Fear and Elation: A baseball fan's guide to the St. Louis Cardinals

Fear and Elation: A baseball fan's guide to the St. Louis Cardinals

Fear and Elation: A baseball fan's guide to the St. Louis Cardinals


by Mike Bailey / BaseballStL


Posted on September 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 10:06 AM

(BaseballStL) -- Baseball fans are notoriously schizophrenic.

This perhaps explains the inconsolable depression that followed the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Mariners Saturday and the 6-2 loss to the lowly Rockies Monday.

Sunday, following the 12-2 win and Tuesday, with the Redbirds spanking the Rockies as I write this, food tastes better, colors are brighter, the air is sweeter.

So indulge me while pander to my split personality.

As Dr. Doom, I am deeply concerned about the Cardinals going into Tuesday night’s game because since the All-Star Break:

1). The Cards are hitting just .251, ranking in the lower half of all teams. Plus, they only have 34 taters, ahead of only Miami, hardly good company.

2). Allen Craig is likely out for the rest of the regular season and his replacement, Matt Adams is only hitting .222. And Yadier Molina, who just smoked the league in the first half, is hitting just .262.

3). Jake Westbrook is 2-4 with an ERA of nearly 8, Lance Lynn is 2-6 (ERA of 4.48) and Adam Wainwright is 4-4 (ERA of nearly 4). Without Joe Kelly, we’d be looking over our shoulder at the closing Washington Nationals.

4). The Cards are only 31-27 this half and just seven over even since May.

5). The Pirates lose and we lose. We don’t gain any ground and a one-game play-off for the division would be in Pittsburgh, our personal house of horrors.

However, after a laugher like the one unfolding Tuesday night, I am Alfred E. Newman (“What, me worry?”)

1). The Pirates have six games left with the Cincinnati Reds while we’re playing the Brewers and the Cubs. If they split, it is mutually assured destruction. Only a near-sweep by the Pirates would keep them alive.

2). The St. Louis Cardinals are only one game behind the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League and home field advantage.  As hot as they have been, the Dodgers are two games behind us.

3). OK, they don’t smack homers but they are number one in the National League in runs scored, doubles and on-base percentage and second in hits, batting average and total bases. We get ‘em on, over and in better than anybody.

4). Since the break, Matt Holliday is hitting .313 (and is on pace for 100 RBIs) and John Jay is hitting .291, two guys we had to get going as we head down the stretch. Adams and Holliday each have seven dingers since the ASB, a mini-display of power that changes the narrative heading into October.

5). Nobody, and I mean nobody, has the big game pedigree of the St. Louis Cardinals. The more pressure the better they play. They’ve been on the mat a couple of times this year but just when you think they’re in trouble, they rise to the challenge.

OK, faith (and a little of the Alfred E. Newman in me) says the Cards will prevail and the first five points in this piece will be completely and totally overwhelmed by the second five…

Wait a minute. The trainer and Mike Matheny just went to the mound to check on Joe Kelly. He’s not coming out for the sixth inning.

See first five….