the halftime report.
The first half of the season has come to a close. Man has it been a rollercoaster ride for Cardinals Nation. We’ve had a lot of ups and we’ve had a lot of downs. Here are some of the major stories from the first half.
- The resurgence of Lance Berkman- A lot of people thought at the end of last year Lance Berkman was finished. He had a horrible year last year in Houston and New York and most people thought he should just retire. Instead he signed a 1 year deal with the Redbirds. I remember telling my Dad the day he signed (my Dad though it meant nothing) “If Lance can get his swing back, we’ll look back on this a year later as one of the biggest moves of the offseason. I ended up being correct. Lance did indeed find his swing and it has helped the Cardinals a lot this year. He got a starting spot in the all-star game for it as well. Congrads Lance!
2. Pitching-The starting pitching this year has been for the most part solid. Carpenter got off to a really rough start, but in his last few starts he seems like he has finally gotten on track. Jaime Garcia has been excellent this year and is very worthy of that new extension he just signed. Jake Westbrook has been eh ok. Kyle McCellan has been kind of the opposite of Carpenter, Kyle got off to a good start but has been struggling as of late. Hopefully he can get back on track quickly. Kyle Loshe has impressed me the most this year out of any of our starting pitchers. He has finally recovered from those injuries he’s had the past few years. He has been great this year and hopefully will continue to be great the rest of the year.
- Bullpen- I’ll be the first to admit, our bullpen SUCKS, it has all year and unless we do something about it, it’s probably going to stay that way. All of our relievers have gone through at least 1 bad streak. More times than I can count this year, we’ve had a lead late and our bullpen has gone on to blow the game. The 2 games that come to mind the most are the Cards-Giants game back in April where Franklin blew a 1 run lead in the 9th and lost on a walk-off double (although that was also Colby Rasmus’ fault for dropping the ball, Colby is a guy I would not mind seeing us trade at the deadline.) Another game that comes to mind is the game against the Nationals where we blew that HUGE lead after a great outing by Jaime and lost. Anyways, our bullpen needs improvement. My suggestion? Find a way to get Heath Bell.
The National League Central has been wild so far this year. The Brewers after starting off horrible have gotten hot and are tied with us for first. The Reds started off great, but ever since they swept us back in May, they have gone completely downhill even though they still are just 4 games out. The Pittsburgh Pirates have caught everyone off guard. My prediction now is that the N.L. Central won’t be decided until the final weekend, maybe even the final game, and either the Brewers or the Cardinals will win the Central (hopefully the Cardinals J