The Cardinals are Looking to Sweep the Atlanta Braves and Head Home with a .500 Record

After a terrible opening series vs. the Pirates, the Cardinals have calmed the worries of their fans by taking the series vs. the Atlanta Braves this weekend. Jaime Garcia and Carlos Martinez both were able to pitch well enough to help their team win, and the Braves certainly helped the Cardinals’ cause with some defensive miscues of their own.

Today, Adam Wainwright will take the mound for Mike Matheny‘s squad in his second start of the season. Last Sunday, Waino called his outing, “the definition of average,” which is probably a little harsh. Cardinals fans expect a lot of Wainwright and Wainwright expects a lot of himself, but the main storyline that day was that the offense could not produce any runs until the 9th inning when it was far too late.

The Braves lineup is a bit weaker than Pittsburgh’s, so I would not expect Wainwright to struggle as much as he did last week. Wainwright definitely is not the same pitcher that he was three or four years ago, but that does not mean he can’t compete in the majors. Watching Wainwright pitch against a top-tier team like the Pirates and then a bottom-tier team like the Braves will be a solid measure for Cardinals fans and management to see how he can compete this season.

If the Redbirds are to have success this afternoon, guys like Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, and Kolten Wong will need to get on base in order to allow Brandon Moss and Matt Adams to drive them in. Jeremy Hazelbaker has been on a tear to start the season, so hopefully he can dazzle Cardinals fans again today with a long ball or a stolen base.

It’s definitely surprising to see that Mike Matheny sat Randal Grichuk again today, as the young outfielder has definitely done his time after the terrible opening series. Maybe Matheny will let Grichuk play tomorrow afternoon for the home opener. Also, why is Aledmys Diaz on the bench today? Diaz is off to a red hot start defensively and offensively, and deserves playing time. Hopefully it’s just a day off for Diaz, as Greg Garcia does not deserve the starting role.

All in all, if Wainwright pitches like himself and the lineup can support him with four or five runs today, the Cardinals will prove to be unstoppable. A 3-3 record headed into the first home game of the season would be greatly appreciated by Cardinals fans.