Our beloved St. Louis Cardinals came to town and the Birds swept four games from the hometown Brewers. The Regular Son and I went to yesterday's game, had very good seats up the third-base line, and saw the Cards pound the Brew Crew, 10-1, beneath perfect blue skies with 65 degree weather. A glorious day all around. Some thoughts on the Cards:
- Jaime Garcia seems to give up a lot of hits and a lot of fly balls to the warning track, but seems to get outs and get them efficiently (i.e., without running his pitching count up). Something about his stuff, which tops out only at about 90 mph, just seems to make it difficult for hitters to square him up. Movement, sink, changing speeds, I don't know what it is. He's just a pitcher, not a thrower. I suspect he'll be a good to very good starter for a long time, then end his career with a number of years as a productive LOOGY.
- Carlos Martinez pitched the ninth. He's 21, just up from Double A Springfield, and has long been touted as one of the Cards' up and coming prospects, what the VEB crowd calls our "Faberge eggs." Well, he's the real deal... nothing but FBs topping out at 99 mph, and he looks like he throws it as easy as playing catch. Wow. I don't think he's ever going down to the minors again.
- Matt Holliday can really bruise a baseball. Another long, long HR on Sunday.
- Allen Craig gets RBIs the way Uncle Drew gets buckets. Not sure how he does it, he just seems to get hits when guys are in scoring position. When his power picks up this year, he'll end up with huge numbers. He's on pace right now to have a weird year... 5 HRs, but 125+ RBIs. Those of us old enough to remember Tom Herr remember that he had a year like that in the early 1980s.
- Pete Kozma is playing really really well at shortstop and secretly has a very strong and VERY accurate arm. If he hits .250, he'll start 150 games. He and Molina are the glue of the team in the field right now.
- Speaking of Molina... does he ever have a passed ball? Garcia throws CBs in the dirt regularly. They all end up three feet in front of the plate after a perfect Molina block.
- Jon Jay has had a little bit of a power surge. Starting to swing the bat really well.
- David Freese takes too many good pitches to hit. He's in a funk still.
- Ty Wigginton cannot hit at all and needs to be released. This is almost an "integrity of the game" issue... he simply isn't a major league player anymore, and he's taking the spot of someone who has earned it like Jamie Romak at AAA.
- The throwback uniforms to the 1913 Cardinals were awesome!
Looks like a fun summer!