Jun 6, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcherShelby Miller
(40) is congratulated after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 12-8. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 Cardinals bats are heating up. Last night, in Cincinnati’s not so full Great American Ballpark, St. Louis became the first team this season to win 40 games. Today they are looking like The Great American baseball team.
While it is only June, the best team in baseball and the best fans in the game can look ahead to a bright future beyond this season, because the Big Redbird Machine could win more than two championships.
From 1970-76′, Cincinnati hosted the team that dominated the NL West, and they sold out spanking new Riverfront Stadium on Friday nights. Yesterday evening showed quite a different scene with empty seats littering great new ballpark. Cincinatti baseball fans must have known better than to pay for tickets to witness the almighty Adam Wainwright duel the over-achieving Mike Leake.
No matter how clever Reds fans were to avoid the 9-2 beating, it is still surprising that the recently rejuvenated rivalry between the two top NL Central organizations didn’t sell more tickets. Although, waiting for newbie Tyler Lyons to start tonight versus “Tat” Mat Latos may prove to be a bright decision. Hopefully the nationally broadcast game will bring more local fans out today, but they still have good reasons for concern.
Since May 1st, the Birdinals have been killing opponents with exactly 187 runs. They have 25 wins in their last 35 games, and are averaging over 5 runs a game during that stretch. That offense makes up for rookie pitchers getting knocked around a bit and the bullpen’s inconsistencies. With the New York Mets, Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubbies comprising the next three series, there are more wins to come in June before facing the AL West’s Texas, Houston and Oakland later this month.
Back in the 70’s when the Big Red Machine was crushing, the Cardinals didn’t make it to the playoffs out of the NL East, not even once. That is why the 80’s were a big deal for St. Louis.
MLB in the 21st Century has many more teams and divisions making domination more difficult, but there is something about the 2011-2017 Big Redbird Machine that sounds just right. Unlike the old team on the Ohio RIver, this contemporary team on the Mississippi RIver is more than a “Great Eight”.
St. Louis has a front office and General Manager that have the right players wearing the Birds on the Bat at all levels. The Cardinals also have a young (minus the Secret Weapon) hungry coaching staff that isn’t afraid to push and make a few mistakes along the way. But most importantly, the Gateway to the West has the best fans in baseball that will continue to fill up Busch and travel to support their beloved Big Redbird Machine.