Putting a bow on it
So, just a few odds and ends and thoughts on the wrapped-up Division Series…
- Cardinals starters were really impressive. Mulder has been excellent, Carpenter had a fine game and Matt Morris may have impressed me most of all. He wasn’t perfect, but he consistently hit 93-94 with his sinker and mostly kept it down in the zone, and he had a better curveball than I can remember seeing from him in quite a few starts. Very encouraging going forward.
- The bullpen concerns are valid, to an extent. I personally expect Ray King to have a strong LCS, and Randy Flores has to be considered a plus at this point. The right side misses Al Reyes, and Julian Tavarez’s difficulties against Houston seem to be an issue.
- However, the offense is really a plus at this point. Albert Pujols quietly had a fine series, and his "supporting cast" nearly all did good things in the Div. Series. It’s easy to forget just how much the Cardinals missed having Reggie Sanders and Larry Walker at full strength. Those guys are essential.
- The Cards should greatly benefit from some time off. Watch the Mulder situation closely; if he throws a bullpen Monday or Tuesday, that will be good news. Walker can almost certainly use a couple of days after being hit by a pitch and tumbling over the wall.
- I don’t expect the roster to change significantly for the LCS, though I wouldn’t rule out a small tweak or two.
I’m in San Diego right now, heading back to STL on Monday. So greetings from "America’s Finest City." Can’t wait to be home with my bride-to-be and our dog and cat. Even in an beautiful city like this, there’s a lot to be said for home.