From a life aspect, it’s crazy to think it’s already June 1st. From a Cardinals fan’s aspect, it’s crazy to think it’s only June 1st.
The trials and tribulations that have gone on in just two months of this season has been overwhelming. But that’s the beauty of baseball. Your team will look like a World Series contender and a non-playoff team all in a week’s span.
The offensive struggles are well documented, the bullpen issues are evident, and Matheny finds a way to surprise you with another bad move almost every single night.
Despite all this, the Cardinals have 30 wins as the month turns to June. When you lay out all this team has gone through, that’s really incredible to say.
The starting pitcher has been one of the consistent bright spots this season, but it’s come with hardships to big names along with it.
It started in April, Adam Wainwright is put on the disabled list. He wasn’t tremendous, but he did well for his expectations (they were low). He came back in May, made one start, and got right back on the DL.
This is less a production loss and more a sad loss. Not having Waino in the starting rotation honestly puts the team in a better state, which is sad to say. His days are done, Father Time has caught up to him, and it’s sad to come to grips with it.
The ace who I spent my childhood growing up watching is nearing his end.
From the former ace to the current ace. Carlos Martinez was placed on the disabled list with a lat strain on May 10th. He was expected to miss one start. He hasn’t pitched in the Bigs since then. He made a rehab start in Springfield last night and experimented with all his stuff. He’ll be back soon, which is good news for the Cardinals.
So how have they combatted with this problem? A King, perhaps. No, I’m not talking about Lebron James. I’m talking even bigger. A Lizard King. Miles Mikolas has done more than exceed expectations this season.
Entering tonight’s start, he’s 6-0 with a 2.58 ERA and a WHIP of 0.98. If anyone expected that, they should be given a large sum of money. I thought he could be alright, but nothing like that. I believe the preseason term I used was “solidly mediocre”.
Maybe the biggest blow so far this season was losing the heart and soul of the team. On May 6th, Yadi, well, you know. It hurts to think about so I won’t mention it. He hasn’t been back since, but he caught a bullpen session yesterday and will be on rehab assignment in Springfield this weekend. His presence will help in more ways than one.
11 days later, Carson Kelly goes to the DL, the guy who many once dubbed as Yadi’s successor. He’s been far too inconsistent in the time he’s been given, and it looks like Andrew Knizner is closer to being Yadi’s successor than Kelly ever will be.
Insert Francisco Pena. .250 is pretty average, but it’s far better than what you would expect from him. Considering the fact Matt Carpenter hasn’t been at .250, Dexter Fowler hasn’t even sniffed .250, and Marcell Ozuna has been hovering around there since about late April, Francico Pena hasn’t done too bad.
If that’s not big enough, Paul Dejong, one of the offense’s best producers last year, goes on the DL on May 18th. At the time, and still now, it was a big blow to an already poor offense.
How about King Yairo Munoz? I’m partial to that saying, since I was at the game last night. Still haven’t come off the high from that game.
I posted on Twitter his slash lines from when he started the season in St. Louis vs his second call up. Before he was sent down, he slashed .111/.200/.167. Since being called up, he’s slashed .424/.457/.636. Will he maintain that production? Of course not. But it’s good to see for a guy who’s going to be filling that position for a little bit.
Another, more minor, bad luck instance is Alex Reyes. He makes his long awaited return, does a decent job in his start, then gets put right back on the DL. Not having him healthy is more than minor, but I consider it minor because we’ve been missing his production since 2016, so it’s not a huge change.
The Cardinals have lost their vet, their ace, their captain, and one of the best offensive producers from last season. Some unlikely sources have stepped up in a time of need.
To be at 30 wins is incredible. Let’s close our eyes and dream for a second. Matt Carpenter continues rolling, Fowler and Ozuna start hitting, Pham gets back to being Tommy Pham, and Carlos Martinez, Yadi, Dejong, and Alex Reyes are all healthy.
Think about how good that team could be.