On the day the St. Louis Cardinals had the fifth player from their Opening Day roster go onto the disabled list, they did what was expected: won.
It was win No. 40 of the season, and on June 12. The Cardinals are the first team in MLB to reach 40 wins this season. The next NL team to reach that plateau won’t do it until at least Tuesday, if the Dodgers win their next four straight. No AL team will reach 40 wins until at least Wednesday, if the Astros (how awesome is that?) now go on a winning streak after destroying King Felix Hernandez and the Mariners last night.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinals still have the best record in MLB, and also have the biggest division lead — the second-place Pirates are 6 1/2 games back. (If the Pirates were in the NL East, they’d be in first at the moment.)
As for last night’s game, Jaime Garcia was impressive — again. He pitched eight scoreless innings, allowed only four infield singles, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. In fact, he hasn’t walked a batter since his season-debut on May 21 … four starts and 30 innings ago.
And while Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter, Mark Reyonds and Yadi all went hitless, it didn’t matter. Jon Jay hit a first inning triple that drove in Everyone’s Favorite Man (and Woman) Crush Randal Grichuk, who’d singled. Jaime was up next and singled to score Jay.
The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the eighth. Following a walk to Jason Heyward, Everyone’s Favorite Crush hit what was generously ruled a triple (since even the official scorer has a giant crush on Randal) to drive in Heyward. Then Jay hit a sac fly that allowed Everyone’s Crush to score the Cards’ fourth run.
And, ho hum, Kevin Siegrist finished it out … that was a winner …
Speaking of the bullpen, did you realize the Cards relievers have the best ERA in the National League? Yes, we know about the vaunted Royals bullpen with its MLB-best 1.82 ERA. And we know about the success of the Cards starters, who lead baseball with a 2.99 ERA. Yet the overall team ERA of 2.66 is because of that 1.97 ERA by Siegrist, Rosenthal and company.
“Resilience” obviously is the best word to describe these 2015 Cardinals. They’ll continue to be resilient too … until they’re not. It doesn’t seem like they can keep winning no matter who goes down, yet they are.
It’s a great ride, it’s a fun ride. Don’t question why, don’t complain — just enjoy.
Good teams play good baseball, and good baseball translates to good wins. Even bad wins. But lots of wins.
And that’s what these 2015 Cardinals have more of than any other team.