Cautious Optimism


As I lay in bed last night dreading my 6:30 am alarm, I thought about what I wanted to write about in my first post here at Redbird Rants. I considered a few topics such as Shelby Miller, my Mid-summer analysis (I knew it was a bit premature), relief pitching (hot topic) and finally I wanted to just do as the site suggests, rant. My new counterpart beat me to the punch and did what I do every time I watch the St. Louis Cardinals lose a game, start bashing players and coaches. Now I understand that isn’t exactly going to help much, but sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I wanted to vent and get it all off my chest, but I think Marilyn did a pretty good job of expressing what I believe is the opinion of many Cards fans. So with my first post I have decided to shed light on the other end of the spectrum, and look at the positive side of our season to this point.

First off, take this post with a grain of salt because I by no means think the Cardinals are a finished product; and as mentioned before I may be screaming profanities at my television by the end of the night, it’s what I do. At the same time I understand that it isn’t always the best regular season team that wins it all, (see 2006 World Series Champions) and as long as the club gets hot at the right time, anyone can win it.

When the news broke that Adam Wainwright would undergo season ending surgery, I might have shed a tear or smashed a TV remote, but what mattered most is that I felt that the season ended before it even began. Instead, I was greeted by a Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Kyle McClellan combo that I had never witnessed. They carried our team when Carp was struggling and showed myself and many other fans that when they are right, they are pretty good. Since the hot start things have slowed down a bit in the rotation, McClellan cooled off and went to the DL which didn’t help the Redbirds, or my fantasy team for that matter, Lohse had a few bad starts and Jaime must have had an oxygen deficiency in his start in the Mile High City.  Our starters’ combined records come out to 33-26 (.559) which isn’t a bad mark (and could be much better with improved relief corps), while they aren’t exactly lighting up the headlines, they are pitching well enough to deserve some praise, give ’em a break.

The offense is hitting .267 (1st NL), tallied 422 runs (2nd NL), and get on base at a .339 clip (1st NL). This is all despite missing David Freese for a significant time, as well as DL stints from Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. Just think of the runs this team could produce come August when everyone in the lineup heats up and Colby Rasmus stops trying so damn hard (see previous posts). I get as frustrated as the rest when the Birds get shut out against some no-name starter, but we must realize every team has lackluster offensive days, give ’em a break.

As far as the bullpen is concerned, I don’t have a whole lot of positive things to say unfortunately. The Cardinals do not have a lefty who I am confident bringing in to face Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the 9th inning of a tie ballgame. On any given night I do not know which Jason Motte I am going to see, the one with the blazing fastball that is effectively wild? Or the Motte with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kicking his heels, playing with his hat, stroking his ridiculous beard and watching guys circle the base paths? Mitchell Boggs is going to be fine, Lance Lynn is pitching effectively, Fernando Salas is awesome and I really like Eduardo Sanchez. Bring in a lefty or two (or three), Mo, and give the team a chance. Yes they need to improve in a couple areas, but it’s no need to panic, they are in good shape. I believe they are just a couple small pieces away from being a real threat. Let’s be a bit optimistic and give ’em a break!

What do you guys think? Does more need to be done to the club than left handed relief? Feel free to keep ranting, I have had the urge to do it the entire time I’ve been writing this post.