The Cardinals have settled into a pattern of winning. That is great news for them and for the fans, but it makes it tough to come up with fresh material for a blog post such as this one. There is no real controversy, other than the continued beating of the dead horse that is Ryan Franklin. So while trying to think of something new and exciting to write about today I says to my self, “Self—instead of one story, why not touch on several?” Away we go…
–The Cards have now won eight of their last nine series, and the ninth one was a split of a four-gamer against a pretty good (no, really) Florida Marlins club. Entering Friday’s action the Cards were 22-16, which is good for third-best in the National League behind the Marlins (told ya) and the Philadelphia Phillies.
–The series against the Cubs was an interesting one. Going into the series, the two teams were #1 and #2 in the majors in team batting average. The Cardinals scored a total of 19 runs on 36 hits; the put up Cubs 16 runs on 39 hits…but the only home run in the three-game set was the solo shot that landed in the street by Matt Holliday in Thursday’s finale.
–Speaking of Holliday, he was the only member of that game’s starting lineup that was not drafted and developed by the Cardinals’ farm system.
–A lot of Reds fans hate the Cardinals. I mean, really hate them. During the series at Busch, I spent the entire game online both crafting a blog post and monitoring Twitter topics #stlcards and #reds. The vitriol coming from Reds fans was really quite unbelievable. It was hate the Cardinals this, little bitches that, expletives and wishes for injuries to various players…it was non-stop. I thought maybe this was something every rivalry experienced, and I know the fringe is often the loudest no matter how many of them there are. So I did the same thing for one of the games against the Cubs. I did see a lot of “Cardinals suck” and things of that nature, but nothing like what was coming from Reds fans. Maybe those people are not truly representative of the majority of Reds fans. But I even saw this after the series was over! What could be the cause of this hatred? Is it resentment because of all the time the Cards spent winning division titles, league championships, and a World Series over the past decade or so? Did all of that really stem from the fight last season? If anything, I would think Cards fans would hate the Reds rather than the other way around. After all, the Reds were the ones doing all the kicking and screaming. Of course, some fans understand what it means to win with class…
–If you have not seen the video of Kyle Lohse’s impersonation of Tony LaRussa on Thursday, your assignment from me is to go to the cardinals.com video page (after finishing this article, of course) and watch it.
–The Cards have a chance to put a little distance between them and the Reds this weekend, and if recent history holds true they will do just that. The Cards won two of three at Busch Stadium a couple of weeks ago and 12 of 18 throughout 2010. The Reds won the NL Central crown, of course, and that’s what ultimately matters. First place is nice but means very little in May…remember, the Cards were in this position this time last year. It will truly come down to which team stays healthy. The Reds just got Scott Rolen, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey back from the DL, so they will likely get a boost. Likewise, the Cards have had most of their success with key players like David Freese, Skip Schumaker, and of course Adam Wainwright on the shelf. Unfortunately, Freese and Schumaker will not see action for quite a while yet this season and Wainwright will not be back at all. So it will be interesting to see how sustained the Cards’ attack will be, and what will happen should anyone else go down.
–Barring something unforeseen, I do not expect any extracurricular scrapes between the Cards and Reds this weekend. I probably would not think this way if Cueto and Chris Carpenter were facing each other in this series.