Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Stepping Up: Your 2011 Cardinals

As I was sleepily watching last night’s broadcast, one of the announcers made a comment that stuck in my fuzzy, post-11:00 PM brain. It was

St. Louis Cardinals' Daniel Descalso rips a base hit to drive in the go ahead run in the ninth inning of the Cardinals 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Monday, May 23, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

right after Daniel Descalso hit YET ANOTHER potential game-winning RBI (this time in the top of the 11th inning), and somebody (Jim? Al? Sorry — I was really tired!) said something about how so many different players on the team have stepped up so far in 2011 and produced when we need it most.

And I thought: well THAT’S the understatement of the year.

Think about this. If some omnipotent being had revealed to you on March 30th that the following things would be true on May 25th, what would you have felt about this season?

  • Adam Wainwright won’t be pitching–at all.
  • Chris Carpenter will be leading both leagues in hits allowed (76) and be 1-4 with an ERA of 4.88.
  • Albert Pujols will be batting .267 and be leading both leagues in GIDP (14).
  • Ryan Franklin will have blown 4 saves in 5 opportunities and been taken out of the closer role.
  • David Freese will be on the DL for at least 3 months with a broken hand.
I, personally, would have felt like crawling into bed for the whole summer, rather than watch our fourth-place-in-the-NL-Central team. And yet, all of these things are true. All of these are TRUE FACTS about the Cardinals today, and we sit at the top of the division, 3.5 games up on the second place teams, tied with the Cleveland Indians for the most wins in the majors (30). Right? How did this happen?
Here’s how:
  • Kyle McClellan is 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA and threw another quality start yesterday, giving up only 2 hits over 6 innings.
  • Jaime Garcia has stepped up to be the club’s ace—he’s 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He already has two complete game shut-outs.
  • Kyle Lohse  has become a brand new Kyle Lohse. 6-2, 2.06 ERA—and he has 74.1 innings pitched over 10 games. That’s second to only Roy Halladay in the NL.
  • Matt Holliday is batting .349 and Lance Berkman is batting .346. They are leading the NL with the averages, so: not a bad little outfield.
  • Berkman also has 11 home runs and 35 RBI. And he made one seriously OMG-worthy catch against the Padres last night. The Puma’s having himself one heck of a comeback.
  • Daniel Descalso may only be batting .239, but he’s getting those hits when it matters, and getting himself a reputation for being a “late and close” guy, which is a pretty great reputation to have. His glove work over at the third is taking away the sting of losing Freese until July quite nicely.
  • Gerald Laird was doing a hell of a job backing up Yadi when he went down a few days with a broken finger. Tony Cruz was brought up, made his first start yesterday, and suddenly has 3 hits. He’s batting .600! Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
  • Speaking of hits in your first major league game, Pete Kozma made his debut last week and promptly got his first hit–and made it an RBI double, to boot.
  • Jon Jay is batting .326. Yadi is batting .324!  With production coming from all over the lineup, Pujols’ unusually diminished numbers are far less noticeable, and he has time to get himself right. I feel it coming. :)
So, as you can see, the surprise awesome things that have happened this year far outnumber the unexpected bad things. Way to step it up, babybirds and big birds alike!

2 responses to “Stepping Up: Your 2011 Cardinals

  1. Liberty May 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Jon Jay is the sweeeetest!! i tweeted him asking for a pic of motte’s awesome beard and……he took a pic of him and tweeted it to me!!!!!! (sorry i’m slightly obsessed with jon jay)

  2. Pingback: So Close To The Sweep

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