However, since today is opening day…and the Cards are starting the MLB season with the title defense tonight, I figured it’s better than never to start blogging Redbird baseball again.
Seems like a few Cards bloggers have left MLBlogs, or have been inactive…I, being one of them…but Cardinal Nation has to represent, so here we go…
1) I think the Cardinals will repeat as Central Division Champs this year, however they won’t get past the NLCS, or perhaps even the NLDS. I’m willing to give them a bit of a pass this year with the first World Championship in 24 years. Re-tool, re-arm, play a hard nine and see where it ends up. I just can’t see them going deep in the playoffs…and not because of the rotation turnover. I think the starting lineup is potentially weak, especially if Edmonds can’t return somewhat to form…Duncan takes a step back…and Adam Kennedy gets off to a slow start. The Encarnacion/Wilson/Taguchi platoon is what it is, and to expect much production from it is a chimera.
2) That being said, I think the starting rotation will do exceedingly well. They’ll have to in order for the team to stay in contention for the playoffs in the “Dodge City, KS” that is the National League. I expect Anthony Reyes to be the 5th starter by performance. Too many fly balls yields too many home runs. However, I think his ERA will be around 4.20…Suppan-level performance from Flat Iron, as it were.
3) Scott Rolen will return to form. He’ll have to as well. If not, Albert will be lucky to get pitched to at all.
4) Really, a lot of things have to break right for the Cardinals to have a great to outstanding team. I think they’ll be a pretty good team, and make the playoffs…I just can’t see much past that. Regardless, every game, I’ll be expecting them to win…and I’ll actually believe that my interest in the team will have an impact on their on-field performance. Like most baseball fans. Nothin’ wrong with that, huh??
I’m off for a week-long vacation. To the Bahamas. If I have internet access, and some spare time, I’ll write a post or two.
If not, back in a week or so. Here’s hoping the Cardinals get off to a good start to their road trip tonight…
Until the Cardinals win another game.
It makes me sick just to watch. And, as I have things I can do that won’t make me sick, I’ll do those instead.
Are the Phillies that much better because they lost Abreu and Lidle? Um, no. But, they’re playing better than the Cardinals…the Central Division leader.
Pitchng – stinks
Hitting – right now, worse than stinks
Fielding – not as bas as the first two, but not good
Ugh. Goodnight now.
It happens, though. Although Carp pitched well last night, even he admitted he didn’t have his best stuff, and as Fungoes shows, Jason Jennings did outduel him via the Game Score metric, 77 to 65. That’s 2 straight games for Carp with a game score of 65. Clearly not his best “stuff” right now, compared to some of his better efforts.
El Hombre reached down and out and hit a changeup that was 4 inches off the ground onto the right-field scoreboard and into the crowd. And that was the only run that was needed.
The pitching staff is on a little bit of a roll…other than running into the rolling tomahawk that is/was the Atlanta Braves, they’ve pitched well. I’ll be convinced upon seeing the results of the series this weekend against the Baby Bears.
I’ve added another photo album…this one contains photos from the Memphis Redbirds vs. Albuquerque Isotopes game on July 1st. I apologize for the poor quality, but they were taken with my Motorola RAZR phone. I decided to leave the bulky digital camera at home.
I’m hoping to do a thorough run-down of the Redbirds hitting and pitching stats, over the last 7 and 30 days respectively, in comparison with the season as a whole.
I’m interested in how the team has hit in relation to Albert’s injury, and how the pitching staff has performed in the last month. First glance shows the former is much better than the latter.
But, Scotty is on a tear. Striking a rather George Brett figure (hitting-wise) at the hot corner these days. Yadi is starting to pull his weight, and Eck leads the NL in hits, at least as of last night. Gotta check the updated stats.
Carp pitched a good one last night…but despite Shannon’s prediction that Carp’s gem last night will get the rest of the staff to up their performances, Ponson lays an egg tonight. A figurative one. So did the pen, yet again.
I hope to be able to finish my thoughts on the Decline and Fall of Jim Edmonds in the next day or two as well. Maybe I can do a bookend with the Re-Ascent of Scott Rolen!
I’ve updated my blog photo with the original ‘Player To Be Named Later.’
One of these days, I’ll throw an actual photo of me in there somewhere.
Long day today…got in to my hotel at midnight last night, and got 4 hours of sleep. Meetings/tours all day. I’ll try to expound on some piece of wisdom in a bit.
If not, it’ll be tomorrow morning or night.