By Josh Mosley
We’re 91 games into the the season in St. Louis and I guess the 2009 Cardinals can be summed up in one sentence. When I come up with that sentence, I’ll let you know so stay tuned. Either way, the Cards are 49-42, good for a 2.5 game lead in the Central over those yahoos in Milwaukee. Fire up, Cards!!!! Fire UP!!!!
There’s a lot of good to see in this season so far. Once again it seems like the Birds are “overachieving” by most people’s standards, who predicted a third place finish for the team. But that’s the thing about predictions. Anyone who makes a prediction about the Cardinals who isn’t me is usually wrong. So they can suck it. But stay with me if you will as I give a run down of the highlights, lowlights and beard-lights (that’s for you Ryan Franklin) of the season. Make like a Kriss Kross song and “Jump.”
DUH: Ever heard of this guy Albert Pujols? Jacks dingers, drives in runs and generally strikes fear in the hearts of any man on earth who calls himself a major league pitcher. Look, even this was beyond anything I could imagine him doing. He’s been locked in since day one and is the current best baseball player on earth until A) someone else has a say about it or 2) God forbid his name shows up on a performance enhancing drug report. Let’s pray neither one will occur though I know Mr. Paschen will do a little jig of happiness if it does. Long story short: Pujols was the only sure thing on this roster.
Pleasant surprises: Ladies, gentlemen and the French. If this team were a Real World cast, Ryan Franklin and his chintastic pubes would be the breakout star of the show. He leads the league in saves and looks damn awesome doing it if I may say so myself. Chris Carpenter is also on this list. I say that because the guy had pitched only a handful of games since the end of 2006 and was coming off major surgery. But shame on me for doubting the guy. He’s been solid and is probably due a couple of more wins due to an, at times, inept bullpen. More on that later.
REALLY?!?!: As you have read above, there’s been good (Carp, Franklin, Albert) but now there’s the bad. Call this the Todd Wellemeyer and shit offense section. Todd entered the break on a bit of a roll. And by roll, I mean he didn’t tear his shoulder off after throwing 195 pitches in his last two starts. It’s my theory that any amount of overwork that this bullpen has felt is due to Wellemeyer being subpar. So Todd I have some advice: don’t suck. Same goes for all batters who have a name that doesn’t sound like Scmalbert Schmujols. I’ll get to those guys, oh I don’t know…
NOW: See how that works? Damn, I’m good. The one thing I took solace in headed into the break was that Ryan Ludwick and Colby Rasmus stopped using invisible baseball bats and started hitting. Colby has put himself into discussion, albeit a weak list, for NL Rookie of the Year. And Ludwick is supporting the way he did last year when he and Pujols almost singlehandedly kept the Cards in Central race. Those two and another bat (perhaps a deal for Matt Holliday) would help. Carp and Franklin will likely continue their ways. A healthy Kyle Lohse is a great number 2 guy as evidenced by his quick start. And Adam Wainwright has been about as good as you could ask the last 10 days before break. Joel Piniero has his days but ultimately can be a plus for this staff. Now what’s on my wish list? I’d like another bat but if the moons aligned and John Mozeliak agreed to part with some of his precious prospects to bring Roy Halladay to the ‘Lou, there’d be no stopping this staff. If they don’t, well Cards pitching has been known to self-implode.
Prediction: Quite simply put, this is a three horse race. Who wins and who places: As much as it pains me to say, I think the Cubs will slither their way into the playoffs…as a wild card. Division goes to the Cards and the Crew comes up JUST short. Though I’d love it if the Crew took the Cubs spot and those baby bear bastards got held ringless for yet another year.