The Birds won 6 games on a 10 game road trip and are back at .500. Only late inning mishaps have kept this team from winning more. Their bats are definitely awake.
The Cardinals are off Monday then have Washington and Cincinnati coming to town for three apiece. The Nationals send lefty Lannan, righty Zimmerman, and lefty Gorzelanny to the bump. Then, the rival Reds will counter with Volquez, Wood (L), and Arroyo. These starting pitchers will be a little tougher than last week and they will have their work cut out for them against a team who is hitting on all cylinders.
Jaime Garcia had some issues with nerves in his foot during his last outing. He should be good to go on Wednesday.
Both Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso continue to get regular at-bats for Berkman and Freese respectively. If you are digging deep in NL leagues, Craig’s not a bad guy to have on your bench as he has a little pop and smacked a three run homer Saturday against the Dodgers.
The Puma has become big in St. Louis. Lance Berkman led a scoring barrage for the Cards and hit six out last week. He is scorching hot right now going 10-24 this past week while knocking in twelve and scoring nine runs. There were some questions regarding Berkman coming into the season in regards to his bat and his power. Now that he is healthy, Berkman is starting to show that last year’s decline could mostly be chalked up to being banged up.
If you took my advice last week, Colby Rasmus paid off again. He is seeing the ball well and a breakout year seems to be here. He was 13-35 and he is scoring runs like crazy (tied for MLB lead with 15). He’s played in all 16 games, including games against tough lefties such as Clayton Kershaw. This will up his plate appearances over any of his previous years and push him closer to 100-28-85.
Jake Westbrook continues to struggle. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up and he’s giving up the long ball. All these should begin to correct themselves as Jake will regress (in a good way) back to what he has been in the past. He’s a two start pitcher this week, if he were not facing the Reds, he’d be a decent option, but you’ll want to wait another week for him to come around.
Ryan Franklin= 5 save opportunities, 4 blown saves. Enough said.