- Posted by JE Powell
The Cardinals are now ten games into the season and sit at 4-6 record. The Cards could be 7-3, if not for three blown saves by Ryan Franklin, but that is what it is and nothing can be done about it now. I want to give Franklin a couple of more chances and see if he can turn things around. If he blows a couple of more saves, then I think John Mozeliak and Tony La Russa might need to find a closer outside of the organization. Majority owner Bill DeWitt Jr. has said the Cards have room to add payroll this season, should the right situation arise.
This, however, is about offense and how the Cardinals found it. In the last two games the Cardinals have scored 14 runs, the same amount they scored in their first five games. The return of Matt Holliday from an appendectomy has helped. The Cards are 2-1 with him in the lineup and 1-5 without him. Holliday makes this team better.
Here are some of the positives of the last few games:
- The Cardinals have won two games in a row
- Matt Holliday returned to the lineup
- Lance Berkman had a two homerun night on April 11th
- Jaime Garcia and Kyle McClellan have been pitching extrememly well
- Ryan Theriot’s bat is starting to come alive
- Albert Pujols will not be batting .150-ish much longer
- The season is ten games old and there are still 152 games to play
- The Cardianls (while it’s a very small sample size) seem like their offense has started to come around
- With Colby Rasmus’ high OBP and Matt Holliday’s return, when Pujols starts hitting and Berkman ups his batting average, this Cardinals team should score some runs
- Outside of one start by Jake Westbrook, the Cards starting rotations hasn’t allow all that many runs and has kept the team in games while the offense struggled. If the Cards can continue to have good seasons by their starting pitchers and the offense continues to perk up, this team has the potential to be very good
So, while two games does not a season make, I think that Cardinals fans certainly have reason to get excited about the Cardinals recent offensive output. If Theriot continues to improve his batting (it at .240+ now, up from around .150) and gets on base, then he is followed by Rasmus, Pujols, Holliday, Berkman, Freese, Schumaker, and Molina which is a very potent lineup when, please excuse the cliche, the hitters are all clicking on the same cylinders. If this offense can become what it seems it can be, then this summer the Cardinals are going to be a very fun team to watch.
Posted by JE Powell
I will admit it, part of me is worried by the Cardinals’ slow start. That’s the emotional part of me. Continuing in the spirit of honestly, I should say that most of my life I have been an emotional Cardinals fan. No, I don’t cry when the Cardinals lose and I do not wet myself with excitement when they win. Allow me to explain.
Ryan Franklin blew a save on Opening Day. He went into the top of the 9th, got two outs, then allowed a home run to tie the game. The Cards lost in 11 innings. My first thought was, “here we go again, get the bum outta St. Louis.” But then my analytical/logical side kicked in and I realized two thing: 1) Franklin only blew two games last year and saved 27 and had a 6-2 win/loss record and 2) the season is six games old!
The 1998 Yankees started the season 2-4 and then went on to win 114 games and the World Series. I understand that this Cardinals team is probably not nearly as good as the 1998 Yankees, but let’s keep in mind a few things:
- Pujols is hitting under .200 and the odds of that happening all season are remote at best
- The pitching staff (outside of Jake Westbrook) and looked very good so far. Even Kyle Lohse, who gave up four runs in one inning, looked good, except for that one inning
- Lance Berkman, Colby Rasmus, and Skip Schumaker are hitting well right now
- Matt Holliday will return within the next week or so
- Daniel Descalso and Allen Craig (the man with two first names and two last names) are both doing well and could very well be stars one day
Yes, the lack of offense is a little disturbing, but they are still 2-4 having scored a meager 15 runs in those six games. During a press conference after a 3-1 loss to the Pirates on April 6th, Tony La Russa said it best, regarding the lack of offense, “Look at a calender. It’s the first week of April. Do you think that Albert is going to keep having trouble hitting? Do you think Yadi isn’t going to start hitting? That David Freese is going to continue to stuggle? Look at a calender.”
I think we can get through the month of April before we start worrying about the Cardinals. That will give them 27 games under their belts and then fans will have a better idea how the overall season will go and what needs the Cardinals might have. It has been a disappointing start to the season, but six games is exactly 1/27 of the season and there is still 156 games of baseball to play. So, take a deep breath, step back away from the ledge and give it the rest of April before you think about getting back up on the ledge. RELAX!