Look, we are all upset that the Cardinals could not take 2 of 3 from the Baby Bears these past three days but there are signs that this team is on the rise.
When looking back at this series, it easy to be upset or disappointed. The showings by both Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are concerning. More so from Wacha than Martinez simply based on the fact that Wacha was bad the whole game where as Martinez had a bad inning but then shut the door. The bludgeoning on Tuesday was hard to watch but you have some of those games sprinkled in throughout the course of a season. One thing that all of these negatives and losses do is they cover up the huge improvements this Cardinals team/lineup are making.
Let’s first start with Matt Adams. Back during spring training, many of us here at Cardsblog were calling for Brandon Moss to run away with the first base battle. And he did in the spring. But spring and regular season ball are two very different things. While Moss has been the more powerful bat (8 HRs compared to Adams’ 6), Adams has been hitting the ball more.
I can't believe I'm saying this but Matt Adams needs to start. Showing upside, raising trade value, and doing better. Ah god, drink! #Cards
— Dan Buffa (@buffa82) May 24, 2016
On the year, Adams is hitting .312 compared to .217 from Moss. Adams has caught fire in the month of May, hitting .354. He is also starting drive the ball. In the past six games, he has 3 HRs. The production coming from first base has been a great relief this month and hopefully it continues. If Adams is the starter, it should continue.
On to Randal Grichuk. So far, one could say that Grichuk has had a pretty disappointing season for all of the hype surrounding him having a full years of starts ahead of him. Well first, I would say the doubters have not read Tyler Brandt’s article (read it if you haven’t).
Next I would say you just have to look at this series. 2 HRs (including a walk-off) and a .461 average is pretty encouraging but you also have to look at his month of May. He is hitting .288 over the course of the month. If Grichuk can return to the form of 2015 that saw him hit 17 HRs and .276, we could be in for some fun coming from center field.
The biggest positive that came from this home stand is the fact that Manager Mike Matheny sent out a winning line up every night (besides the nights that he sent out Ruben Tejada. Guy needs to go). We are seeing some consistency finally on the lineup card which is a welcome sight.
A lineup of Carp-Diaz-Holliday-Piscotty-Adams-Molina-Grichuk-Wong will continue to score runs. It is well rounded with the power equally spread out. Also, with all of these players starting to heat up, it will be easier to sustain consistent offensive production from night to night.
With all of this said, it is not pretty to see such a poor showing on another home stand. But this team is starting to come together. it may take some more time but this a long season. Baseball is a game of averages and on average, the Cardinals are above average. Just hold on a bit longer Cardinal Nation. The pieces are there. They just need to be assembled.
Photo captured by Billy Hurst- USA Today Sports