Mike Matheny has proven to be a good manager in his first two seasons, leading the Cardinals to the NLCS both times. Matheny has managed to find ANOTHER good bullpen rotation, one that is surprisingly successful in my opinion. I have always been a Carlos Martinez fan, but never saw much out of him this year; Matheny on the other hand must have, as Martinez has been used as an 8th inning man lately and is filling in quite nicely. Matheny has made some right decisions like that one, but has also made some questionable ones?
After last night’s loss to the Dodgers we can once again wonder, why not start Shelby Miller? Joe Kelly has started twice in LA, his best outing was 5 innings pitched with 3 runs allowed. The fact of the matter is that Joe Kelly does not appear to be good pitching in his home town. Yet Mike Matheny still choose to start him over Miller. As already mentioned, this is the second time Matheny has had me scratching my head, wondering “what has happened to Shelby?” He would have been perfect to start in game 4, taking the place of Lance Lynn. There would have been good reason to do that too. Lynn had a horrible outing his last start going only 4.1 innings and giving up 5 runs against the Pirates. Matheny still picked Lynn to go for game 4 though and worked out great. Matheny pulled the right string there, but didn’t do the same last night. Kelly just did not look good, on multiple occasions Miller could be seen warming up in the bullpen, but it was all for nothing. Shelby, a player who I will say is one of my favorites, seems to be trapped in the pen. It is all for waste.
Speaking of waste, Edward Mujica! The man who was, at one time this year, the closer for the Cardinals. Mujica has also been trapped in the bullpen. Shelby and Mujica have probably being best friends hanging out in that bullpen, just sitting there. Mujica was seen for the second time this postseason last night. He managed to allow one hit and one run. Good to see you again, old friend. My biggest issue is why are Mujica and Miller even on the postseason roster? The two pitches have thrown a combined 3 innings this postseason. What’s the point of even having them on the roster? Obviously Shelby is not going to start and Mujica is not going to come on in a tight situation. It would be much more beneficial to the Cardinals to have Tyler Lyons, a leftie with proven success, on the roster than either one of those 2 mentioned above. Lyons has been used as a starter before so that option would be available and would be another option for leftie vs leftie match ups. Having him facing Adrian Gonzalez anyone? Sam Freeman would also be a better option, another leftie but he is more of a specialist. Freeman showed great potential with his September call up and would also match up Gonzalez. Matheny has made some great moves for the Cards to help get them this far, but he still has me questioning him at some points.