(Busch Stadium) After leading the St. Louis Cardinals with 21 runs batted in for the month of August, this month has not been as kind to Brandon Moss. He’s managed only 4 RBIs as his batting averaged has dropped from .261 to .224 with only six hits in 80 at-bats.
As a result, Mike Matheny is giving Moss the chance “to flush” and will instead start Jose Martinez in left field tonight.
“You could see it yesterday,” said Matheny. “Every one of these guys are putting so much into every at-bat, every game. You could certainly feel the wind knocked out of the team collectively yesterday. Now today, business as usual. Everybody doing the same thing. But last night, I followed Brandon out after I brought him out of the game–followed him up to the tunnel a little bit and you could see, he was wearing it hard.”
“He didn’t need anything right then,” said Matheny. “That’s one of the things I do best in coaching is knowing when to not say anything. That was one of those times. Just let him go and once again, just let him breathe. Let him get in his own thoughts and get into a better place. Get some work if he wants it or stay away from a bat altogether until we need him late in the game. He’s still going to be a great option for us because I think everybody knows what he can do when it all clicks.”
The current situation with Moss is not unlike when he arrived via trade last year.
“He was putting a lot on himself, he had to be this guy that came over in a trade and now was this great acquisition. I think now he’s feeling like he’s got to be that guy that does carry us and it’s simply not true. He’s just got to be himself and get back to trusting himself and just be part of what’s going on.”
The body language and verbage from Moss indeed reflect that of last year.
“This is the worst possible time you could be going through a slump is when you’re right in the middle of a playoff hunt and you’re one of the bats the team leans on,” said Moss recently.
On the flip side, Martinez has put together a five game hitting streak (5-7, .714) since making his Major League debut on September 6th. Prior to that, he had played 887 games in the minors.
“One of those great stories–a guy who’s persevered and continues to try and get better and figure out a way to make it happen,” said Matheny. “Overall, he’s just gone about his business the right way. He’s had some success at the lower levels, which leads you to believe that he can translate that here and so far, he’s done a nice job when he’s gotten the opportunity.”
Matt Carpenter, 1B
Randal Grichuk, CF
Yadier Molina, C
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Jedd Gyorko, 2B
Aledmys Diaz, SS
Jose Martinez, LF
Alex Reyes, P
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports