Even In Mediocre May, There’s A Cardinal BAMF

Today is an off day for the Cardinals. Thankfully too, after 20 straight days of games.

And while poet T.S. Eliot (who was born in St. Louis, by the way) said that April is the cruelest month, May claimed that the title for the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals with a 13-16 record. Plus May also claimed a very long list of injury victims — more on the latest additions shortly.

First, and despite all the injuries and up-and-down play, there are two strong candidates for May’s BAMF. And though it’s painful to deny Yadi any kind of award, our choice for the most bad-ass Cardinal in May is Carlos Beltran.

His numbers for the month: .326/.410/.707 with 10 home runs (including a grand slam) and 31 RBI. He had three two-homer games, including one game where he drove in seven runs (against the Pirates on May 2) and another where he drove in six (which included his grand slam on May 8 against the Diamondbacks). He currently leads the National League in home runs with 15 and his 42 RBI are second in the NL behind Andre Ethier’s 44.

That’s a good month, to say the least.

And Yadier Molina’s May also was right up there. He hit .347/.379/.510 with four homers — including his own grand slam — 17 RBI, two stolen bases and one mohawk that 65 percent of you love. Like I said, tough to not reward him as well.

The toughness and BAMF-ness of these two is still going to be needed in June. Turning the page on the calender (or downloading the Cardinals June wallpaper from Derrick Docket that features Yadi himself) isn’t going to miraculously improve the team’s fortunes, especially with even more injuries to deal with.

Last night’s game brought about an injury to Skip Schumaker’s hamstring. Jenifer Langosch has the details:

The injury occurred with one on and no out in the sixth, when Schumaker, playing right field, chased a hit off the bat of Jack Wilson. He briefly thought about making a diving attempt on the ball, but instead lunged to cut it off. That’s when he felt the pull.

Skip also said after the game that he thinks he suffered a hamstring pull and not a strain. But maybe we should all learn a lesson from Lance Berkman’s self-diagnosis of his non-existent ACL tear and let the doctors make the evaluation. Skip is headed to St. Louis today to meet with the (busy) team doctors and have an MRI.

Before yesterday’s game, we also learned that Jaime Garcia went back to St. Louis on Tuesday to have an MRI after experiencing elbow discomfort following his last outing. There was no structural damage found, but Jaime will not make his next start (which was supposed to be tomorrow). It’s anticipated he’ll make his next start on Tuesday, though.

Then there’s Jon Jay.

With his sprained right shoulder not responding as expected, Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay is scheduled to get a second opinion regarding the injury in Florida on Thursday.

If it seems like this is getting ridiculous, you would be correct.

The rate at which Cardinals players are getting injured has moved past the point of unusual and closer to absurd. Since the team’s last off-day 20 days ago, the team has placed five players on the DL. Schumaker would be the sixth. That list also doesn’t include lesser injuries to Freese and Carlos Beltran that have kept each of them off the field during this stretch too.

On the plus side, Allen Craig is ready to be activated tomorrow, so putting Skip on the DL becomes a little bit less of a challenge roster-wise.

Following last night’s loss — oh, yeah, that happened and it was bad and you can read about it here if you want to relive the agony — the Cardinals headed to New York for their off-day and will face the Mets for four games starting tomorrow night.

And our May BAMF has a bit of familiarity with the Mets and Citi Field. So hopefully Beltran’s bad-assery will continue as June begins.


Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email aaronmilesfastball@gmail.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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