With the Cubs series in complete control, we thought it was time to look ahead. I would be very interested in seeing more of Jason Jaramillo. The JHammer was interviewed by David Laurila with Baseball Prospectus recently. It’s a quick interview.
Not to look over the flat Cubbies or anything, but look who is on the bump tomorrow night. Hell, the Cards pitchers are all studs, look at Saturday and Sunday too! Yee Haw! (A win today would get me fired up headed into this lineup of Cardinals arms.) The Cardinals have insanely strong pitching, but somehow the offense has been just average. That’s scary stuff.
The Cardinals starters have put together 14 straight quality starts. Sorta the anti-Pittsburgh Pirates model thus far. But, heh it’s early. The Cardinals have 25 quality starts in the first 28 games. I know it just keeps getting better. The Cardinals have the best ERA in all of baseball. Sorry, I had to.
Cardinals: Chris Carpenter reminds me of Andre the Giant. He looks to stay unbeaten this season when he heads to the mound tomorrow against the Bucs. Nobody has told Carpenter the famous phrase, ‘heh, it’s early.’ Carpenter knows that all the games count. He is 4-0 in his six starts this season. Carpenter has allowed 27 hits in 38 innings. (That’s good I think.) Just 12 earned runs. He has a tick over a strikeout per inning for seventh in the NL (39 strikeouts) while issuing just 13 free passes. Gulp. He is 11-1 with a sick 2.27ERA against the Bucs. Heh, most of those Pirates are gone. I’m not scared.
Pirates: On the other complete other continent from Carpenter, Friday’s starter Zach Duke has lost each of his past three starts. Duke does sport a 3.73 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals. Most of those Cardinals are still with the club. I’m scared.
Saturday: Jamie Garcia (3-1; 1.13 ERA) has been impressive. The 23-year old lefhander has a nice strikeout rate, a good ERA, and he has been eating up innings. Garcia will face off against Jeff Karstens on Saturday. Karstens doesn’t have anything remotely close to a nice strikeout rate, ERA, or, well you get the point.
Sunday: Adam Wainwright ( 4-1; 1.96 ERA) got a no-decision against the Phillies in his most recent excellent outing. Paul Maholm will get the ball for the Bucs.
If the pitching isn’t enough to stress you out, rookie third baseman David Freese was NL Player of the week. Freese had 3 homeruns and eleven RBI for the week ending May 2. Maybe the offense will be on the rebound when the Cards roll into Pittsburgh?
Matt Holliday has been off to a slow start and has a groin injury that occured Tuesday. I saw some tweets about it, that is a huge contract to live up to Mr. Holliday. No pressure, kid. Have you seen the Pirates payroll number, sir?
One key stat I saw was the Redbirds swung and missed 28 times against Cole Hamels and the Phillies pitching staff. The Mark McGwire coached squad also struck out 13 times earlier in the week against the Rockies.
On May 3, the team was on a nice nine game stretch, winning eight of those games. The Cards on-base-plus-slugging was .852. Albert Pujols was hitting .467 in that stretch, David Freese’s had a .471. Freese’s OPS during the nine-game streak was 1.353. That’s pretty solid. But just three days later, Skipper Tony LaRussa called a meeting for the team. The Cardinals have scored one run in the past two games. [UPDATE: The Cards put two up on the scoreboard against Doc and the Phillies! The Cards are trailing 7-2 currently in the eighth.]
Could the Bucs have caught the Cubs and now the Cards in a funk? If Duke and Maholm can keep the Cards off the board and the Bucs play a little defense this weekend, heh, I think we can take one of these games!
More insight at Beyond the Box Score which ranks the Cards seventh and our Buccos next to last. [Beyond the Box Score Power Rankings]