Here with another UK fan review, it is Richard Churchill (@RChurchill26) with his thoughts on a topsy-turvy 2018 campaign from the Cardinals.
How has the season gone so far?
The dismissal of Mike Matheny a day before the All-Star Break sums everything up for the Cardinals really. Whilst they are by no means out of playoff contention, they are out of the race to win the division, and a cluster of stories out of the clubhouse, most notably a bullying story surrounding relief pitchers Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris, as well as a total breakdown in the relationship between Fowler and Matheny, did for the former Cardinals manager. 3/10 seems a little kind given everything, but Matheny’s departure bumps it up.
Stars and flops:
After a staggeringly poor start, Matt Carpenter has been one of the best hitters in the NL since the start of May. Yadier Molina continues to edge his way forward in a likely Hall of Fame career, and Jose Martinez has cemented as an everyday player that can be relied upon. On the other hand, the aforementioned Fowler hasn’t had the season everyone had hoped for, whilst Luke Weaver’s demotion to Triple-A is emblematic of the course his season has taken.
Kolten Wong’s walk-off home run in a weekend game over the Cubs at home was pretty special, given the Red Birds had trailed by 4 runs early and tied it in the ninth before Wong’s 2-run shot in the tenth.
Revised Win-Loss Prediction:
The Cardinals have a chance to regain some clubhouse stability now. From this point, even the most optimistic of Cardinals fan can’t peg them for more than 88 wins. That should keep in the Wild Card hunt late into the season, yet optimism is not rife right now, and a total of 82-85 wins seems more realistic.