Yeah, I definitely am not a fan of Tony La Russa. I think he is a highly overrated manager that takes matchups to the extreme. His management of his pitching staff is almost as inept as Dusty Baker's and needs to draw scrutiny. Early in the season, Morris was on a roll and La Russa kept on running him out there for high pitch counts, and usually complete games and shutouts every start. I really think the overuse early in the season was a major contributer to him breaking down and being useless for most of the year.
Then, he had Woody Williams pitching great, but he's always been a guy that has always been injury prone, and wears down easily. Instead of protecting him, he has been riding him into the ground all year (he leads the league in pitches per start), and the results have shown second half. If he could have just pulled him after around 100 pitches most of the year, I really think he would have been able to maintain close to the level of performance early in the season. Bringing Woody into the game in relief 2 days after throwing 120+ pitches, and then sending him out there 3 days later to throw 120 pitches again today is just ridiculous abuse. I understand that the bullpen could not be trusted earlier in the year, but I think that the Cards would have been 5 games up by now if he had better maintained the workloads of Morris and Williams all year. Also, how much would it really have costed to bring in some reliable middle relievers earlier in the year? The Cards should have been all over Benitez, Urbina, Williamson, Williams, Kim, Sauerbeck, etc. at the beginning of the year.
I really would like to see La Russa fired if they don't make the playoffs. I think Bowa and Cox are the only two more inept managers than him that still have a job.