5 Things We’ve Learned From St. Louis Cardinals’ First 35 Games

5 Things We've Learned From St. Louis Cardinals' First 35 Games

Yadier Molina Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

We are one-fifth of the way through the 2014 MLB season, and the St. Louis Cardinals currently sit in second place in the NL Central. Although the Cardinals trail the Milwaukee Brewers, everyone still expects the team to be at the top of the Central when the season is over. Everything is looking promising so far, and here are five things we know about the Cardinals to date.

5. Starting pitching is very strong

Adam Wainwright Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

5. Starting pitching is very strong

Adam Wainwright Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitching has been the hallmark of the Cardinals for the last several seasons, and the 1-2-3 punch of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn has been fantastic. Shelby Miller is a solid No. 4 pitcher. The weak link has been in the No. 5 spot, where both Joe Kelly and Jaime Garcia have battled injuries.

4. Outfield is a work in progress

Matt Holliday Peter Bourjos Randal Grichuk Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

4. Outfield is a work in progress

Matt Holliday Peter Bourjos Randal Grichuk Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

The outfield has been solid in left thanks to the dependable Matt Holliday, but Peter Bourjos got off to a slow start and nearly lost his playing time to Jon Jay. Randal Grichuk is also in the mix, but Allen Craig's weak bat has contributed to some weakness to the Cardinals' offense.

3. Players named Matt off to solid starts

Matt Carpenter Matt Adams Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

3. Players named Matt off to solid starts

Matt Carpenter Matt Adams Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

The trio of Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday are among the top producers in the Cardinal lineup. Adams has a .311 batting average and leads the team in hits and doubles, while Holliday is among the home run leaders on the team. Carpenter has scored 27 runs to pace the Cardinals.

2. Matt Holliday producing

Matt Holliday Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

2. Matt Holliday producing

Matt Holliday Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Matt Holliday, has there ever been a more consistent hitter on the Cardinals in the past few years? With Albert Pujols now in Los Angeles, Holliday and Yadier Molina have taken over as the faces of the franchise.

1. Bullpen has been solid

Seth Maness Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

1. Bullpen has been solid

Seth Maness Cardinals
Daniel Shirey -- USA TODAY Sports

Once the starters exit the game, the bullpen has been quite effective. Even Trevor Rosenthal, who has a 4.70 ERA, is still among the NL's best closers with nine saves. As long as the bullpen doesn't implode, the chances of the team winning remain strong.

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