Mike Matheny is a notorious over thinker and many who cover and watch the Cardinals know it. I was hoping that after last years mess he would take a more laid back approach and make the easy decisions this year. Apparently not. Here's what I mean:
1) Matheny attempted to use closer Seung Hwan Oh for a five-out save Sunday, allowing him to throw 38 total pitches. Oh allowed a game-tying three-run home run to Wilson Contreras in the ninth. Matheny believed that since the Cardinals are off Monday, Oh would definitely get some rest and be fine. In 2017 you don’t see and shouldn't see managers pushing their closers for a five-out save this early in the season. It's only the first damn game of the season and already he sends a message to the bullpen that he doesn't apparently trust them. Really Mike?
2) Matheny also did not pinch-hit for Carlos Martinez with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. The Cardinals were up 1-0 at the time and had a great chance to get one or two insurance runs. This is after all the World Champion Chicago Cubs you're playing. Instead, Martinez hit into an inning-ending double play and the Cards got zero runs. Now Martinez was cruising and had only thrown 83 pitches up to that point, but you would think scoring more than one run would be necessary to beat the Cubs. I guess Matheny was hoping that one run would be enough. So he opts not to pinch-hit and try to break the game open, and trust the middle relief to get a few outs. He was staying away from his bullpen at all costs.
Now the Cards went on to win the game in the bottom of the ninth anyway but I can only hope for Cards fans moving forward that this kind of shit stops. But Cards fans will be the first to tell you, it won't.