During the first half of the 2010 baseball season Cardinals Nation has been on a roller coaster ride. After starting the season on a 15-6 tear the Redbirds have played below .500 (32-33) since the end of April and they found themselves one game back of the Cincinnati Reds at the All-Star Break .
Many “experts” picked the Cardinals to run away with the division before the season started but that has been anything but the case to this point. Injuries, inconsistent pitching, a sometimes non-existent offense along with some sloppy defense has cost the Cards after their hot start to the season. With two starting pitchers lost to the disabled list (Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse) for most of the first half of the season and key players going down at various times (Ryan Ludwick, Colby Rasmus and David Freese have all missed time) the Redbirds have played enough inconsistent baseball to make even the most die-hard Cards fans, myself included, question the team.
Despite the Cards lack of success there is still a silver lining to this season:
The first part of this silver lining is that we have yet see the Cardinals firing on all cylinders. Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Ryan Ludwick have yet to all find their swing at the same time. So in many ways, fans have yet to see the true offensive identity of this club. Once this team gets going and they get all of the pieces back from the DL this team could be very dangerous. Not to mention when the Cards 1-2 punch of Chris Carpenter (10-3) and Adam Wainwright (13-5) are pitching well things can only get better for this team.
The other part of the silver lining comes from the scheduling department. The Redbirds have the 2nd easiest schedule in baseball, playing only 31 more games against teams over .500 after tonight’s game against Los Angeles. The only bad news about that is the Reds have the easiest schedule and will have only 25 more games against teams over.500.
So despite the Cards current predicament, they are in great position to take advantage of a strong team with an easy schedule during the second half of the season. Here’s to hoping the pieces come together and the Redbirds claim another division title.