The St. Louis Cardinals are off to a great start in the 2015 season. They hold a 8-3 record and NL Central Division lead and are coming off a weekend sweep over division rival the Cincinnati Reds behind great pitching and timely hitting.
Now comes their stiffest test of the season thus far as they prepare to do battle with a World Series contender. Here’s a St. Louis Cardinals vs Nationals preview.
The Washington Nationals boast one of the more talented rosters at least on paper in all of Major League Baseball. They have one of the premier rotations going anchored by St. Louis native and off-season acquisition Max Scherzer, who they signed to a 7 year, $210 million deal.
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The St. Louis Cardinals were rumored to be one of the teams interested in signing Scherzer but in the end, they weren’t willing to offer up the kind of dollars, Washington was.
Scherzer has been brilliant so far, going 1-1 with a 0.83 era in 21.2 innings, with 25 punch outs compared to only 4 walk in his return to the National League. He started his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks spending 2 seasons there before being dealt to the Tigers and spending the last 5 seasons there, picking up a Cy Young during that span.
Despite his arrival, the Nationals are off to a surprising 6-7 start and have been hit by the injury bug early. Anthony Rendon, Craig Stammen, Yunel Escobar, Erik Davis, Casey Janssen and Nate McLouth have all went down with injuries.
The Nationals are hoping that the rotation that they have built a foundation behind featuring Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister with Tanner Roark waiting in the wings.
Offensively the temporary loss of Rondon hurts because he is a steady presence in the lineup that hits for power and fields well, but Bryce Harper has certainly done his part to offset the blow.
As for the St. Louis Cardinals, they seem to be firing on all cylinders, with Matt Carpenter swinging as good a bat as anyone in baseball, Matt Holliday continuing to provide consistent hitting, Yadier Molina driving the ball better game in and game out, plus having the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff among the best in the majors up to this point.
The rotation led by Adam Wainwright has been stingy and the bullpen after a few hiccups during the first week of the season has been a dominant group with Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden and Kevin Siegrist making life miserable for lineups.
It should make for a compelling series and hopefully it is one the St. Louis Cardinals can use as a measuring stick during the road trip. Thanks for reading!