We knew the Pittsburgh Pirates would be good.
We also knew the St. Louis Cardinals would be good.
Okay, maybe we didn’t know anything, exactly.
We were pretty sure those teams would both be good.
But funny things can happen.
I have the Cardinals picked to win the division, but that’s more of a matter of “until they don’t win it, I’ll keep picking them” than anything else.
On paper, I see a team with aging veterans, not a whole lot of young talent I’m impressed with, and a pitching staff that can’t stay healthy.
Does that sound like a 1st place team?
Of course not.
But, again, I picked them out of nostalgia.
My eyes tell me they’re the 3rd place team.
But my vision is terrible. So first place it is.
In a 3-game sweep, the Pirates outscored the Cardinals 15-7.
Pittsburgh hit .300 with a .390 OBP. (Wow.)
St. Louis hit .168 with a .263 OBP. (A different kind of wow.)
Given those numbers, it’s not hard to figure that the Pirates would sweep.
But it’s just 3 games, folks.
We’re less than 2% of our way into the season and there are plenty of match-ups remaining between these two teams.
In fact, we still have to wait another 11 days before the next match-up that pits two of the “big three” teams from the division. The Cubs visit the Cardinals on Monday, April 18th.
Let’s just let this play out a bit longer, folks.
The Cardinals get their next crack against Pittsburgh starting May 6th, this time in a home series.
They get a chance to right the ship pretty quickly here with upcoming games that are figured to be among the worst in the MLB – 3 games at Atlanta, 3 at home against Milwaukee, 3 at home against Cincinnati.
If they don’t win at least half of those games, then I’ll concede that it may be time to panic.
The Cubs (2-0) are back in action on the West coast tonight, going up against the Diamondbacks… The Reds (2-0) called up rookie Robert Stephenson to get the start this afternoon. Might be worth watching. Coming into the season, Stephenson was ranked the #30 prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus, #32 by Baseball America and #35 by MLB. They’ll be wrapping up a 3-game home set against the Phillies…