#5 Starter…Now What???

The Cardinals scored early and often today against the Mets, winning the game 14-4. Today was the day that Orlando Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey were going to state their cases for being #5 in the rotation.

It was F-U-G-L-Y. The race for the #5 spot in the rotation needs? some new candidates.

Duque’s line was as follows:

Hernandez, O (L, 0-1) 3.0 4 5 5 2 1 1 15.00

The line doesn’t tell the whole story. How bad was it for El Duque?

–He hit 86 mph once with his fastball but otherwise it topped out at 80-81 mph.

–Rick Ankiel took him deep for a 2 run HR in the 3rd, on a 60 mph meatball pitch

–Out of his 69 pitches, there were THREE, count ’em, THREE pitches resulting in a swing & a miss and only 31 strikes.

It was THAT BAD.

Two innings later, Mike Pelfrey came in and basically had the chance to cement himself in the 5th spot of the rotation…and he didn’t.

Pelfrey’s line?

4 1/3 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

The Big Pelf saw that Duque opened the door to him being named #5, should he pitch well…and he basically choked.

Can we get a do-over on the Burgos for Bannister trade?

The rest of the rotation was announced today and no surprises there: Santana, Pedro, Perez and Maine.

Sources with the team said that the Mets will go with a 4 man rotation for at least the first go-around of the rotation. The Mets have 2 days off between the season opener on March 31 and the home opener on April 8th. The days off negate the need for a 5 man rotation which, after today, is a good thing.

The only bright spots today came from Ryan Church and Marlon Anderson. Church finally got his first RBI of the spring on a 2nd inning double. Delgado, who also doubled in the inning, scored on the play (and the left after the inning to celebrate his son’s 1st birthday. Marlon Anderson replaced Delgado at 1B and made a great stab at a ball resulting in a very nice 3-6-1 DP.


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