When Albert Pujols left World Champion St. Louis Cardinals it was naturally assumed that the Cardinals would have a tough time in the National League without him. Along with losing their future Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa the Cardinals were reeling.
However, in major league baseball good pitching will keep you in most ballgames and with an offense that’s near the top of the pack of the league leaders in the National League, life after Albert Pujols has not been too bad.
The pitching has been a big reason the Cardinals have gotten off to a fast start and lead the NL Central Division by four games. Kyle Lohse might be the best April pitcher in major league baseball.
Kyle Lohse has assumed the role of the Cardinals ace so far this year with Chris Carpenter out with a shoulder injury and Adam Wainwright struggling to come back from Tommy John surgery.
Lohse is tied with Lance Lynn for team wins, and he has the best ERA of any Cardinals starter.
New manager Mike Matheny is making all the right moves. Doesn’t it seem like former catchers always make the best managers?
Right now Matheny is managing around some injuries but the team seems no worse for wear. Matt Holliday is off to a slow start, but the good ones always seem to get it going at some point. And Holliday is no exception.
Injuries always play a part on how well a team can do, and the Cardinals have started the season with more than their share. Center fielder Jon Jay returned to St. Louis for a re-examination of his sprained right shoulder. But while the Cardinals won their 10th game out of 14, they lost another player.
Already without injured first baseman Lance Berkman, who is disabled with a strained left calf, new center fielder Skip Schumaker had to come out of a game after two pitches.
It’s early, way too early to tell if the Cardinals can stick near the top of their division.
If there pitching staff can stay together and avoid injury it’s good enough for them to make a run at the end of summer.
Although the likelihood of the 12th world championship may be a bit out of reach. But then again it was last year as well for the St. Louis Cardinals.