The St. Louis Cardinals appeared Wednesday to fall victim to their own scouting report.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber came into the game with an ugly 0-5 record and an ERA of 5.04. The story was that he was leaving pitches up in the strike zone and they were getting clobbered.
But good players make adjustments. Based on the fact that he’s the defending Cy Young Award winner in the American League, it’s fairly obvious that, despite the lousy start, Kluber is a good player.
So Kluber raised his pitches even higher -- and the result was one Cardinals hitter after another waved in vain at pitches above the strike zone en route to an embarrassing total of 18 strikeouts.
The Redbirds were never able to lay off the high deliveries. They were no hit into the seventh inning and never mounted a serious threat even though St. Louis starter John Lackey survived a lousy first inning to allow only two runs.
It’s not necessarily a surprise that the Cardinals struggled on a frosty evening facing an unfamiliar foe. But I wonder sometimes if they over-think things.
While it’s great to have a plan, baseball has always been a game of split-second reactions. Sometimes bad information is much worse than no information at all.
And that seems to be the case when the Cardinal flailed at what they expected to be very hittable pitches that turned out to be too high to make contact.