Well, kiddies, we are off to a FANTASTIC start. After losing two of the first three games of the season to the Pirates, (who I should point out are so awful that they lost to their AA team in an exhibition game last week), the Cardinals have already got me prepared to throw myself down a flight of stairs and spend the rest of the season in a vegetative state. First and foremost, the bullpen is a complete and total clusterf#$k. I mean, what were DeWitt and company doing all winter? It was pretty obvious by the end of the 2008 season that we needed to fortify our relief corp with some guys that don't infest the late innings with endless variations of SUCK. Even more important was identifying a legitimate closer that could hold a lead and not make me want to pelt him with batteries. In their infinite wisdom, the Cardinals decided to do neither of these things. As a result, we have a former catcher playing the role of Jason Isringhausen and doing a mighty fine job of emulating him to perfection. With a two run lead going into the top of the ninth on opening day, Jason Motte gave up four runs and promptly caused an entire legion of Redbird fans to throw up all over themselves. Holy hell, we are in for a long few months.
Then, after a redemptive 9-3 shellacking on Tuesday, things returned to form on Wednesday when Todd Wellemeyer gave up five runs over five innings. All considered, the St. Louis arms allowed 17 hits, 12 of which were Wellemeyer's. The finale of this four game series is this afternoon and frankly, I feel bad for Chris Carpenter. No matter how well he does, his 2009 debut will likely be rendered meaningless if he can't pitch a complete game. Following a relatively competent outing yesterday, the bullpen is probably due for another colossal meltdown. After all, their only consistency is their complete and utter lack of consistency. Siiiigh
The good news in Chicago is that over the course of the past year, I've met some Missouri natives who are loyal and obsessive Cardinal fans. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a few sympathetic shoulders to cry on, particularly after this uninspiring start to the season. I have a sinking feeling we'll be relying on each other a lot over the next several weeks, as the Redbirds take on the Scrubbies nine freakin' times in the month of April. I've already been offered three different sets of tickets for the series in Chicago next weekend, but sadly will be out of town at a wedding. I'm honestly not terribly upset over missing it, as I don't relish the idea of being heckled incessantly for three days straight. At this point, I don't have enough confidence in this Cardinal team to even fight back with any sort of conviction. On the other hand, the groomsman I've been paired with at this wedding is one of the more vocal and obnoxious Cubs fans I know. Imagining the toxic tongue bath he's going to give me the second I arrive is already making the hair stand up on the back of my neck. There's a serious chance he'll have to escort me down the aisle in a wheelchair, which is encouraging if you really think about it. It means I haven't COMPLETELY lost my edge yet.