Series Recap #4
In the recent podcasts created by twobirdsonabat.com, a common theme has been pitting the crowd of Cardinal fans that overreact at the slightest trend in the early season games VS the crowd of fans that takes a more wait and see approach in looking at a long MLB season. The prevailing thought among the hosts and panel of experts is that the latter approach is the more reasonable one. As Jim Cromer says, “I don't want to tell anyone how to fan”, and I agree with him. Still, for those in the “calm down and let things develop” camp, there is no better example than the series that just was completed yesterday afternoon. On Sunday before the 1st pitch, the Cardinals had dropped the first two in the SD series and had Wainwright set to start, a pitcher who many fans were wondering about his spot in the rotation after one outing. It was easy to find some doom and gloom out there in the fandom universe. 5 days later, 5 DAYS, the Cardinals are the hottest team in the National League with 5 straight wins, owners of a sweep of the Dodgers, tied for 1st in the NL Central, and Paul DeJong is the favorite for the MVP.
Did I get you? That last DeJong addition was to also remind the fan base that just like it's best to not overreact to negative results in the early season, we have to be careful also to not respond too enthusiastically to positives. Paul DeJong will not hit .375 for the season. The Cardinals might go 5-5 over their next ten, they might now lose four in a row. If that were to happen it would then make any fan feel foolish if they believed that the sweep of the Dodgers was some definitive sign that the club is on it's way to 100 wins. Just like if the 4-5 start led any fan to throw away the season and declare the Cardinals out of the playoffs for a 4th straight year. On to some notes:
- It's going to become increasingly difficult for anyone to convince me, including Mike Shildt, that Fowler should be the main starter in right field over Jose Martinez.
- Very nice to see Andrew Miller strike out the side yesterday. The slider command was there and everything else plays off that.
- Nice work by Webb, which also showed the value of having a second lefty. When Reyes is ready, who goes down? Even Gallegos looked very sharp.
- Overall a fantastic series for the bullpen, shutting down this blogger's concerns (for now, I still have them)
- Wong and DeJong may be a middle infield we can all invest in and enjoy for several years into the future if both guys continue their positive early season trends
- Flaherty looked very good.
- Wacha, not so much, for the second consecutive start.
- I thought Mikolas, even though the overall line wasn't great, looked much sharper with more life on his pitches than in his previous two starts to begin the year.
- Hudson has very good stuff, just needs to command it and I see him as a workhorse #3 starter. However, we can say the same thing about Wacha and it's been that way for several years now. Hopefully Hudson can sort it out more efficiently than Wacha has.
- I have some thoughts on the Matt Carpenter extension that may not be so flowery and nostalgic, I'll cover this in a future article.
More podcast and series recaps to come next week, along with the Carpenter topic mentioned previously and a “Prospect” article I am working on. It will be looking at the recent history of the Cardinal's handling of and decisions made around their top prospects.