April 2, 2008

Too Early to Call the Cardinals Snakebit?

The Cardinals have started the season. Stop right there: no matter what comes next in this post, getting to type that first sentence makes us really, really giddy.

But then, there's also the fact that the mighty Cards seem to be on the brink of completing their collapse that began last season and we hope will lead to the long climb back up next season. But there are some reasons to be optimistic: first, the Birdos did finish spring training with a string of nice performances. Second, Kyle Lohse actually threw pretty well last night. And third, we still play in the NL Central, and it's still the worst division in baseball.

But last night the visiting Colorado Rockies frustrated our dreams to at least have a winning record for a day. Those dreams were even more vivid after St. Louis appeared to be in control of Sunday night's season opener only to have the game rained out. So Monday's do-over came along, and Yadier Molina produced the Cardinals' only run with a solo homerun in the 5th. Troy Glaus--who, for those keeping score at home, is not Scott Rolen--made a critical throwing error to allow the tying run to score in the top of the 8th. Then Randy Flores had the unenviable task of coming in from the bullpen with no one out and the bases juiced in a tie ballgame. Randy then proceeded to strike out the first two batters he faced, then walk in the eventual winning run on some brutally close calls by the home plate ump.

That's the nasty thing about Ball: Flores faced 4 guys, got 3 of them out, but still gave up the winning run. At least it wasn't charged to him.

Let the long summer begin.


Ben said...

As we saw today, Brad Thompson continued the good showing by the pitching staff. While we have lost one, I do see this team as a solid 500 ball club. Clearly our depth is of concern, but the most important thing about this year is using it as a stepping stone for years to come. Developing Duncan and Ankiel in the OF and hopefully Rasmus as the year progresses, as well as turning Wainwright into a Cy Young contender to go along with Carp. It'll be quite exciting if you just watch with the satisfaction that on October 27th, the happiest day in my cardinals life occured.

WAO said...

I agree with you that this could easily be a .500-ish team all year, and sadly that should put us in contention for the NL Central. But Ankiel is looking less and less like he needs a year to "develop" (remember, he really isn't that young) and Duncan needs to learn how to do 2 important things: catch the baseball and swing his bat faster.

Also, it's time to unload Mulder. Unless he comes back with a vengeance this year, which I've been hoping for several summers i a row now.