I’ve done this type of post before, so I figured the date would help. Anyways, good morning.
Things on my mind:
I already felt this years Cardinals team was special, but I’m supposed to feel that way. It’s my team, one that I grew up with back in St. Louis. I’m a Cards homer.
Remove that element though, and I would still feel there was something different. They’ve lost their ace, and they’ve still kept on plugging. Michael Wacha has stepped up and Lance lynn has picked up where he left off. Matt Adams got injured the other day, and Mark Reynolds slid in last night and drove in a run. Injuries haven’t slowed this team down at all, they just put in a replacement and keep on winning. They just finished off a sweep of Arizona with an improbable come from behind win, in the 9th inning no less. The comeback was led by, you guessed it, a fill-in. In this case it was Peter Bourjos, with a slide that knocked Arizona’s catcher off balance, causing a wild through that led to the winning run in the form of Matt Carpenter.
I dunno how long this will last, but right now, this team just has a “feel” to it. I know nobody outside of Cards fans likes this, because everybody wanted the Cubs to start their run a little early. Sorry Cubs fans and everybody else, but as long as the Cards keep doing this, keep plugging holes and the replacements keep performing, the Cards will have a division title in their hands and possibly much more.
Now for another team with a little bit of a feel to it: The Astros.
Living down here in Galveston, I don’t get the Cardinals games, save for the occasional appearance on ESPN’s game of the week, so I’ve been watching the Astros.
Now though, they’ve become very entertaining. They have the player leading the AL in WAR and it isn’t a hitter, but rather pitcher Dallas Keuchel at 3.2 WAR.
They have a swing and miss crew that leads the league in homers and strikeouts, and is second last in BA at .233. What’s odd though, is that instead of a buch slow sluggers, you have a team tied for 1st in SB with 42. They also have decent discipline, ranking 4th in the AL in walks with with 156. So an all or nothing crew with speed? Very unusual. Yet it’s working.
The Astros lead the west by six and a half games. Think about that for a minute. Raise your hand if you saw them finishing above .500, let alone leading the division.
Yet, as I’ve said, they make it work. They improved their bullpen, but the holdovers, like Tony Sipp, are doing well as well. Keuchel is an ace, and possible Cy Young candidate, despite being an afterthought until the last year (he was coming off two straight years with an ERA of over 5. Nobody saw this coming. An improvement maybe, but not this much of a leap). Colin McHugh was a nobody until the Astros got him. Luke Gregerson, one of the imports, has admittedly struggled, but the other, Pat Neshek, has followed last years good season with the Cardinals with another one with the Astros.
All of this is being done with some bats, like Chris Carter, struggling. Right now they have a 6 game lead in the AL West. Imagine what happens if the struggling bats improve even a little, and some of their minor league prospects show up to help? Right now, this team has that feel, like the Cards. Unlike the Cards, I don’t thin it’ll last, but I’m kind of hoping it’ll last. I like underdogs, and I’m rooting for former Cards exective Jeff Luhnow to prove people wrong and show he knows exactly what he’s doing.
Two teams with a “feel” to them. I hope it lasts all season long, and a likely and unlikely team both make their way into the playoffs.
As always, thanks for reading.