Cards Droppings Previews Nationals At Cards

Joe over at Cards Droppings does a great job breaking down the series as they come up. We are glad to share that information with you here on I-70 and ask you to click the link at the bottom of the article to read the rest of the material on the home site.

Weather permitting, the 12-4 Cardinals take on the upstart Washington Nationals and their league-leading pitching staff tonight at Busch. Wait a second, the Cardinals aren’t 12-4? They’re 8-8? Oh, that’s right, our “closer” has blown four out of five save chances. Well, if our manager won’t make a change at closer, I am going to track the Cards’ record as if they actually did have someone who could close out games. I hate to pick on someone as nice as Ryan Franklin, but the bottom line is that he needs to get rid of the beard. He also needs to follow in Joe Nathan’s footsteps. Nathan, coming back from Tommy John surgery, actually asked out of the closer role in Minnesota. He knew he couldn’t get the job done and Ron Gardenhire replaced him with ex-Pirate closer Matt Capps. Granted, we don’t have someone as reliable as Capps to take over the role, but it’s time for a change. The team could have EASILY gone 9-1 on their ten game trip out west if not for Franklin’s follies. The team doesn’t have enough depth to where it can just throw away games left and right–it’s going to be a tight race in the NL Central this year, and every lead we have in the ninth inning needs to be protected. Here’s hoping the Mitchell Boggs era begins tonight at Busch.

The team took some more hits on the injury front during their series in LA, as both Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker suffered injuries. Craig has a groin strain and Schumaker has a tricep strain. No word yet on how long they’ll be out, but they were both placed on the DL today. Replacing them will be veteran infielder Nick Punto and power hitting first baseman Mark Hamilton. The Cardinals will definitely miss Craig’s right-handed pop off the bench, as Hamilton is a lefty. Punto is most likely being called up a little to early, as he is coming off hernia surgery and wasn’t able to go on a minor league rehab. It will definitely be an improvement defensively at second, and the team is pretty well-equipped to handle Schumaker’s absence (with Greene, Descalso and Punto). Needless to say, we have an abundance of light-hitting infielders. Hamilton will remind a lot of you of Chris Duncan–he’s a first baseman who will no doubt be asked to play a little outfield, but hopefully Craig will heal quickly. It would have been nice to see spring training sensation Matt Carpenter get the call to replace Schumaker, but he’s really struggled in Memphis so far this spring and is not on the 40 man roster.

Read the rest of the preview of this series at Busch Stadium by clicking here.

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