Fans all over Cardinal Nation are split and have been all season. Depending on the month sometimes the week and even a particular game! It was great job! Fire Mo! Fire Shildt! Trade Ozuna, Sign Ozuna. Goldschmidt was a bad trade. Goldschmidt is a beast! Wacha needs let go. Bader is a bust. Fowler is better at lead off. PoncedeLeone should start. Ponce belongs in the minors. Comments and feelings have been all over the board this year. In some cases not without due cause. I mean the Screaming Eagle has less highs and lows.
March/April saw a record of 19-10 and a 3 game lead in the Central division. This start had some fans giddy with excitement. Others were pointing out the deficiencies Carpenter hitting .193 Wong hitting .218, the lack of power and production from Goldschmidt. The amount of HRs give up by the rotation Hudson and Wacha ERAs above 5. Yet we were in first place.
May "THE SLUMP" hit hard. going 9-18 leading to a 28-28 record and drop 3.5 games behind Milwaukee. A 6.5 game swing in a MONTH! DeJong, Fowler and Wong had very bad months. Goldschmidt's average perked up hitting 293 but power numbers were still low. Ozuna's average dipped but he drove in 22 runs. Flaherty and Hudson showed an emerging dominance ERA and HRs allowed were down. Just no real offense. Fans were pointing to inactivity of the front office. Why didn't we do more in the off-season the there were the extensions to Mikolas, Carpenter, Goldschmidt. Again response was all over the board. Questioning moves by Shildt became an almost daily event.
June - The Cardinals managed a .500 13-13 and actually gained a half a game in the standings 3 games behind the Cubs. We saw the emergence of Tommy Edman, Wong perked up Ozuna's average picked up hitting .299 in June but his power numbers dipped. Carpenter, Bader, DeJong and Goldschmidt experienced bad months with averages near or below the Mendoza line. The Pitching staff took a hit losing Hicks but Carlos Martinez took up the banner of closer. Giovanny Gallegos stepped up throwing strikes and getting people out. Hudson continued his strong showing. Wacha and Wainwright had very solid months. Flaherty seemed to fall off a ledge in June PoncedeLeone, Helsley and Cabrera were brought up with mixed results. Some fans saw positives but others saw gloom and doom
July even with losing Ozuna July was a breakout month for St. Louis. going 16-9 and putting themselves in a tie for 1st place in the NL Central and 1 game ahead of the Brewers . Lead by Kolten Wong .357/.432/.471, Paul Goldschmidt .308/ .360/.725 11HRs 27RBIs, 5 other posted double digit RBIs DeJong 14, Tyler O'Neill12, J. Martinez and Tommy Edman 11 and Fowler 10. The complaints about Carpenter hitting right at the Mendoza line and still playing were rampant. This had people clamoring for more playing time for Tommy Edman. The Demotion of Bader to Triple A had people wanting to see Lane Thomas play more. Gallegos 0.69ERA 0.46WHIP and 18SO in 13IP, Andrew Miller1.80ERA 1.10WHIP 14SO in 10IP, and John Brebbia 2.40ERA 0.73WHIP 21SO in 15IP. made a formidable bullpen to get to C. Martinez and his 9 saves. Yet there were complaints about the amount of innings the bullpen was being used
August was almost a repeat of July going 18-9 and putting a 2.5 and 6.5 game leads over the Cubs and Brewers respectively. There was a power surge between 4 players DeJong, Ozuna, Goldschmidt and Fowler 18HRs and 67RBIs. Wong hit .373/.460/.560, Molina .333/.412/.583, Edman .308/.339 with 19 Runs Scored. Flaherty 4W 0.71ERA 0.74WHIP, Hudson 4W 2.80ERA 1.12WHIP. Tyler Webb 1.64ERA 0.64WHIP in 11IP, Gallegos 1.69ERA 0.84WHIP in 10.2IP, Ryan Helsley 1.69ERA 1.13WHIP 10.2IP not all was rosy though. Carpenter's despite having a marginally better month than July his .238/.364/.381 was not impressing many fans. Wainwright, Wacha and Mikolas combined for a 3-6 record with ERAs in the high 4s low 5s
September is here and we are in a real pennant chase 12-8 for the month 87-67 20 games over .500 1st place 3 games ahead of second place Milwaukee and 5 in front of third place Chicago. with 8 games to go they have a real chance of 90+ wins for the first time since 2015. Tommy Edman has continued to impress 3.08/.352/.662 5HRs 10BRIs and 13 runs scored so far in Sept. Carpenter has seen a much better month with limited playing time .300/.405/.533. Wong has cooled somewhat but still a respectable .290/.315/.420 although now dealing with a day to day hamstring strain. Goldschmidt 18 RBIs so far Bader and DeJong have not put up good avg numbers .219 and .171 respectively they have been driving in runs Bader 11, DeJong 10. For those who are a fan of the OPS stat Edman is the only Cardinal regular who is over 1,000 (1,018) only 2 others are above .800 for the month Goldschmidt .961 and Carpenter .939.
On the pitching side of the equation Wainright, Flaherty, Wacha and Hudson have been nothing short of solid. All 4 posting ERAs of less than 2 for the month. Wainwright 0.33, Flaherty 1.20, Wacha 1.80 and Hudson 1.89. While Wacha's may be more pitching management by Shildt it is still noteworthy. The only rough spot in the Rotation has been Miles Mikolas with and ERA over 4 In terms of relief Helsley 7G 9.2IP 1.86ERA and Gallegos 8G 8.1IP 2.16ERA, 0.84WHIP 12SO and an opponents BA of .142. Andrew Miller outside of one game (Sept 6 @ Pitt) has had a very good month. 6.2IP giving up only 2 runs 1 earned. for a 1.36ERA, 0.909WHIP. The once reliable John Gant had 3 bad outings for a total of 6 runs in 2/3 of an inning on 2 hits and 4 walks. Tyler Webb is another one who has had some bad luck. 5 outings 3.1 IP 0.00ERA, 0.645WHIP 2 outings 1/3IP 6 runs for an 18ERA.
All in all, The highs of this season have been great and the lows fairly short lived. Whether we ultimately win the division we will see in the final 8 games. It has been a fun, frustrating and exciting ride. One that I hope gets us another title. GO Cards!
Thanks for reading as always feel free to comment here of hit me up on twitter @bortas2002