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St. Louis Cardinals – Week 1 Review

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Monday, April 8th, 2013

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was.  2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.  The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at  League Entry Level Contracts. Having said this, the club started out the year dropping 2 out of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, before pulverizing the defending World Series Champions over the weekend - taking the series 2 - 1 and outscoring the Giants 20 - 7, while obliterating Matt Cain's ERA for some time. by hanging 9 Earned Runs on him in just 3.2 IP

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise. The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at League Entry Level Contracts. Having said this, the club started out the year dropping 2 out of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, before pulverizing the defending World Series Champions over the weekend – taking the series 2 – 1 and outscoring the Giants 20 – 7, while obliterating Matt Cain’s ERA for some time. by hanging 9 Earned Runs on him in just 3.2 IP.

By Landen Crouch ( Cardinals Correspondent)

Week in Review:

The opening week of the 2013 season for the St. Louis Cardinals can now be considered successful after a 14-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon.  The Cardinals finished their opening week six-game West Coast road trip with a .500-record of (3-3).

This is definitely a huge success for the Cardinals to come back to St. Louis with at least a .500 record.  Of course, they wanted to win the 16-inning marathon against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night (and early into Thursday morning), and the 1-0 pitchers-dual game against Barry Zito on Friday. 

Those were two tough losses.  Overall, though, this week was positive for the Cardinals and should give them some momentum coming into their home opening series against the Cincinnati Reds.

2013 St. Louis Cardinals Preview by MLB Network:

Carlos Beltran is only amongst a select few active and retired players that possess 300 Career HRs (334) and 300 Stolen Bases (306) for their Career. Turning age 36 this year, this might be his last crack at a World Series.  He clubbed 32 HRs for the franchise last year.

Carlos Beltran is only amongst a select few active and retired players that possess 300 Career HRs (334) and 300 Stolen Bases (306) for their Career. Turning age 36 later this month, it might be his last crack at a World Series in 2013. He clubbed 32 HRs for the franchise last year.  So far he has driven in 5 RBI in the clubs 1st 6 games.  Beltran is particularly dangerous in the Post Season, where he holds a 3 Career Slash Line of .363/.470/1.252 – with 14 HRs and 25 RBI – in 134 AB spanning 7 different Series.  Beltran’s Career Regular Season 3 Slash Line is .282/.360/.856.

The Good:

HITS GALORE:

The Cardinals pounded out 59 hits (9.8 per game) in their six road games.

RUNS GALORE:

Outscored their opponents 37-24 (6.1 Runs Per Game) during the road trip,

SOLID PITCHING:

Jake Westbrook’s promising start against the Giants: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 SO, 6 BB.  Other than his 4th Inning bases-loaded Walk to Angel Pagan, Westbrook had a very solid outing. 

The Cardinals will need a good year from Westbrook after the loss of 16-game winner Kyle Lohse in Free Agency.

Top pitching prospect Shelby Miller recorded his first Win of the year against San Francisco on Saturday – with a line of 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 4 BB.

MIDDLE INFIELD:

Pete Kozma looking like a solid every day Shortstop

Matt Carpenter has yet to get a start at Second Base.  He filled in at Third Base all week because of the David Freese injury that kept him out of the lineup all week

The Not So Good:

POWER:

An odd lack of power from the middle of the order The Cards only hit 4 Home Runs during the six-game road trip, three of which came in the second game against the Diamondbacks (won 6-1). Jay, Holliday, Molina, and Kozma each have one Home Run, but the Cardinals can’t expect Jay and Kozma to carry the team with power numbers. 

Beltran and Craig will need to get going a little bit more this week.

SLOW START:

The Cardinals got off to a (1-3) start on the year, but they quickly recovered to win the final two games over the weekend and finished the week with a .500 record.

 What to Look for This Week:

Division Games:  The Cardinal will play six games against some familiar division rivals this week, starting with a 3-game series with the Cincinnati Reds early on, and a 3-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend

Home Games Finally.  I am sure the Cardinals are glad to be back at Busch Stadium.  The home opener at Busch Stadium is following 31 Spring Training games in Florida and 6 games on the West Coast to start the year. 

This home stand will be good for the Cardinals morale and for the fans.  Now the fans won’t have to be up until midnight (or 3  AM, as was the case in the 16-Inning game against the Diamondbacks)

Matt Carpenter should see his first start at Second Base for the 2013 season some time this week.  Flexibility is going to be a huge asset for the Cardinals this season, and Carpenter will be a huge part of it.

Mike Matheny What will the manager do with all this flexibility with bats and position players?

Matt Adams, a dynamite player last year in AAA-Memphis has finally made the big-league club.  He isn’t quite a starter yet, and he only plays First Base. 

With Allen Craig also playing first base, this could create a problem, or a lot of moving the lineup around this season.  Some pressure will be on Mike  Matheny to be sure he is keeping all of his bench guys sharp and his veterans happy, dividing the playing time and at-bats effectively.

The team at least saw Veteran OF Carlos Beltran belt 3 hits and collect 5 RBI over the final 2 games over the Giants Series.  He had entered Saturday hitting .091 (1 – 11) with 0 RBI though the first 4 games.

What We Know:

At this point in the season, we really do not know very much about this team.  What we do know is that GM John Mozeliak and the Cardinals ownership have a ton of confidence in the young guys coming up through the system. 

After letting Albert Pujols and Kyle Lohse walk in the last two offseasons, the Cardinals management seems very confident in the young guys to walk in a pick up where those guys left off. 

It looks like a great plan long term, and it worked last year (Cardinals were 1 win away from another NL Championship).

This year is definitely going to be a fun one to watch.  With the Houston Astros out of the NL Central, there is sure to be a tougher competition among the remaining teams for a division title. 

The Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates are all capable of winning a division title this year, but only one can emerge.  Who will it be?

Mike Matheny stepped right into the fire during the 2012 year with the Cardinals.  The team finished 88 - 74 to claim the second Wild Card Title Position.  With the losses Kyle Lohse, Chris Carpenter and departed hitting coach Mark McGwire this year, it marks the second time in two years that the franchise has lost 3 key members of the 2011 World Series Champs.  In 2012, the time saw Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols leave

Mike Matheny stepped right into the fire during the 2012 year with the Cardinals. The team finished 88 – 74 to claim the second Wild Card Title Position. With the losses Kyle Lohse, Chris Carpenter and departed hitting coach Mark McGwire this year, it marks the second time in two years that the franchise has lost 3 key members of the 2011 World Series Champs. In 2012, the time saw Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols leave.  Matheny’s will need to be better this year if his club has a chance to see the playoffs again.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of www.mlbreports.com and their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our Cardinals Correspondent Landen Crouch.  Landen is a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He has followed them almost religiously since he was 7-Years-Old.  In recent years, though, Landen has discovered how deep his passion for the game of baseball is.  His dream is to visit as many ballparks as he can in his lifetime.  Landen does not currently cover sports professionally, but as a hobby.  He is studying Vocal Music Education at Arkansas Tech University and is his final year in the program.  He is set to graduate in December of this year.  Follow and Interact with Landen on Twitter

 a landen crouch

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About LandenCrouch

My name is Landen Crouch. I am a husband, dad, and follower of Christ. I work as Worship Pastor and Youth Pastor at The Refuge Church (myrefugechurch.tv) in Russellville, AR. I am passionate about Jesus, leadership, and just about all things sports.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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