St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Staff Doing Serious Work This Year

St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Staff Doing Serious Work This Year


St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Staff Doing Serious Work This Year

Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals

We’re quietly creeping up on the quarter-mark of the baseball season and the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting pitchers are putting together quite the run. Friday night rookie Shelby Miller allowed a leadoff hit then proceeded to retire the next 27 Rockies in order. The next day staff ace Adam Wainwright took a no-hitter into the eighth against Colorado, which had come into the series with the best batting average in baseball.

It appears ERA trumps batting average (which shouldn’t even be a statistic, right? RIGHT!) in this particular matchup, though the Rockies won the final game of the series 8-2.

As of Monday, the NL Central-leading Cardinals have the best team ERA in baseball at 3.03, nearly a third of a run better than the Rangers. The number could drop even lower this week as the light-hitting Mets — who are starting ex-Card Rick Ankiel in center tonight after claiming him from the Astros tonight — come to Busch Stadium for a four-game series.

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Imagine where the St. Louis team ERA would be if you were able to lop off the 15 earned runs reliever Mitchell Boggs coughed up in 10+ innings?

Either way, all five of the Cardinals’ starters own sub-3.00 ERAs, led by Miller’s 1.58 mark in 45+ innings. More surprising is sinkerball-tossing journeyman Jake Westbrook, who is also under 2.00, although he was recently added to the disabled list.

The now-svelte Lance Lynn and healthy Jamie Garcia are each posting solid numbers, while Wainwright has struck 55 compared to only four walks in 58+ innings, with a miniscule 2.30 ERA. That’s certainly living up to the five-year $97.5 million deal the 31-year-old righty signed in Spring Training.

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St. Louis, perhaps more than any other club, appears to have a production line from the minors to the majors and excels at developing talent. It’s a smart system that has worked out. Lynn, Miller and Garcia were all draft picks who panned out, while Wainwright was acquired back in 2003 in a six-player deal from Atlanta that netted the Braves J.D. Drew.

In the watered down National League with five clubs making the playoffs, it’s hard to envision a scenario where St. Louis isn’t in the postseason nearly every season. This year will be no exception.

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[Photo via Getty]

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