My gut tells me it's going to be nothing like that, as I really think both starting pitchers are better than that.

So long for now, feel free to add any questions or comments.






Posted on: March 16, 2010 10:45 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Well, I've been playing a lot of games during the offseason, most frequently MLB2K8 for the Xbox 360, since that's the only console I own, and I just recently purchased 2K10.

So I thought I would start up a blog to see if there was anyone else out there that likes talking baseball games, just something to help get ready for the season I suppose.

I think my first baseball game was All-Star Baseball 2000 for the Nintendo 64. I don't remember a lot about it, just that I enjoyed it. After I finally got an Xbox, I grabbed up All-Star Baseball 2004, which I played until the disc was too scratched to play any more. My favorite, that I never even owned, was MVP 05 I believe, it had several "newer" features that I liked, including an interesting home run derby/hitting contest mode that me and my brother played way too much.

I got an Xbox 360 late in 07, and ended up pre ordering MLB 2K8 (came with a Jose Reyes bobblehead), played that for a solid two years, although I used classic controls on it since that was what I was used to (as opposed to the Total Control stuff they make you use in newer games), I still played several seasons of franchise mode with the St. Louis Cardinals of course. I loved constructing teams of varying kinds, I had one franchise with mostly all prospects, and I've had some with all of the greatest players, and of course I had to do some with the actual people we had on the team at the time.

Finally last week I got MLB 2K10 and have been playing that quite a bit. They force you to use the total control style of playing, which is quite interesting to get used to. So far I haven't gotten too far into the game because of a number of known bugs that I've heard about, although they are getting them fixed fairly quick. I've nearly beaten "The Best of the Best" in a head to head home run derby style competition. You don't get to use "The Best", so I've been going through the ranks with Matt Holliday. My favorite part of the game however is the My Player Mode, where you create a player, and control just that player and begin your career in AA ball and play until your major league career is over. It's quite entertaining and a lot different than anything I've ever done before. My character is a starting pitcher, so I only get to play every 5th game, the rest is simulated. Right now I'm still improving my stuff in AAA before I decide I'm ready for the bigs, but it's still very intertaining. I'd have to say it's worth playing for sure if you like baseball games at all, it's got a mode for probably just about any type of fan.
Anyway, this is about the point where I'll wrap it up and hope to hear some feedback, I'm sure there's several out there that find themselves playing hours upon hours playing baseball games, the forum is now open.

Posted on: October 13, 2009 5:43 pm
 

Superstition Central

We all know baseball is a superstitious sport, but right now I'm trying to figure out where exactly I stepped on the toes of the baseball Gods and put the 2009 season to such an ugly grave.

It's October 13th, and following the Cardinals quick exit, each and every single team I had hoped would make it to the LCS, is now at home watching the show play out, like myself, or already out teeing up the first round of offseason golf.

The Red Sox were swept in devastating fashion by the Angels from somewhere in California, the evil empire that goes by the name of the Yankees swept the Twins right out of the picture, and even the upstart Rockies fell to the Phillies, who no longer have anything to do with cigars.

So while the rest of the baseball world continues on, and the Angels prepare to do battle with the Yankees, as the Dodgers prepare to take on the Phillies, I'm sitting here with a big bucket of "I could care less". I'm still finding myself searching through the past. Granted I can look all I want, even if I found what I was looking for, it certainly wouldn't change the fact that the Cardinals forgot how to play the game.

As we look forward to 2010, there's a stiff wind of change blowing through Cardinal Nation, some predict it will be a fierce change, others say it won't be too much different the next time around. I'll be mulling things over quite a bit in this blog, hoping with the rest of my Cardinals brethren that 2010 will bring home a championship. But there's so many questions that won't be answered for several months, and the most important "Will the Cardinals win it all in 2010" not being answered for more than a year from now. So let's take a look:


Question #1: Who will be managing the Cardinals in 2010?

There's been several who I have already noticed would be completely fine with 2009 marking the end of the Tony La Russa era. To me, that is one of those "Are you serious?" type scenarios. Would you really be okay with the greatest manager of our time walking after being swept out of the playoffs? Does he not deserve to leave on top?

There is no way we can let Tony go at this point in time. If he wants to come back on a chariot pulled by 6 white horses, or just on the Budweiser chariot, I say start arranging it to happen.

Question #2: What to do of the Dave Duncan situation?

We all know that Dave was pretty upset when Chris Duncan was traded to the Red Sox and he has that right. He also has the right to go somewhere else now that the season is over, if that is his desire. However I believe that Dave Duncan will re-evaluate things with Mo, and granted there will be shouting, tempers flaring, etc. I still believe that this bridge is not burned, and Mo would be an idiot to turn away the greatest pitching coach that I've personally ever seen at work. Joel Pineiro, the 2008 Todd Wellemeyer, Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper, the list goes on a good 20 years into the past. Make nice with each other, and let's continue on in Cardinals Nation. We all know it's a business, and Chris is a pawn in that business. He's totally free to bring back in if that's what it takes, but we need Dave Duncan in our dugout.

Question #3: Will Matt Holliday stay, or will he go?

I thought the last question was a brain stormer, but this one is right up there. Holliday turned down I believe it was 5 years and 86 million to stay with the Rockies. It's to my best knowledge that this was mainly a personal choice on Holliday's part, more along the lines of "I don't want to live here" as opposed to "That's not enough money". Here's the dilemma: Matt now has to decide if he's too much of a goat to return here, or does he have a second chance with the fans of St. Louis. We know that we'd welcome him back in a heart beat, but what goes on inside the mind of a ball player can be quickly turned every which way until there's no bit of truth left. As evidenced by the experiences of Khalil Greene, your mind is your worst enemy.

With all that I say I have no honest clue as to if Holliday will be back or not, but my gut instinct says no. Money and hopes of a fresh start will deter Matt Holliday to play somewhere other than St. Louis.

Question #4: What about John Smoltz and Mark DeRosa?

To answer the latter first, DeRosa is a shaky situation. He didn't perform well down the stretch, and his stay in St. Louis was marred by injuries. That said, he's a gamer, and as long as there's a place for him to play every day, and 2-4 million dollars for him to pay the year's bills with, he will be back. I can only ballpark his salary because a million things could happen between now and then health wise and with the pending surgery.

John Smoltz is John Smoltz, 43 years old or not, he showed more than enough to prove to me he's got the ability to perform here. One year and 2 million dollars for a future Hall of Famer, and our #4 starter? Sign him. We all know he'll go into the Hall as an Atlanta Brave, but let him make some memories as a St. Louis Cardinal.

Question #5: Who is the Cardinals #5 starter in 2010?

I hope everyone is on the same page with me by now and they realize that Joel Pineiro will not be back. See Braden Looper and Jeff Suppan if you need to ask why.

The #5 starter will be a competition between Blake Hawksworth, Jaime Garcia, and whoever else the Cardinals can bring in before spring training to compete. I don't have an answer as to who will win, and I hate predicting stuff, but without the prediction, it's no fun. I say Jaime will win a competition between those two, just because he's left handed, and we desperately need a left handed starter.


There's several more burning questions for the 2010 season, but right now my mind is fried. Maybe I'll start coming back with this every week if it works out well, maybe not. Until the next time though, have fun fielding these questions, and I'll gladly reply to any rebuttals. Because honestly, what else am I going to do? Watch the Rams and Chiefs compete for most inept team in the Show-Me State? Hah.

Posted on: June 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2009 4:26 pm
 

Your take on the All-Star Game

Well, with the All-Star game being in St. Louis this year, I'm as excited for this game as I'll ever be for an All-Star game. Over the recent years there has been a ton of changes in it, most notably is the whole "This game counts" slogan; the fact that the game decides home field advantage for the World Series. It's been talked about a lot around Cardinals nation lately, and here is one of the major sticking points. Would you want Trevor Hoffman (or any other reliever that isn't on the team you root for) to be on the mound in the 9th inning against say Joe Mauer with the game, and home field advantage in the World Series for YOUR team on the line? I know I personally don't want it being decided over something that we have no control of.

Now on to the next big issue, voting for the starting lineups. This, to me, is a pretty bad idea the way it is currently set up, especially in these times with the internet and being able to vote "up to 25 times" for your players. Come on now, we're all intelligent people (for the most part), and we all know that there are people out there pulling for certain players who may not be truly deserving of a spot in the game. We've all heard of the grass roots campaigns and people stuffing the vote box. All you have to do is change your email address you're voting under, and you can vote another 25 times for your player(s). This also comes into effect with the bigger market teams. Take for instance Jimmy Rollins leading the shortstop voting at this point in time, or (this is everyone's favorite) Manny Ramirez being 6th in the voting when he's been suspended for 50 games. Now no disrespect to Jimmy Rollins, he's a great ball player, and I like the way he plays the game. But he's not having an all-star caliber season. He's hitting just .217 with a .254 OBP right now, and yet he leads Hanley Ramirez who is hitting .330 with an OBP of .395. How do you justify that? Personally my solution is to let the players and coaches votes help offset the fan voting. I know the players and coaches already vote in part of the team, but I think they need to do something to take care of people voting in people who don't deserve to be out there deciding who gets home field advantage in the World Series.

Anyway, those are the two major things that I wanted to bring up, and I'm sure other people will have other issues that I have left out.


Posted on: May 9, 2009 9:36 pm
 

What is going to be done about the umpires?

Well, after watching my fill of the Reds and Cardinals game, I'm starting to wonder how exactly the umpires are being graded and/or reprimanded for blown calls. Pretty much anything within 3-5 inches of home plate was called a strike tonight. I mean literally, with a right handed batter at the plate, you could throw a 2 seam fastball INSIDE the left-handed hitters batter's box, and the umpire would call it a strike. Granted, the zone was consistent, as both teams got this call, but that changed in a key spot of the game when Tyler Greene was called out on a strike 3 looking that was at his ankles.

I know that going into the season they had talked about grading the umpires with a different system, but so far it's not going so well from what I can tell. I think the time has come that the umpires need to start being fined x amount of dollars for each blown call, be it a ball/strike call, a play at a bag, or whatever else you can think of that's a questionable call. I think it also might be time to start introducing instant replay for other purposes beyond home run/no home run and fair/foul. There was another play that I'm pretty sure Joe Thurston was out at first base, but he was called safe anyway. I'll gladly go ahead and say that there's no problem with them fixing their blown calls, even if it negatively effects my team's outcome.

To put some of this into perspective, Albert Pujols argued with the umpire pretty much every time he was up at the plate, and we all know that he rarely does that, if ever. I actually thought he was going to be ejected at one point, but he clearly had reason to be upset. So anyway, what is everyone's views on how to control the umpires? They are starting to develop egos so big that they think they ARE the game, but they're supposed to be there just to call the game correctly to the best of their ability. If it's not within their ability to be respectably accurate, then what should be done? Like I said earlier, I think fines would be a great way to go, or maybe even suspensions. It would be far-fetched for MLB to consider replacing umpires completely, although at this day in age, it's totally possible. Chime in people, lets hear your creative opinions as to what to do with these guys.

Posted on: April 7, 2009 11:12 pm
 

2 Down, 160 To Go, Cardinals.

Well, we are a whole 2 games into the season, so what does everything think of the small sample of performances thus far? I gotta admit, I love what I've seen out of Khalil Greene and Joe Thurston. Chris Duncan also caught my attention with already launching a home run, and you pretty much had to expect it out of Albert Pujols.

All in all I think we have a lot to me optimistic about this year.

Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:50 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2009 9:51 pm
 

Fantasy Baseball League Forming Now!

Well, since my league I formed with my friends got completely filled up, I've decided I want to open a league to my fellow Cardinals fans that I post with on here. I'll only have room for 9 people. It's a free 5x5 roto league that will be drafting on April 4th at 7:30PM CDT. If you are interestedplease let me know as soon as possible, and I will send you the information to join the league in a private message.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com