Game 61: No Fire
Joe Kelly made his major league debut today in the place of the injured Jaime Garcia. The young 24 year old hurler made a nice impression in his first major league start which could hopefully lead to many more with the absences of Jaime Garcia and Chris Carpenter. The Cardinals (31-30) faced the Cleveland Indians (30-27) in a pitching heavy game but thanks to the bad inning from closer Jason Motte, the Indians were able to out hit and defeat the Cardinals.
The young 24 year old Joe Kelly made his major league debut today going five innings and allowing just one earned run. Kelly allowed only 7 hits and one walk while he struck out four. Not the greatest start but not bad for it being his first major league start. Kelly who I call four eyes based on the fact that he wears some stylish glasses on the mound made a very solid first impression for the Cardinals. Kelly might wind up being a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals as he is expected to start in the place of Garcia for a while, that is unless the Cardinals decide to make a trade to liven up the struggling pitching staff.
Red hot Carlos:
Carlos Beltran continued his great home stand hitting his National league leading 18th home run of the season. This guy has exceeded all of my expectations and he is hitting like he did five or six years ago. Though he may not be as a healthy and he cannot run like he used too Beltran is still a threat at the plate and he has been one of my favorite Cardinals this year. He should be an All Star for sure, and it will be a shame if he is not voted on the team. Beltran now has 46 RBI which puts him second in the NL behind Carlos Gonzalez and Andre Ethier who both have 48.
Victor Marte came into the sixth inning to relieve starter Joe Kelly and he looked very sharp and effective getting three outs including two nice strikeouts though he did allow a walk to the 8th place hitter. Marte has become a threat out of the bullpen and it is nice to see him finally have some success in the majors.
No Blow Zeppo:
I have to say it was wonderful to see Zeppo escape trouble in the seventh. I feel like most people have given up on the young lefty, but I am not one of them. I think he is a solid reliever who just had a really rough patch early on in the season, but it was nice to see him have a shutout inning that didn’t result in a scoreboard change! Good job Zeppo, keep it up!
It is a shame to see my favorite little spark plug Rafael Furcal in the midst of a mini slump. He is now 0 for his last 11 at bats, and one thing we have learned about this team is that when Raffy hits the Cardinals hit, so we really need Furcal to get out of this mini funk and start hitting like he has been all year.
Not so hot Motte:
Jason Motte allowed a three run homer to give the Indians the lead and once again the Cardinals bullpen has given the Cardinals a loss. I am a fan of Motte and I like him as a person and a reliever, but I am starting to dislike him as the teams closer more and more as the blown saves and blown leads begin to pile up. Will the Cardinals ever have a solid and steady closer again?
Nice to see:
For me it was nice to see former Cardinal Chris Perez return to St. Louis. The Cardinals traded him in 2009 for Mark DeRosa because the Cardinals were given the chance to trade Motte or Perez and TLR liked Motte more so gave Perez the boot. I like Chris Perez and think he is quite the ballplayer it was nice to see him have a solid appearance and get the save, unfortunately it had to be on the other team.
Player of the game: I am tempted to give it to Carlos Beltran due to his homer but I’m going to give it to the rookie, Joe Kelly for making a good first impression and looking pretty sharp in his first start.
A very well pitched game on both sides of the diamond which led to an intense pitchers duel and a good bullpen game. The Cardinals struggling pen turned things around until the end when Motte allowed the three run homer. The bullpen has been the biggest question mark the past few years and again this season. Despite a strong start from Kelly and a solid job from the bullpen, the closer failed to do his job. Plain and simple if the bullpen struggles the team struggles, so the Indians take the series 2-1 and the Cardinals lose yet another close one.