First off - it was great to see the Cardinals win the home opener...the first time since '06. Adam pitched well, Pujols was Pujols, and everyone else played the way they should. We're now 5-2, which is great, but don't get overly excited just yet. We should still win the NL Central, but that is no great feat this season. We have a lot of work left to do if we're going to make a run at a championship. The three teams we've played haven't exactly been tough. I think Cincinnati will finish below the Brewers, but not by much. For Milwaukee, if it ain't Fielder or Braun, it ain't happening. Rickie Weekes and Casey Mcgehee are nice players but they don't project as stars by any means. A Berkman-less Houston team only has three or four major league hitters in their lineup and a shaky rotation. We're a very solid team right now, but we've still got some question marks. We still aren't sure who our everyday third baseman will be. I like David Freese but he has a lot to prove. Our bullpen, too, has a lot to prove. McClellan has struggled, Motte's fastball has been elevated, and Ryan Franklin has to follow up last year's success with another solid year before he can be considered an elite closer. I know you guys didn't come to this blog to see a flood of negativity, but it would be foolish to get too excited just yet. Having said that, there's a lot to be excited about. Colby seems to be settling into the 5-spot well, Ludwick's bat is coming alive, and Pujols and Holliday are still the best one-two punch in the National League. Combine that with Wainwright, Carpenter, and a Brad Penny who seems to have returned to form, and we have an excellent shot at winning a pennant. We just have to patch up a few holes.
Bryan Anderson was recalled to the big club today after Jason LaRue was put on the DL retroactive to Sunday. Anderson's been hurt for a good portion of the last two seasons, but when he has played, he has hit (he's 6-18 so far with Memphis this season). His defensive game is still a work in progess, but he should get a start or two, as well as be avaliable for pinch hitting.
Finally, a couple things to watch for in tonight's game. Can Brad Penny repeat the success he had in his first start? Can Felipe Lopez force himself into the third base talk? Can the Cardinals beat a team they should beat?
Enjoy the game tonight everyone. The anthem for the evening is "Rise" by Eddie Vedder. Hopefully the Cards can rise to the occasion tonight. Have a good one.
A look into the 2011 Season
5 years ago