The St. Louis Cardinals have practically thrown in the towel for the 2008 MLB season, losing games left and right (they have lost seven in a row recently) and are 14 games back from NL Central lead. However, let’s look at the positives:
Kyle Lohse (13-6 3.89, 176 IP, 99 K):
Not signed by anyone until Mid March, Kyle came to the Cardinals with something to prove. He did it for a while as he aimed for the All-Star Game with a great start. He certainly came back to the Kyle Lohse that everyone knows and is winless since August 1st. That said he was everything we could have asked for IMO. Honestly he hasnt had too many bad starts the past month (3 ER in 5.1, 4 ER in 7.0, 4 ER in 4.1, 3 ER in 6.0, 3 ER in 6.0, 2 ER in 8.0). Bring him back? Nah, I think he’s gone and that’s fine. He earned himself a bigger contract. Not a bad year for someone signed to 4 mil.
Todd Wellemeyer (11-6 3.76, 160.1 IP, 109 K):
Who would have expected this out of him? Certainly not me or many others to be honest. He’s been a good starter for us. Remember when he won player of the month back in May? I dont much but it did happen. He was at one point like 7-1 then came down with some injury and struggled after that but he’s gotten back own track somewhat. I dont think anyone can really complain about the year he’s gave us.
Braden Looper (12-11 4.27, 166.2 IP, 81 K):
To be honest Looper can have some flat out awful starts but some flat out great starts. He was pretty consistent the past couple months and I say give him a chance again next year if the sign him. I wouldnt be opposed to it.
Adam Wainwright (7-3 3.04, 103.2 IP, 68 K):
Wainwright was Wainwright plain and simple and the only thing that cost the Cardinals certainly was his injury. He pitched like the ace he was when he could pitch. Cant wait to have him next year. Enjoy him the rest of the season, I will.
Joel Pineiro (6-5, 4.92 1 SV, 131.2 IP, 67 K):
Meh, I certainly expected a better year from him but that might have been expected too much? At least he had a good August.
Chris Carpenter (0-1 1.88, 14.1 IP, 6 K):
Everything you could have wanted from him coming back from TJ Surgery. Too bad the team couldnt score in the few games he pitched but he showed the competitive Chris we are all used to seeing. Hopefully the move to the bullpen will be worth it and he can get a little work and arm strength back this last month of the season as we look to ’09.
Mitch Boggs (3-2 7.41, 34 IP, 13 K):
The former Pacific Coast League (AAA) pitcher of the year had another nice season at AAA (9-3 3.45, 125.1 IP, 81 K) and couple nice starts for the Cardinals this year. If he can control his walks/k ratio I look for him to get a shot at the rotation next year. Some arent excited about him, I am.
Lineup (for the most part):
1. Skip Schumaker (.308 AVG, 79 R, 8 HR, 43 RBI, 8/10 SB):
Remember his dismal start to the season? Yeah me either. Been everything and then some what we could have asked for in the lead off role which nobody knew who was gonna take that job by the throat and do it good enough. Sure he has been abysmal from facing lefties and thats something we’ll have to find for next year but theres not much to complain about here.
2. Adam Kennedy (.273, 31 R, 1 HR, 28 RBI, 7/8 SB):
A lot of people complain about him but I dont understand the reason this year. His glove at 2nd was great this year even despite the Cubs game. His hitting was a lot better than last year. Not bad for all the platooning he did this year. Sure more offense would be nice but he’s just not as bad as everyone made him out to be.
3. Albert Pujols (.363, 84 R, 30 HR, 91 RBI, 89 BB, 6/8 SB):
Just unbelievable what we have here. Another MVP type season. Sure he had his moments on the base paths but his defense is pretty good again this year. He have one heck of a player here which everyone knows. I could write a whole book on him but dont feel the need. Just if you arent enjoying him in a “down year” then I dont know who you’ll appreciate.
4. Rick Ankiel (.269, 64 R, 25 HR, 71 RBI, 2/3 SB):
Not a bad year for him at all. About what I expected though his injury has slowed him down and honestly I hope that he gets shut down and his season will be over. The only real complaint here is him hitting in the clean up spot. Certainly not where he should be next year.
5. Ryan Ludwick (.302, 94 R, 33 2B, 32 HR, 99 RBI, 4/6 SB):
Not an impact bat according to some but I think he more than responded to a chance given to him. A healthy year finally gave him something to talk about as well as every Cardinals fan. An All-Star year. I dont expect a repeat at all next year, but can’t complain about him. Major props to him this year!
6. Troy Glaus (.271, 61 R, 31 2B, 21 HR, 85 RBI, 0/1 SB):
Complain about his bat throwing tantrums. Sometimes I wanna do that when he’s up but for being traded for Scott Rolen, I think he’s certainly done a great job making me forget about Scott. Sure he could have well over 100 RBI’s with all the runners he’s left stranded and sure he didnt do anything against the Cubs until a late game… but who cares when your getting those numbers and a potential Gold Glove year at 3rd?
7. Yadier Molina (.310, 35 R, 6 HR, 53 RBI):
Uhh.. I dont remember (right off) the last time a Cardinals catcher brought this much offense to a Cards. He certainly improved with his bat. Runners seemed to do a better job on him and his defense wasnt quite as good but I’ll take him behind the plate any day of the week. His still a pretty good catcher on defense and he should only improve. Thats a scary thing for opponents.