Saturday afternoon brought bad news for St. Louis Cardinals fans as Carlos Martinez will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder strain. Co-editor Steve Ungrey examines what this will do to the Cards moving forward.
You could tell the minute Carlos Martinez threw his first pitch on Friday.
The grimaces Martinez gave off from his face were echoed by practically every St. Louis fan around the country.
As Martinez exited the mound, he covered his face with his pitching glove to hide the pain he was in. It showed through.
On Saturday, Cardinal Nation held its breath and exhaled in a big sigh of disappointment. According to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, Martinez will miss the remainder of the season.
Another injury. Another black mark for the Cardinals just when it isn’t needed.
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It seems as if the season has gone south for the team in a hurry, its record of 97-57 notwithstanding. First Adam Wainwright goes down. Then it’s Matt Adams. Then Matt Holliday. Adams and Holliday come back, and Martinez and Yadier Molina take seats with injuries.
When will this merry-go-round end, Cardinal fans say, and will it cost St. Louis a chance at the World Series?
To answer these and other questions, we must back up. St. Louis is in the midst of trying to hold off the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in its own division. A division title is not a gimme anymore. Now the Cardinals hope to hold back Pittsburgh so they don’t face the Pirates at Busch Stadium in a one-game playoff.
Right now it appears Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Jaime Garcia are the top rotation options, with Tyler Lyons a possible alternative. The Cardinals should be fine in a one-game playoff or a short series, but a championship series could be a problem.
If there is good news, it is Martinez won’t need surgery and the most he’ll be sidelined is eight weeks. That will set him up for spring training in 2016.
For now, though, the 2015 season isn’t finished and the nail-biting continues.