With ten games into the books, the St. Louis Cardinals are off to a 7-3 start. They’re not going to play .700 baseball (Well, probably. Remember how the ’04 season went after mid May?) until early October, but this is a good start.
What the Cards have behind them is the rough equivalent of one game on a National Football League schedule. In NFL terms, I regard what we’ve seen as the same as hitting the road and giving a team expected to be good a week #1 thumping on their own field. It’s a positive thing. 1-0 in the NFL is good. It’s not always a good predictor of who is going to get into January football, but it doesn’t hurt. 7-3 is good. A nice confidence builder following the off season changes.
As is the case in the NFL, relatively good health is going to be important for the Cardinals.
There are some very positive signs early, especially the starting pitching and what the bullpen does with a lead when the game is in some doubt. David Freese picked up where he left off in October. Yadier Molina keeps on hitting like he did a year ago and Carlos Beltran is off to a solid start. Matt Carpenter is a pleasant surprise. My question now is how quickly will he adjust when pitchers try different approaches and find something that works better than whatever the Reds and Cubs were trying.
On the other side of the ledger, Chris Carpenter is on the shelf for an undetermined length of time and Matt Holliday is hitting just .200. The latter condition is not going to last. Holliday is going to get his hits, and his home runs. Adding a healthy, effective Carp would be huge. …Unless you’re a Reds, Brewers or Cub fan…
Up next, the Cards have three more home games with Cincinnati before hitting the road against the Pirates and Cubs. It would appear that the schedule is relatively kind to the Cards over the next month.