I’m not that much of a stat guy, but the basic numbers on the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals say a lot.

29 wins and 16 losses through 45 games works out to a .644 winning percentage.  Pretty close to what the ’04 Cardinals did over the course of that memorable season.

Pitching is the reason for the good start. Pitching is the reason for almost everything in baseball but that’s a subject for another blog.  The Cards team ERA is 3.16, the pitchers don’t walk a lot of people they’ve racked up 362 strikeouts over 45 games. All good numbers.

We’ve already seen some spectacular things from the Cardinal starters. A couple weeks ago, Shelby Miller stifled a very dangerous Colorado Rockies lineup. Miller allowed a broken bat leadoff single on May 10th and then set down the next 27 hitters in order.

The next day, Adam Wainright takes a no-hitter into the 8th against the Rockies.

The other guys in the rotation have been pretty solid too.

The one unsettling thing in the pitching stat line for the Cards are the nine blown saves. Keep in mind that the pitchers who have most of those blown saves aren’t likely to get many more chances to cough up a lead in the late going.

The defense is pretty solid too. 17 errors is the third fewest in MLB.

The NL Central remains competitive because Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (yes, Pittsburgh) are also getting solid pitching and good defense.

On offense, the Cards are doing well despite playing a lot of games so far in weather that hasn’t exactly been hitter friendly.

I expect that with the warmer weather, the hitting attack will improve. The big question right now is how well the Cardinals cover for the loss of Jaime Garcia in the starting rotation.