The St. Louis Cardinals are clearly built to be a scrapping hard-nosed team that will fight until the end of the inning, game, series or season. That reputation probably is well deserved and comes along with their manager Mike Matheny. Right now things might not turn up roses for the Cardinals however. They lose the first series of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks after falling in a 16 inning marathon. Now they have to face the San Francisco Giants and the memories of what might have been in the National League playoffs last year.
This game couldn’t have been a lot of fun for the Cardinals. The bullpen has been thrown off completely by the injury to their everyday closer. Now things are falling apart in the pen as the pitchers scramble to find what role they will fill in the meantime. That resulted in plenty of squandered leads last night as nine runs turned out not to be enough.
That stings quite a bit on its own without a trip to San Francisco to face the same Giants that came back from a 3-1 game hole to beat the Cardinals in the 2012 NLCS. They didn’t squeak by in those three games that took them towards their eventual World Series title. The Giants pounded the Cardinals pitching staff and left them heart broken in defeat 4 games to 3 which is sure to be fresh in the Cardinals memories after their pitching let them down against the Dbacks.
It might not seem great right now but this could be a big rallying point for the Cardinals. It is also possible of course that things could continue to fall apart as they face the tough Giants team that might as well already be the favorites to repeat their 2012 championship with the way they are playing. If Matheny can get these guys together and they pull out a dramatic win early in this series with the Giants, things could completely turn around on that momentum alone. A lot will hinge on the first game of the series however. How that outcome effects the Cardinals could affect the rest of the month of April.