It looked great on the schedule – open at home against a team the Cardinals have dominated recently. Didn’t work out that way.
It took a scintillating performance by Jamie Garcia to salvage one of the opening 3 games against the Padres. 1-2 isn’t great, but it’s a hell of a lot better than 0-3. Another thing to take away from this opening series revolves around the pitching. Chris Carpenter pitched well enough to win. The Cardinals pitching staff has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) so far, but 6 of those happened in the fifth on Saturday, an inning where the Padres really only hit one ball hard, and that was Headley’s single to right. So let’s not get too carried away.
There’s also been a lot of hay made (on this site too) about Albert Pujols’ start to the season: 2-13, 1 HR and RBI, hit into 4 double plays. I saw a statistic on ESPN this afternoon that Pujols has started with no hits in 2 of his first 3 games of a season twice before, in 2001 and 2007. The Cardinals won 93 games in 2001 when Pujols was a rookie and lost a tough NLDS to Arizona. In 2007 the Cardinals finished 6 games under .500 with a team that had run out of gas, yet AP posted an 8.3 WAR (according to baseball reference). So he has started slow, but let’s not panic here either. Tip your cap to the Padre pitching staff instead.
If AP is still hitting .154 come May 31 we can all start wringing our hands.
St Louis seeks to return to .500 tonight against Pittsburgh. Lohse vs. Morton. The way Lohse pitched during the spring the Cardinals should have a decided advantage here.