Oh Dear God! The Cardinals started the season 0-3. Bring out the brooms, I'm calling for the season oh-fer. I'm pretty sure 162 consecutive losses would be a record for a team coming off a World Championship. Remember, you heard it here first..... What's that? The Cards have already won a game since getting swept to open the series? Well shit, there goes my whole post. (Okay, Gage, think for a minute how to spin this.... annnnd I've got it). Exactly. This just proves my point. It's still early in the season to get upset over one game or one series, and thus not too late for a season preview. It's only too late for me to predict zero-game winners, and of course I would never do that.
That paragraph sucks. Sorry. Moving on...
I have a hard time mustering up emotions towards the Cardinals. I know they're good and they constantly beat up on the Reds, but I don't hate them. Pujols is the best player in the league, but doesn't seem like an asshole. I've never even heard a Chris Carpenter quote. Plus, I've got this whole "enemy's enemy is my friend" complex in reference to the Cubs. Apparently the two teams are hated rivals. There's no reported evidence of Cards on Cubs fan violence, or vice versa, but I'll take their words for it. What I do know is that I personally hate the Cubs (and by extension their fan base in general) so I always appreciate when the Cardinals demoralize them.
But, I just don't know what kind of job they'll do this year at that one. The year after winning a World Series is always an awkward one. Just ask the 2006 White Sox. They lost Jason Marquis, Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver (who admittedly shouldn't even be on on a MLB roster). Those first two guys combined for 26 wins last year. That's a lot to give up. Interestingly, they both went to NL Central teams. If either has a big year it could really come back to bite St. Louis on the ass. But, I guess the bigger question is: who's left? Well, besides Carpenter there's Kip Wells, who I think is better than his reputation. I mean, he's not terrible but nobody seems to want him very badly. Not sure he's a #2 though. Behind him I see some cause for concern.
Both Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper just got their first career starts. Looper is a career reliever with a career 103 saves (and one glorious blown save on opening day 2005 in the 'Nati). When was the last time you heard about a reliever successfully moving to starter late in a career? Nobody comes to my mind.
So, Chris Carpenter and his merry band of rejects are hoping that the lineup can score some runs. But, where is it going to come from? Pujols, of course. And, Rolen probably. This is where I'd like to claim that you can't win with Adam Kennedy and David Eckstein up the middle but of course that would be silly (see Anaheim). But, really there's not much here to work with. When it comes down to it, this team doesn't have enough studs to get over the hump again. I'm saying they finish 3rd in the division.