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What to make of this situation

September 16, 2008

let’s count off who is done for the season…duncan (a while back which also applies for tyler), carpenter, molina. am I forgetting anyone? then, you had adam’s dl stint which really crippled the rotation and pujols was on the dl for 3 weeks. oh, ankiel is out for the rest of the season as well; he has been suffering from an abdominal strain for a while now (since july I think).

so, that was the first point I tried to make: a lot of injuries have occured that have derailed this team. when everyone is healthy, these guys can compete with anyone, but when key members of your team go down and you don’t have much depth then you are basically screwed. I think that is part of the answer on why the cardinals have taken such a dive as of late.

another important one is that ludwick seems to have run out of gas. he is not a young guy, but he is unexperienced at the big league level. the man has never been a full time player in the show and played deep into september. he has been a utility guy in the big leagues; in the minors, the season ends the first week of september if I’m not mistaken.

also, ankiel was an important part of this offense. he is not a great hitter, but a good one nonetheless. the man gives you that much needed left handed pop. he is basically the only lefty batting regular in the lineup. the man plays a mean outfield with that cannon of his.

adam and chris’s injuries have really hurt the starting rotation in huge way obviously and this was expected. wainwright’s injury was not expected though and neither was carpenter’s new condition and him being shut down for the rest of the season.

there are also some positives that came out of this season. the first one is that the cardinals achieved more than everyone thought they were going too. no one thought they would be this good or win this many games.

two, ludwick and ankiel really established themselves as dependable big league hitters which is great for  stability in next season’s lineup and now you kinda know what you have. now, I think both of those guys are free agents at the end of the season…..so, how much are you gonna pay’em?

some rookies established themselves. mcclellan has been solid. he was really good april through july. august he was shaky and so far this month he has not been very good. again, similar to ludwick, I think he is just really fatigued at the this point in the season.

we also know that chris perez is the closer for next season (or at least he should be). if mclellan stays in the ‘pen, it would really be a nice trio of him, perez and motte in the back of the bullpen. what we also have seen is that the cards really need a 2nd baseman and/or a shortstop that can hit…doesn’t have to be both, just one would be really dandy. izturis is has a very good glove, but offensive input is needed. same thing goes for the corner stone position.

all that being said, there is still no way that these guys should have had their butts handed to them by the pittsburgh pirates.

now, the cards go over to cincy and play a three game series with the red legs. tonight, its going to be looper against the music man, arroyo. looper has been one of the best pitchers in the league over these last couple of months. yet, the man cannot get a win to save his life. arroyo is who he is; if his breaking stuff and curveball are working, then anyone is gonna have a hard time hitting him, especially with that delivery.

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