Why today’s win was really, really important

The day of the trade deadline and the day before were some of the most active I can remember seeing at the trade deadline. Day one wasn’t so harsh, with the Cards dealing minor league OF James Ramsey for SP Justin Masterson. Day two was a lot more emotional when the Cards dealt SP Joe Kelly and OF/1B Allen Craig for John Lackey. It was as close to the St. Louis Cardinals come to a blockbuster move.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter, or read this blog for any length of time, you know I have been very critical of Craig’s performance this season. While not the most harsh critic he has, I’ve been one of the more persistent ones. Still, it was really emotional to watch the Cards give up on the man who provided the offensive charge in three winning seasons. I’ve also been a huge fan of Joe Kelly for a long time. I try to look at the situation objectively, but I have my personal favorites and Kelly was one of them.

I won’t spend much time debating the merits of the trade, that’s been beat to death elsewhere. I will say that this team was noticeably disturbed by the trade before today’s game. It was hard to watch Joe Kelly saying goodbye and not feel bad. Watching up almost in tears was tough. Craig fared worse, having to skip speaking to the media altogether for exactly the same reason, I’m sure. These were guys who gave what they had to give to help this team. In the end, it wasn’t enough. They are acutely aware of that, and it’s hard to see.

To watch the team come out today, and swing the bat well was huge. This team needed to quickly turn a negative into a positive. I can’t think of a better way than decisively winning this game. The win also provided a .500 road trip, after dropping two to MLB’s worst offense. That’s an important bounce back. Lastly, Shelby Miller has now had two good outings. Granted, he gave up the long ball twice today, but it’s a big improvement over what we had been seeing.

I still have major reservations about the 2014 squad in St. Louis, but if this team is to have any chance at moving forward, this win was a must.

Thanks for reading.

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