July 31, 2008

Redbird Randoms ... Glaus, Carpenter, Mather

On Glaus: Whenever a pull hitter can accomplish hitting a ball to the opposite side, it can open up the plate for him, the pitchers not able to freeze him up on the outside corner. If you recall, when the Glaus-streak was hot, his non-homers were drives through the box. (Pujols suffered the same dilemma for a while, but he has recently remembered that the middle and opposite side of the field are still there, and now seems very dialed in.)

On Carp: Don't worry about the 67 pitches last night. Letting him head into the fifth might've created an overage on the "planned pitch count," and it seems much wiser, since he was going to be limited anyway, to pull him after a successful inning and keep him psychologically sound for his next appearance. Taking a pitcher out in the middle of an inning, even when done so for a pitch-count limitation, still has that air of "you ain't gettin it done."La Russa, in my opinion, did it right.

On Mather: Wow, does this guy ever look gangly at the plate, like he's trying to stand up straight inside a kid's clubhouse. For awhile, it seemed as if he could never get around on a fastball, his swing somewhat loopy and long and with what looks like a telephone pole for a bat. Yet he was somehow getting that bat around with authority on a few fastballs. Hopefully, Mr. Mather remains locked in, as the more ABs he mounts, the more he will be studied by opposing pitchers, who will counter with various pitching strategies. Time will tell for Mather in this regard. One thing is for sure, however. While some of the dead pull hitters like Ankiel and Duncan, and at times, Glaus, are highly susceptible to the off-speed speed stuff, Mather sees the spinners as well as anyone, it seems, and knows exactly how to drive those "swervy" slow-balls through the middle third of the field. If he doesn't continue to start due his hot bat, he can still be a great match-up pinch hitter versus hurlers who prefer to pull the string, even right-handed hurlers.
photo by Barbara Moore