Just when you thought it was safe to like the Reds

Going into last weekend’s series with the Cincinnati Reds, all of our attention was turned to Johnny Cueto.  He was, and still remains “Public Enemy No. 1” in Cardinals Nation for what he did to Chris Carpenter and Jason La Rue last August.

When a personal emergency denied Cardinals fans their chance to voice their disapproval over his “slap on the wrist” from the league office, we waited patiently for the first Reds trip into St. Louis in 2011.  Cueto started the season on the disabled list, which prompted many Cardinals fans to question his courage.

When he finally did face the Cardinals, in front of a tiny but friendly crowd in Cincinnati, he pitched brilliantly.   As expected, both teams played professionally and there was no retaliation.


We may have a new “Public Enemy No. 1”

Francisco "Hee Haw" Cordero

That’s right.   In the ninth inning of a blow-out, the Cardinals started a most improbable rally.   Francisco Cordero found himself in the game, relieving an ineffective Nick Masset and Aroldis Chapman.   With Albert Pujols representing the tying run, Cordero throws a pitch inside and hits Pujols on the hands.

There are two schools of thought, and neither of them really applies to this situation.

One says that the pitcher has every right to throw inside.   That’s true, and we often lament the lack of throwing inside by today’s brand of pitcher.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it is a good idea to do so.

The other says that Cordero was intentionally throwing at Pujols.  That is unlikely, especially with Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman coming up to bat, and with only one out.  No major league pitcher would be that stupid.  None.

What actually happened was that Cordero threw the ball inside carelessly.   With his lack of control, he had no business throwing a pitch that far inside against one of the game’s best hitters.   It is no more or less complicated than that.

It was a careless play.  It was also a dangerous play, because of Cordero’s carelessness.   Unlike with Johnny Cueto, there is little opportunity for any of the Cardinals to show their displeasure.   Any retaliation will be directed at another player, and when that happens, it will be unfortunate.

Just when we thought the angst had finally played itself out in the rivalry, something new comes along to start it all up again.

It will be a very interesting summer.

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4 Responses to Just when you thought it was safe to like the Reds

  1. bigtimetimmyjim says:

    “Throwing inside carelessly.”

    Give me a break. That’s like saying Pujols shouldn’t carelessly crowd the plate. The pitch wasn’t that ridiculously off the plate.


  2. Bob Orzon says:

    Cueto probably shouldn’t have kicked anyone, but Cardinals fans like to overlook the fact that it was Carpenter opening his mouth again that instigated the push towards the screen, effectively pinning certain players against it.

    The Cardinals had their chance to get back at Cueto and did nothing of the sort, letting him pitch brilliantly for nearly eight innings.

    And to say that Cordero was throwing inside carelessly is laughable at best. It was a cold, rainy day, a day in which a ball could easily slip out of any pitcher’s hand sending an errant throw to the plate. If you recall at that point, the Cardinals were only down by two with a runner on base and one out with currently the two best hitters waiting to hit. The count as also 0-2, so if Cordero was going to make a waste pitch, it would obviously not be made high and tight. And if you actually did a little fact checking, you would see that Cordero’s control is nearly twice as good as his career average. A slippery ball got away from him and that’s all there is to it.

    And yes, the Cardinals should have kept their mouth shut. Any ounce of baseball IQ would tell you that they wouldn’t be throwing at or near Pujols in that situation.


  3. Pingback: In Case You Missed It 5.22.11 | StL Baseball

  4. Colgar says:

    Ryan Hanigan was hit on the wrist the night before and had to leave the game. I don’t even remember the pitcher so little was made of it. Batters get hit by pitches all the time that’s baseball. Why is Dave Duncan and Gerald Laird screaming about?

    The umpire saw nothing wrong and for that matter neither did Pujols.


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