Ok folks, sorry it has been a while since I have last written. School has kept me very busy and I have not had a lot of time to sit down and write. So let’s sit down and look back at the Cardinals season so far shall we?
It has been a rollercoaster year so far for the Cardinals. Thing have been a little crazy and wacky in St.Louis so far this season, but it looks like it’s going to be an interesting year for the Cards. At the start of the year our offense could do nothing basically, we were getting the pitching we needed to win games, but our offense was in a slump, but once we got Matt Holliday back in the lineup, things offensively started to get really good. The Cards went on a streak where they won every series they played in from April 11th up until this past weekend. Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman have the two best batting averages in the National League right now, Lance Berkman has had a great start to the year and as I thought when we got him back in December, he has proved to be a major force in the Cards lineup so far this year, hopefully he will be able to do that continually for the Cards as the season rolls on.
Another nice surprise is how well Kyle Loshe and Jaime Garcia have been to start the year, Kyle Loshe looks like he may have finally regained the form he had in 2008 when he won a career high 15 games. He’s 4-2 so far this year and seems to finally have overcome his arm troubles. Jaime Garcia has been flat-out brilliant, he’s unbeaten so far this year and in the first 6 weeks of the season, already has 2 shutouts, one of them being a perfect game all the way until the 8th inning! Jaime showed last year that he is one of the best up and coming pitchers in the game today, and so far in 2011 he is all but solidifying that fact. Chris Carpenter on the other hand is off to a very tough start, he’s only won 1 game this year and has struggled heavily, walking a lot of batters and not going far in games, I’m not worried yet, but I think Carpenter is going to need a lot of offensive help when he’s pitching because Carp is probably going to give up some runs of his own. (Little known fact, last time Carpenter struggled this bad to start a year was 2004, what happened that year? Cards went on to win the N.L. Pennant).
The Cards have also had some injury problems so far this year. Skip Schumaker has missed some time due to injury although he looks like he will be back fairly soon. You have to feel for David Freese, who has once again been hit by the injury bug. He has a broken hand and will probably miss around 6-8 weeks. Hopefully that will be it and Freese will be back on the Diamond later this year. A nice thing about this though is it has really given Daniel Descalso a chance to play almost every day in the majors, Daniel was the last guy to make the 25 man roster at the end of Spring Training and some people said that the sport should have gone to Matt Carpenter (who by the way is currently batting .300 in Triple A Memphis.) but Daniel has not disappointed so far. He’s been solid at 3B and has even been a clutch hitter at times, getting a lot of 2 out RBI’s for the Cards. Tony LaRussa has also been injured somewhat as he has been fighting Shingles for about a month now, he’s been away from the team for about a week now getting treatment and it’s still uncertain when he’ll return to the team, hopefully Tony will get well soon and he’ll get back to managing.
The Cardinal bullpen has had some serious problems so far, Ryan Franklin cannot save a game to save his life right now, The Closers spot is currently anyone’s to take but each guy has had his struggles, at first it looked like Mitchell Boggs was going to be the new closer, but then he went out and blew a 9th inning lead against Houston. Then it looked like it might rookie Eduardo Sanchez, but he has struggled late in games and blew a 9th inning lead against the Reds this past Friday night, Trever Miller our lefty specialist has also struggled has most of the time so far this year he has not been able to get the lefties out. As of right now the most solid guy in our bullpen is Fernando Salas and it looks like he’s going to be the next guy to get a shot at the closing role.
Lastly I’ll talk a little about the Cards-Reds series that just ended. As most of you know the Reds swept the Cards this past weekend in Cincinnati and are now 1 ½ ahead of the Cards for first in the N.L. Central, although it was disappointing to see the Cards lose like this, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for Cardinal fans. It’s only May, there’s a lot of season to go, and we’ll see the Reds a few more times before the season is over, and while I’m here may I just say that for the most part, I don’t hate the Reds like some Cards fans do, I respect them. Joey Votto is one of the best players in the game, whether we like it or not, he deserved the MVP last year whether we like it or not. Plus there are guys on the Reds that used to be Cards themselves, like former GM Walt Jocketty, and one of my all-time favorite Cardinals Scott Rolen. The only Red that I don’t care for is Brandon Phillips, I did not like what he had to say about the Cardinals last year, and I still think Yadi was justified in getting in Phillip’s face last year when the brawl started. But besides Phillips I respect the Reds and I wish them and their fans the best of luck the rest of the year (such as long as they don’t do better than the Cardinals ;)
That’s it for now, feel free to comment or send me an email (email@example.com) and follow me on Twitter!! (twitter.com/matt_hamilton93)
Thank you so much for reading and God bless!!