Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I’m sure most of Cardinal Nation is thrilled with the Cardinals’ 12-2 smack down of the Washington Nationals. But if you were surprised, you shouldn’t be as the Redbirds have shown that when the going gets tough, the Redbirds get going. So, let me give you my three reasons why the Cardinals will repeat as World Series Champions. Feel free to respond with comments or feedback since you may have more than three reasons or you may think I’m full of “you know what”.
Reason #1 – Chris Carpenter is back in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Call it a coincidence or the leadership Carp provides but, the starters as a whole have been performing better. In fact, the entire pitching staff is performing better statistically. In the 7 days since Carp returned, the pitching staff has a team earned run average of 2.03. So, his presence goes beyond the box score. Sure, he’s 0-1 but, has an earned run average himself of 3.27 and has gone a total of eleven innings. He has given our pitching staff the spark that they needed as they approach the playoffs.
Reason #2– Yadier Molina is having an MVP type year. He is arguably the most valuable player for sure on the Cardinal team; if not the National League. He has always
been a top notch defender behind the plate but, now, he’s complementing that with an improved offensive showing. He is currently hitting .321 with twenty two homeruns and seventy five runs batted in. He has a slugging percentage of .512 and has a OBP of.378. Besides his offense, he’s just as effective behind the plate. His fielding is excellent and he has thrown out 34 runners for a stolen base of .528. He “knows” his pitchers on the team and it is usually obvious when he’s not in the game. With apologies to Bryan Anderson and Tony Cruz, he is to the position players that Carpenter is to the pitching staff. Thank goodness we have them both healthy and ready to help the Cardinals repeat.
Reason #3 – The Cardinals play at a much higher level in the playoffs. As frustrating as it may be for the fans (including this fan), they are a different ball club in the playoffs. And in this case, that is a very good thing. In last year’s post season, the combined numbers had them leading in runs, hits, doubles and triples. They were second in team batting average, slugging % and OPS. Added to the mix is the fact that Adam Wainwright and Carpenter are healthy and ready to do some damage. Add to the fact that our lineup overall is more formidable than last year and many of the everyday starters are hitting at least .300, we will be a challenge for any team that faces us.
Here’s the bottom line; whether you agree with me of not or whether you think the Cardinals will barely get to the playoffs, here’s the thing. The only thing that has changed this year, besides a new manager and that Albert guy being gone, is a better pitching staff overall and a better team overall. So, you may want to start making room for your 2012 World Series Replica ring as the Cards prep for the defense of their World Series Crown.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!