If history has shown us anything, it is never take the first week of a baseball season and make assumptions on how the season will play out. Case in point, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Through the first 4 games of the season, the Cardinals were a dismal 1-3. They struggles to get hits and put runs on the board, and the pitching staff couldn’t retire a batter if they wanted.
Since that time, “America’s Team” has reeled of 4 wins in their last 5 games, and have pulled into a tie for the National League Central Division lead with the Cincinnati Reds. Two of those wins have been against the Reds, including a 10-0 win yesterday afternoon.
In the Cardinals’ last 5 games, the bats have finally come alive, averaging 7.8 runs per game with a collective .274 team batting average. St. Louis hitters have taken 16 walks in that time as well. The pitching staff has rounded into form as well. Jake Westbrook, just yesterday, went the distance in the shutout over the Reds. The only sore spot in the last week for the pitching staff was Mitchell Boggs’ 9th inning collapse on Sunday night, when he gave up 9 earned runs to the Reds in a save situation.
Starting Friday, the Cardinals welcome the Milwaukee Brewers into Busch Stadium for a 3 game tilt. This is the chance for the Cardinals to take complete control of the Central Division and extend a lead over the Reds.
Friday will also mark the day the Cardinals organization will remember one of their own before the game, Stan Musial. A special ball with a Stan Musial logo will be used during the ceremonial first pitch, and a Stan Musial harmonica will be handed out to all fans 16 and over.
It may still be early in the season, but it’s never too early to start planning for a World Series. St. Louis, after all, has won 11 of them in team history. Who says the 12th one can’t come in 2013?