The 2012 season has begun with a blast or should I say with several blasts. Since AP decided to head to the Left Coast there was a barrage of talk that never ceased. What were the Cardinals going to do with such a gaping hole in the line up? How would they overcome the power outage they were sure to experience? It was a task that according to many of the experts that would be just too much achieve. Maybe the Cards should just shut it down and see what they could find to fill the gap. Well, I think at almost a week into the season the 2012 Cardinals have shut the mouth of many of the doubters.
I know it is very early and I am not foolish enough to think AP will not be missed at some point. But, I think this year’s squad has made a statement right out of the gate. They have resounded with a loud, “hey you are going to have to beat THIS team!” To this point it has not been an easy task. Over the past week the Birds have showed they have dangerous lineup. They have also showed there is no “power outage”. Every team has its hot streaks and the inevitable cold streaks that is the nature of the game. This team is red hot right now.
As Spring Training came to a close, there was a concern that David Freese may not have had the best of training camps. The questions surrounding Rafael Furcal, did he have what it was going to take to be the leadoff man? Both of these guys have come out and shut the critics down. The 2012 campaign is less than a week old Freese is sitting on a .450 batting average, (9 hits in 20 at-bats), 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. If Freese has quieted them, then Furcal has completely turned them off. He is hitting .500 and has already collected more hits in the first week than he did in the entire Spring Training session. A veteran like Furcal can’t really be judged on a bad spring to be honest. I am not going to lie, it would have been great to see him and a few others all look like modern day Stan Musial’s in camp, but it just doesn’t work that way. That’s ok, they are getting the job done when it counts, now.
What I find very encouraging about what I have seen to this point, it has been a team effort. It isn’t just one guy doing it all. Everyone is doing their part. The starting pitching has been solid as well as the bullpen. It has not just been the defense; the offense to this point has been exceedingly impressive. As I write this article on Monday, it doesn’t include the clobbering of the Reds, the stats are very pleasing. The Cardinals are the overall best hitting team in the National League. They are second in runs and batting average. They are sitting at 4th in slugging percentage and on-base percentage. I am sure they may rise in many of these categories after the offensive barrage they are having this evening.
It is early and it is a long season. It will be filled with its up’s and down’s. That is the game of baseball. What this team is displaying is that edgy personality. A team that is focused, but yet relaxed. A team that is a defending World Champion, but still has something to prove. I think this team is going to provide with a plethora of highlights and great moments. I don’t see a power outage anywhere in the near future.