Pressure Mounts for The St. Louis Cardinals
As of September 4th, the St. Louis Cardinals stand alone as the best team in the MLB with a wopping record of 86-47. St. Louis Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold pointed out that if the Cardinals play losing baseball in September (14-16 thrown out by him), they will still finish with 100 wins. That is incredible beyond words. How good this team is basically beyond words. Do they hit like the Toronto Blue Jays? Not even close. However, their pitching has kept them in so many games, and carried them for a good part of this season. Today, the Cardinals team ERA stands at an 2.67 while the team trailing them at second place, the Pittsburgh Pirates has a 3.19 ERA. Pretty mind blowing.
We have seen some good Cardinal teams in the past, but this one is shaping up to be a historically good one, just from their pitching alone. Two Cardinals teams stick out to me: 2004 and 2013. In 2004, the Cardinals won 105 games. They were led by the thrashing three Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. The offense did carry the Cardinals through the year given that the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher was Chris Carpenter with a 3.46. Also, we can not forget the constant heartburn known as Jason Isringhausen. Hitting can only get you so far as the dream season by the Cardinals ended with a gut wrenching sweep by the red hot Boston Red Sox. Fast forward to 2013, the Cardinals had a bit of a resemblance of the 2004 team, and not because they, again, succumbed to the Red Sox. The Cardinals of 2013 had a .269 batting average, but hit an all time major league record .330 with runners in scoring position. Just like 2004, offense carried the Cardinals, were the best team in the National League (best in MLB in 04), but lost in the World Series.
That is my point. The 2015 version of the St. Louis Cardinals strength is pitching. Not only do they need to pitch well this October, they need to hit. That is most important this go around. Hashtag analysis
Here is something most Cardinal fans will not bring up: the pressure on this team to win a World Series is huge this year. As a Cardinal fan, my fellow fans are so caught up on “The Cardinal Way” and most baseball fans hate us for it. Well, why do so many people hate the Cardinals? All they have done since 2011 is fall short of the ultimate goal and hand the San Francisco Giants two world championships. We can not forget is that this season is dedicated to Oscar Taveras, the 21 year old outfielder who was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic during the World Series. This season is dedicated to OT, so what better way to end the season of raising the commissioners trophy in his honor?
All in all, it is time Cardinals. Enough with the disappearing bats in October. It is time to give fans a legit reason to can not stand “The Cardinal Way”. If the Cardinals do not get the job done this year, I do not want to hear the stupid media line of “they do this every year”. Enough with it already, it is time finish the job.