Cards Starters Dominant

By Patrick Erickson

If anyone was worried about the St. Louis Cardinals rotation beyond the big 2 you can stop worrying.

Quite simply these guys may be the best rotation in baseball.

The rotation has put together seven straight starts of 7+ innings in which they have allowed two or fewer earned runs. It has happened one other time for the franchise the last 55 years.

The ERA is a league best 2.12.

Everyone knows that Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter are two of the best four starters in the NL along with Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay, but there were questions about the rest of the rotation.

Brad Penny was signed as the third starter to replace Joel Piniero, who was magnificent last year, and has looked excellent so far. After allowing two first inning runs against the Diamondbacks yesterday he didnt allow any his final 6 innings and the Cards rallied for a 4-2 win.

Kyle Lohse may still not be as good as he was in his debut Cardinals season, but even if he averages his current 4.15 ERA the rest of the year it is more than acceptable for the #4 slot and will win a ton of ball games with the St. Louis offense.

And lastly Jamie Garcia has been a revelation through two starts. Sure it is early, but one run allowed in 13 innings is pretty good. Especially since in his first start Garcia decided not to even use his curveball and dominated solely with a fastball and changeup.

Injuries are the one thing that could derail this unit. Carpenter has a list a mile long of career injuries. Wainwright is the least prone of the bunch, but even he has had minor-to-medium afflictions over the past couple seasons. Penny has had his share of elbow problems. Lohse missed a good chunk of last year, and Garcia is in his first full year following Tommy John surgery.

If the rotation is healthy though, look out. There may not be a better group in baseball.

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