Make Me Smile

Prior to the Baltimore series I posted that I didn’t feel very engaged with this St. Louis Cardinals team.  I said at that time that perhaps I would feel differently after that series.

Well, I don’t.

Two embarrassing blowouts later I see the same problems magnified.  Offense (when it shows up at all) with no life to it.  Even the win on Sunday was accomplished with little to no pop (except for the 3 run HR by Peter Bourjos, you know, the guy with the elite defense and blazing speed who spends most games pulling splinters out of his posterior end).  But hey, Daniel Descalso had a couple of nice games, so all is right with the world (insert eye roll here).

Speaking of Daniel Descalso, I had to chuckle when I saw references to Descalso’s below Mendoza line season being the result of “rust” and that his two games against Baltimore proved he was a better player than he had shown.  Seriously?  Descalso has been a replacement level player his entire major league career.  Granted, his season thus far had been below even previous years, (and “rust” could account for some of that) but over his career Descalso has managed to accumulate a grand total of -0.3 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).  Even his mythical “plus” defense is belied by his career -2.9 UZR and -3 Defensive Runs Saved at his “best” position, 3B.  Daniel Descalso is not a league average player whose performance is being hindered by “rust”. Descalso is a replacement level player whose lack of playing time only showcases his lack of major league baseball talent.

I’m sure Daniel Descalso is a super guy that everyone likes.  I have no reason to think otherwise.  However, being a nice guy doesn’t qualify you for a spot on a major league roster if you don’t have the baseball talent to deserve one.  As much as folks groan over the idea of Pete Kozma as a major league player (his offense is certainly groan-worthy) he at least has a major league level skill, his defense is above average, and would be an asset as a backup shortstop to Jhonny Peralta.

So I am being a Debbie Downer and I know it.  There were many things to like about yesterday’s game.  The 2 inning shut down performance by Pat Neshek was fun to watch.  What a great pick up by John Mozeliak.  I just hope he can maintain that level of performance (or close to it) throughout the season, given Mike Matheny‘s propensity to overuse his preferred pitchers.

I always enjoy Kolten Wong‘s success, he is a particular favorite of mine.  Jhonny Peralta’s performance both offensively and defensively has caused me to overcome my initial reservations about his signing.  Matt Carpenter pretty much always makes me smile.  Lance Lynn also has shown much improvement from the beginning of the season.  See?  I can be happy about some things about this team.

Tonight begins a 3 game series against the Marlins, in a ballpark that makes me cringe when I look at it. I really hate orange and lime green as a color scheme.  Nasty.  Aside from the decor (and that hideous thing in the outfield) the Marlins also tend to give the Cardinals fits.  That’s even in years when they are terrible, and this year they aren’t terrible, so watch out.  I will be happy to get back to Busch Stadium and the San Diego Padres (who have been no slouches lately either, by the way).  The Cardinals really need to bust out before it’s too late.

I’m still waiting to feel love for this team.


Thank you for reading.


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