Well, after losing five of six after the All Star break, lately, the St. Louis Cardinals have been dominant while winning six of seven. This includes sweeping the Chicago Cubs and then winning three of four against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are still 5 ½ games out of first as of this writing but, that will change soon. It’s just a matter of time before they are back where they belong at the top of the NL Central.
In the past seven days, when the Cardinals began playing like they’re capable of playing. They have the following stats: .320 team batting average; .388 on base percentage; .472 slugging %; OPS of .860 and 54 runs. Even more impressive is the team pitching. Their team ERA is 1.64 and only allowing the opposing team a batting average of .197.
During the offensive onslaught, Matt Holliday and David Freese have led the charge. Holliday is hitting .400 and Freese is hitting .550. The Redbirds are scoring runs instead of stranding runners and their bullpen has become more reliable. Whatever was ailing Marc Rzepczynski, he apparently passed it on to Victor Marte. Marte was reassigned to Memphis recently and promoted newly acquired Brian Furentes.
As you probably know by now, acquiring Fuentes was really the only move the Cardinals have made so far to improve the team. He was recently promoted to the Cardinals major league team and should provide immediate help.
Lance Berkman, is nursing a bruised right knee after getting hit by a pitch during the LA series. He was starting to hit the ball better since returning but, the right knee that he had surgery on was the knee that was hit. He has publicly stated that, giving Allen Craig more playing time would be in the team’s best interest. We’ll see how Mike Matheny responds to that statement; but, as I write this, Berkman is in the starting lineup and is 2-2 so far with a homerun.
Jaime Garcia is due to return to the team in August and because of that, I don’t think you’ll see the Redbirds acquire another starting pitcher. Even without Garcia in the starting rotation, the Cardinals are 2nd in the major leagues with sixty three quality starts and third in team ERA with a 3.49. Having Jaime back will only make our starting rotation stronger; and by subtraction, also make our bullpen stronger. I think Joe Kelly will be put in the bullpen upon Garcia’s return.
Did you know Kyle Lohse has one of the best records in the majors since last year? Why his doesn’t get more credit as one of the better pitchers in the leagues is baffling. He has been huge for the Cardinals and is a big reason why we are in contention. His 10-2 record has really helped pick up the slack with Chris Carpenter out for the season.
Let me end this with Tyler Greene. He recently came in as a pinch runner for Berkman; and with nobody out, he was promptly picked off 1st base. I think he redeemed himself a bit with a pinch hit the next day but, something really needs to be done with the Tyler Greene situation. I firmly believe he has the potential to be a starting 2nd baseman; just not in St. Louis. I think his confidence is gone and it’s affecting every aspect of his play. Why the Cardinals are having so much patience with him is a nice gesture but, at some point they will be forced to make a move. Thanks for reading. Go Cards!