The 2021 St. Louis Cardinals came into the season with some hype. The addition of Nolan Arenado had the Cardinals nation filled with expectations, especially given the state of the National League Central as a whole. The Cards started the year 1-2, then rattled off four straight victories. After that, they lost three straight and have split the past four games as of Saturday night.
Is this the version of the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals that everybody expected? Probably not, and the season’s young. Either way, they are right at .500 and the Cardinals should improve as the season rolls along.
Of course, nothing’s complete without touching on Yadier Molina and his impressive record. Molina made history and the sure-fire Hall of Fame backstop continues to defy Father Time by providing solid offense and defense even in 2021. Is Yadi ever going to retire? It doesn’t seem like it, and a tip of the cap to one of the best catchers in baseball history, and certainly a staple in Cardinals history- which is saying a lot.
After the first couple of weeks of the season, there are high and lows with every club. The 2021 St. Louis Cardinals haven’t gotten off to a start as many expected. Here are the highs and lows for the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals to start the season.
2021 St. Louis Cardinals: Pitching
It’s always best to start with bad news, that way the good news seems even better. In hindsight, the lows for the Cardinals are simple: pitching.
The pitching has been atrocious, to put it lightly. They rank 30th in the majors in ERA, which is dead-last. The combined ERA is 5.45 to start the year, which is definitely not what people expected heading into this year. Jack Flaherty has a pair of wins and has an ERA of 4.11, which isn’t bad compared to the other Cardinals starters.
Nonetheless, this isn’t what the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals imagined going into the 2021 season as far as pitching is concerned. On the other hand, Alex Reyes has been phenomenal and has pitched in five games and has yet to give up a run, and has notched three saves.
Still, there’s only one way to go when your pitching is the worst in baseball. This shouldn’t last too long and the Cardinals have managed to stay afloat despite the terrible pitching. If you would’ve said that the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals pitching is the worst in baseball, nobody would’ve believed it.
Early Highs: Offense
What a surprise, right? Not really. The 2021 St. Louis Cardinals can score runs.
This Cardinals offense has been labeled as one of the better groups in the majors. With a core of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Dylan Carlson, as well as the rest, this group has lots of potential and talent.
Through the first couple of weeks of the season, they have been terrific. They rank 11th in home runs and 4th in runs scored while sitting 18th in both batting average and on-base percentage.
Goldie is only hitting .235 with a homer and five RBIs. However, Arenado is batting .294 with three homers and eight RBIs, and Carlson, Paul DeJong, and Yadier Molina each have a pair of home runs.
Tommy Edman does a little bit of everything, and all in all this Cards offense should stay towards the top of the offensive categories as the season progresses.
So, to recap, the pitching stinks and the offense has been terrific. There have been a few rough games for the Cardinals’ offense, and that’s to be expected with the 162-game MLB season. The Cardinals being .500 at this point despite brutal pitching and a subpar start to the year for Goldschmidt is fantastic news for St. Louis fans.
There’s still a lot of time, so don’t panic. The pitching should flatten out and get back to where it should be and the offense should continue to hit at a successful clip.
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