Take away a bloop single that Chris Duncan Soriano-ed (ok, and the wild pitch too), and this was a very successful weekend series for the Cardinals. Given those events, it’s still a successful one, just without the modifier.
A 4-2 West Coast swing for the Birds has pulled them even with the rival Cubs, leading up to today’s off-day, a luxurious second in 5 days for the Cards. The Cubbies return home today to face the same Dodgers the Cards just finished up with.
A few thoughts from this series:
- The Cardinals manufactured runs when they needed to. They certainly didn’t explode for 11 like they did in San Diego, but they squeezed out runs when necessary. Reference the 2-1 victory Friday night and scoring in the top of the 7th to re-knot the game yesterday.
- The starting pitching, despite some occasional hiccups, will continue to carry this team the rest of the season, whether Mark Mulder, Chris Carpenter, and/or Matt Clement return or not.
- This bullpen IS salvageable. Mike Parisi’s loss on Sunday notwithstanding (in my opinion, once you get to extra innings, it can’t be considered “blowing” a game, first run wins), the bullpen performed admirably against the Dodgers. From closing out the one-run victory Friday night, preserving the shutout Saturday night, even sticking tough on Sunday – these boys appear to be mentally right again (*knock on wood*).
- The Cardinals are starting to prove they belong. Remember when they “hadn’t played anyone yet”? Well, the Dodgers were only a few games behind the Cardinals in the standings when the series started, and the Birds took two of three. I guarantee you the Cubs and Houston noticed.
All told, I was very pleased with the outcome of this weekend’s games. Another day to rest and recuperate today, and then it’s on with the ‘Stros tomorrow. Bring it on!