I have watched the Cardinals play this season, and I have come to the conclusion that this year is not our year. I know what you’re thinking. Diane, the 2011 Cardinals were 11 ½ games out and they managed to get into the playoffs and win the World Series. But that was a different manager and a different team. There are only 6 players from that 2011 team on the 2016 team – Adams, Holliday, Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Molina. Molina is playing well. Wainwright is starting to return to form, but Adams is only now starting to hit better and Holliday is showing his age. It’s hard to tell what Jaime Garcia you’re going to get when he starts – Good Jaime or Bad Jaime. And Lance Lynn is on the DL for the year after Tommy John surgery. Also, the only coaches left from that 2011 team are Derek Liliquist and Jose Oquendo.
The Cards are playing this year like teams who never make the playoffs; for example, the Phillies. The Cubs are in first in the NL Central and they’re playing like a team who wants to win. As a Cards fan, I hate to admit it, but this could finally be the Cubs’ year.
Let’s look at an overview of the Cards’ performance this season. Lowlights – there are many. Ruben Tejada pitching in relief may have been when the season jumped the shark. Rosenthal is experimenting with pitches while he’s trying to save a game, like at the game I was at last Saturday. Matt Holliday’s batting average has been sinking like a rock (although he did hit a home run today), and Mike Matheny refuses to move him from the third spot in the batting order. Jhonny Peralta’s thumb injury put a major monkey wrench in the season, but hopefully, he will be back soon. Jose Oquendo has really been missed in the third base box and his absence has contributed to some terrible baserunning errors. Michael Wacha’s mechanics are seriously messed up. He should be sent to the minor leagues for some work. Carlos Martinez started the season strong, but he has not pitched well at all in his last few starts. And how is it that Kolten Wong can make spectacular plays seem routine but mess up routine plays?
Highlights – there are a few. Aledmys Diaz has impressed with his bat, but he is still making rookie mistakes with his glove. Molina’s batting average is much better this year. Stephen Piscotty has been a shining star, making us forget Jason Heyward. Seung Hwan Oh was John Mozeliak’s best off-season pick up. He has been lights out in relief. Unfortunately, Oh showed he really was human in today’s game when he gave up three runs and a home run. Perhaps Oh should be the closer instead of Rosenthal?
This has not been my year either. The presidential candidate I backed dropped out of the race, and I was passed over for a job I really wanted and was recommended for, along with some other personal things going on in my life that it’s not necessary to talk about here. Cardinals baseball is a great distraction when things go south in my personal life, but this year, the Cards are not playing well so I don’t even have that. Can we just turn back the calendar to January 1, 2016 and have a do-over?
Cards fans have seen their team go to the playoffs for the last few years and we are spoiled. We’ve forgotten how to handle it when our team is bad. So if you have the opportunity to attend a Cards game this season, go to have fun hanging out with your friends and/or family. Just don’t expect to see winning baseball. If the Cards do win, that’s a plus.
I realize that it’s almost the end of May and there still may be time to rescue the sinking S.S. Cardinals ship. If the Cards can resurrect this season and make the playoffs, I’ll be happy to eat my words. Just write them in icing on a large chocolate chip cookie, please.
That’s all for now! Hopefully, I will have a more upbeat blog post next time. See you then!