The St. Louis Cardinals have taken great advantage of the struggles befalling the Milwaukee Brewers in order to take over control of the NL Central by a three game margin. After many criticized their refusal to address offense at the trade deadline while insisting to bolster their starting rotation (myself included), general manager John Mozeliak is looking like a wise magician these days.
Now they regain the services of secondary ace Michael Wacha – and if you know anything about this kid, you know he can flat out pitch.
With the return of Wacha, the Cardinals now boast a rotation featuring Adam Wainwright (2.69 ERA), Michael Wacha (2.79), John Lackey (4.23), Lance Lynn (2.85) and Justin Masterson (7.90)/Shelby Miller (4.00). That’s not to shabby – and it is a rotation that will be very potent down the stretch and into the postseason.
Much concern has resided around the offense of the Cardinals. However, during their current five-game winning streak, the team has put those concerns on the back burner by scoring 34 runs over that time frame. While there is no telling if that offensive output will continue, the return of Wacha ensures that the team likely won’t need to maintain their pace of 6.8 runs/game in order to win ballgames.
After being out for over two months with an injury, Wacha’s return comes at the perfect time for the Cardinals. The team is now in prime position to lock up the NL Central and Wacha may be the missing piece that sends them over the edge. With just three and a half weeks remaining in the season, the addition of Wacha is better than any trade deadline or waiver wire move the team could have hoped for. And making his debut against the Brewers this evening, Wacha has a chance to have an immediate impact on the race for the division.
Manager Mike Matheny has done a great job to keep his team treading water over the course of the season that has been mostly dominated by Milwaukee. Yet as the Cardinals have shown in the past, it is how you end the season that will determine your fate in October. And once again we are seeing that skill on displace in St. Louis.
Cover Photo: Associated Press
Latest posts by Grant E. Doepel (see all)
- Podcast: Is It Time To Be Worried About The Kentucky Wildcats? - January 18, 2016
- PODCAST: Predicting the NFL Wild Card Round - January 7, 2016
- NFL Picks: Week 1 - September 10, 2015