Thursday, July 09, 2009

Jim had the great idea for us to journal about the Cards and the Red Sox the rest of the season. So here is my start on how the season is going and what I think of the Cards chances as of today.

Kyle Lohse is coming back on Sunday. As with all teams, the most important thing to start looking at is the starting rotation. The Cards have a good rotation going forward if everyone stays healthy.
Carp and Wain are legitimate aces and give you a good chance at winning everytime they are out there. Carp is pitching very well this year. He has the third lowest ERA of any pitcher who has thrown more than 60 innings pitched. The last five seasons, when Carp pitches well, the Cards make the playoffs, when he doesn't, they don't. So, if he stays healthy, Cards look to win the Central.
Waino has come back veery strong after a slow start. 4 of 5 of his last starts he has given up less than 2 runs. 1 run twice and last time out he came within 2 pitches of throwing his first career shutout (Franklin came in, threw 2 pitches and got a double play).
Lohse and Pinero are the next 2 pitchers. Pinero is pitching out of his mind this year. If he is having a career year and keeps it up, the Cards have 3 aces. Pinero has 3 complete games, 2 of them shut outs. He got very little run support for a long stretch which explains his record. Lohse signed a big contract last fall and is being counted on to contribute a lot. He can be very good, but this season has been a 500 pitcher, but was hurt, so we will see how he comes back.
Welly is a 500 pitcher. Sometimes he looks good. Sometimes he is horrid. But, he isn't bad for the back-end.
So, 3 good chances to win and 2 500 pitchers is an excellant rotation to get teh Card to the playoffs. Once there, all bets are off.
Puljos, nough said.
The outfield has been nowhere to be found this season, but there are signs of life. Rasmus is starting to rake and Luddy is starting to get his timing back after his DL stint. DeRosa should be a bump when he plays, Shuman is doing well with the bat and people aren't talking about him at second anymore, so he must be doing ok defensively. Ryan is a gold glove caliber Shortstop, so the fact that his bat isn't the best is ok if the rest of the lineup is doing what they are suppose to. And Molina just made his first All-Star team. So, position players are solid.
The bullpen is not the question mark it was last year and Franklin has been lights out, with only one blown save so far and going to the All-Star team.
Not only are they in the lead by 2, but they have played a lot of games. 47-40 record, they are 2 ahead of Brewers at 44-41. The Brewers would have to win 2 in a row to catch up in games played and would still be a game back. The Cubs at 41-41 are 3 1/2 back, but would have to win 5 games in a row to catch up in games played and would still be a game back. So, the cards lead looks small in games back, but is actually a good size lead when you look at how many games they have played.
Heading into a big weekend with the Cubbies, 4 games in 3 days. I will be on TEC all weekend, but I am sure we will hear about it. Carp going today, so a good chance to start the series with a win. Thompson going tomorrow, weak link in the rotation, but he can put a good outing together. Waino and Lohse going Sunday, so the matchups look pretty good for the Cards.
It will be a great weekend if we don't have to listen to those Cubbies sing their silly song. Til next time. MILK