The Cardinals are trolling you

It is entirely plausible that the St. Louis Cardinals planned this all along. Somewhere in a smoky back room, Mo and Matheny contemplated how to draw the most giggles for themselves by reading Twitter comments on the first month of the Cards’ performance. I can almost envision Mo dancing around doing hand puppets while whimsically reading the doomsday prophecies.

It would fit into a narrative that the almighty Redbirds have to land some time. The team that went to the postseason in 2011, 2012, and 2013 can’t keep flying high forever. Their attitude and the condescension are too much — what with their “Cardinals Way” and so forth.

I’m here to tell you that nothing exceptional happened in April of 2014. That’s right, nothing special transpired when the team went .500 in April and is one game over .500 for the year, inclusive of their March Reds’ home opener win, did nothing special at all. In fact this year isn’t unlike 2013 at all. In fact, just last year, the Cardinals sported a 15-11 record vs. this April’s 15-14.

What about Craig? There’s got to be something worth panicking about here, right? Let’s take a look at the last several April games.

Rk Date Opp AB H HR RBI BB SO HBP BA OBP SLG OPS
19 Apr 21 NYM 4 2 0 0 0 1 0 .197 .256 .282 .538
20 Apr 22 NYM 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 .184 .241 .263 .504
21 Apr 23 NYM 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .188 .241 .263 .504
22 Apr 24 NYM 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .179 .231 .250 .481
23 Apr 25 PIT 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .170 .221 .239 .460
24 Apr 26 PIT 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 .174 .222 .239 .461
25 Apr 27 PIT 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 .177 .223 .240 .463
26 Apr 28 MIL 4 2 1 1 2 2 0 .190 .248 .280 .528
27 Apr 29 MIL 4 1 0 1 1 0 0 .192 .254 .298 .552
28 Apr 30 MIL 5 4 1 3 0 0 0 .220 .277 .367 .644
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.

Friday afternoon he started May off going 1 for 4. He’s starting to find his bat, it would seem. A couple 1 for 4 games might not impress much, but the subsequent 2 hit and 4 hit games do. Especially, when he’s launched two bombs in that time. Some may complain that he isn’t driving in runs like last year, but he didn’t fail to do so in the last 4 games of April (though he did fail to in his first May game). It would be more logical to suggest he never really got fired back up after going down on injury late in 2013. After a month of solid play, he’s back.

I can hear you now – “OK, Wes that’s all well and good about Craig, and maybe the team isn’t really doing much worse than last year, but Jhonny Peralta is a BUST!” Well, let’s take a glance at some late April numbers, lest we simply dislike him for reasons not pertaining to baseball. We wouldn’t do that, now would we?

Rk Date Opp AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
11 Apr 13 CHC 4 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 .111 .220 .306 .525
12 Apr 14 MIL 4 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 .150 .244 .400 .644
13 Apr 15 MIL 4 1 2 1 0 1 2 0 .182 .265 .500 .765
14 Apr 16 MIL 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .188 .264 .479 .743
15 Apr 17 WSN 5 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 .208 .276 .491 .766
16 Apr 18 WSN 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .196 .274 .464 .738
17 Apr 19 WSN 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .183 .258 .433 .691
18 Apr 20 WSN 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .172 .243 .406 .649
19 Apr 21 NYM 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .164 .243 .388 .631
20 Apr 22 NYM 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .159 .256 .377 .633
21 Apr 23 NYM 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .151 .244 .356 .600
22 Apr 25 PIT 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 .169 .256 .377 .632
23 Apr 26 PIT 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 .175 .267 .388 .654
24 Apr 27 PIT 2 2 2 0 0 2 4 1 .195 .290 .476 .766
25 Apr 28 MIL 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .193 .283 .455 .737
26 Apr 29 MIL 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 .204 .288 .452 .740
27 Apr 30 MIL 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .196 .284 .433 .717
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2014.

Jhonny also hit well in his first May game, going 2 for 4, with 3 RBIs. He went 17 for his last 52 of April (.326). His biggest weakness is that he’s inconsistent right now. For instance, the Washington and New York series were dismal, but he came right back against the Bucs and Brewers, and has only failed to hit in one game since then.  He won’t keep going at a .326 clip, more than likely, but suffice to say he can hit.

Despite a less than amazing record to start the season, one really bright spot is the starting rotation.  As a group, they sport a 2.48 ERA. Tyler Lyons is weighing down that ERA with his 4.50 in 12 innings of work. Joe Kelly, Adam Wainwright, and Michael Wacha all have a sub 3 ERA (Kelly’s is less than 1).

While questions remain about the effectiveness of the bullpen (outside of Martinez, Rosenthal, and Siegrist) the rotation eats up a lot more innings, and they have been very solid.

If all of that isn’t enough to convince you that the Cards have this all under control and that they’re just playing a mind game on you, consider this: To believe the Cards will play at this level all year, in my opinion, requires you to accept that the Brewers will, too. Does anyone reading this honestly believe the Brewers will have team winning percentage of .714 in late September? I thought not.

Now let’s enjoy some Cardinals baseball and stop playing into their devious scheme on Twitter.

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