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What's the skipper been thinking lately?

We're nearly half way through the 2013 season and there, admittedly, hasn't been too much to get upset about.

The Cardinals, until Friday night, had the best record in Major League Baseball and the lead in the toughest division in baseball. But what a night to turn in an all-around terrible performance.

St. Louis rookie starter Shelby Miller was completely rocked for six runs in 1 2/3 innings of work. And I can't understand for the life of me why manager Mike Matheny sat there and watched Miller twist in the wind, throwing fifty pitches in a disastrous second inning.

Was this some sort of lesson because Miller hasn't been following instructions or was Matheny taking a nap in the clubhouse? Either way, it's horribly reckless to let a young pitcher overdo on the mound for about a half hour without a break. I don't care if he was one strike from getting out of the inning or if there were no outs, the manager or pitching coach owe it to a hurler in that sort of jam to you out and make a mound visit. I don't care if he had no sage words of advice or strategic directions. Go out there and give the pitcher a minute or two to escape the pressure and catch his breath. Break the bad streak and stop the downhill momentum. Sheesh. There's a reason you get one mound visit per inning.

I also don't understand why the Cardinals refuse to utilize all their resources. Joe Kelly did a fine job against a good Oakland lineup in relief of Miller. But Matheny seems to have no faith in installing Kelly into the rotation. When he finally, and begrudgingly put Kelly in the starting five after Tyler Lyons flamed out, Matheny decided to skip the fifth starter spot thanks to days off in the schedule. Wouldn't it make sense, withe the starting rotation scuffling lately, to give the guys who have been working hard or three months the rest, not the guy who has been rotting in the bullpen?