After four spring games, the Cardinals (4-0) have received help from a dominant pitching staff.
The St. Louis Cardinals have championship expectations coming into this season. With the most awarded defense of all-time, the Cards have plenty of hitting to get them to the playoffs. The biggest question mark coming into the season was the pitching.
Through four spring training games, the pitching staff looks like they are up to snuff. Winning all four games so far, the Cardinals have looked really good on the mound. All four starters, Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Steven Matz, and Dakota Hudson, went for two innings in their respective starts. They have allowed a combined two earned runs and nine base-runners through their eight innings pitched.
Other than the starters, the Cardinals’ bullpen has been pitching excellently as well. Combining for 31 strikeouts in 28 innings, the relievers have been playing at the top of their game to begin the spring season. Kyle Ryan has led the way out of the bullpen, registering a win and a save in his two appearances.
Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren, two relief pitchers the Cardinals recently acquired, have looked sharp in their lone appearances. VerHagen pitched two innings, allowed zero base-runners, and struck out three batters. Wittgren has fired one inning of work, allowing no base-runners and striking out one batter in the process. Both relievers have registered a hold as well.
To top it all off, the Cardinals have pitched 36 innings with a 3.00 ERA and 0.97 WHIP and have yet to allow a home run. While it may be unrealistic to expect that level of production over the course of the regular season, the Cards’ pitching staff is bringing the heat at the moment. This impressive run has also been without Alex Reyes, Giovanny Gallegos, Jack Flaherty, and the anchor to the rotation, Yadier Molina.
If these four can seamlessly transition into the fold by the start of the regular season, the Cardinals could get off to a hot start. It may not be as hot as how they ended last season, but they could rack up wins in a hurry if the pitching remains this incredible.