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.
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?
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.