In the last primary election, I decided to give electronic voting a try. I didn't like it. The machine seemed a little quirky, and I didn't like not having the feel of a depositing a paper ballot in a box. Today, I voted with a paper ballot - much better. Which gets me to the main point of today's post - what the hell happened in the 9th inning of the Cardinal's home opener yesterday?
Great outing by starter Adam Wainwright. Cardinals take a 2-run lead in the bottom of the eighth with a home run and an insurance run. Everything is set up perfect for a win on opening day. Then everything went wrong in the 9th. You know that things were pretty horrible when after the game, on one of the post game talk shows, the host said that the best thing about yesterday's game was that there is another game today. That's about it.
Still, I don't get it. First off, why leave Jason Motte, the closer, in the whole inning? The Pirates were roughing him up. He was totally ineffective, yet LaRussa leaves him the entire inning, and he gives up four runs, blows the save, and loses the game. Questions...
With two outs, and the Cardinals still leading by one run, runners on second and third, why not walk the batter to load the bases? Walking the batter would have created a force play at any base. Instead, Motte pitches to the batter and hits him. Same net result, but not good for the space between Motte's ears, which by now is must sound like herd of charging elephants.
Okay, so now there are two outs, bases loaded, Cardinals leading by one run, and Motte still pitching. That screaming noise of pressure is exploding in his head. He makes a pitch and the batter lifts a fly ball to medium deep left field - over the outfielder's head for a double. Three runs score. Pirates up 6-4. Game basically over. Cards go on to lose 6-4. Okay, so why was the left fielder playing so shallow? The ball did not even reach the warning track, but it lands over his head for a double? I don't get that. Can someone explain?
Electronic voting machines? Never again. Motte? Yes, we will give him another chance.