April 16, 2008

This Just In: The Cardinals Rule

The St. Louis Cardinals, picked to finish fourth or fifth in the NL Central by most people who do predictions, share the Majors' best record with Arizona at 10-4. They have begun the season by winning their first three series and splitting a four-game set with the Giants. Tony La Russa is is always talking about just trying to win series, because if you consistently take 2-of-3 you're going to finish the seaosn with a whole lot of wins. The Cards are doing just that so far this year, winning games behind their surprising--nay, shocking--starting pitching rotation. Guys like Todd Wellemeyer, Kyle Lohse, and Braden Looper have been beyond solid, and Adam Wainwright really looks like he is developing into the squad's long-term ace. Are we still bitter about the team trading Danny Haren to Oakland? Yes. Does winning without him make us forget him a little at a time? You bet.

Obviously, it's still very possible that all the naysayers will turn out to have been right. It's only April and a lot of teams start off like a house afire only to cool off quickly as the season grinds on. A fifth place finish is still very realistic. But if, somehow, the pitchers can keep producing and a couple of guys named Mulder and Carpenter can come back at full strength at or before mid-season, this may turn out to be a pleasantly surprising summer for the Redbirds.

Either way, for now it's awesome.


Daddyeaux said...

I think the "experts" overestimated the effect of the loss of Rolen and Edmonds, both of whom had great careers with the Cards but have not contributed recently. Kennedy's return to his historical form has also helped. And if Mulder and Carpenter return and contribute, they'll actually have pitching trade bait to pick up another big bat.

Matt said...

But you know who's in first now don't you? Go Cubbies!!