Wednesday, October 30, 2013

World Series victory not in the Cards

OK, so the Cardinals didn't have what it takes to win the World Series this year.  Although I'm older and not as deeply invested in the Cards like I was as a kid, it still stings a little.

With that said, here are some quick closing thoughts on the World Series and the Cardinals in general, as their season comes to an end:

Michael Wacha is human
Despite such heroic efforts throughout the postseason, Wacha couldn't keep the Red Sox at bay tonight, giving up 6 runs in 3.2 innings, although two of those runs came around to score after Wacha had left the game.

Still, it was a pretty good postseason for the youngster, with a 4-1 record and a 2.64 ERA.  If you include the regular season, Wacha went 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 95.1 innings.

He should be a lock for the starting rotation next season and for years to come.

The Cardinals bats went silent

Although the Cardinals managed 9 hits on the night, they were only able to score 1 run in the game.  They hit a paltry .224 for the series with just 14 runs in the 6 games (2.3 per game).

In the last 3 games, the Cardinals managed only 4 runs.  You aren't going to win many games that way, no matter who is pitching.

Trevor Rosenthal will be the Cardinals closer in 2014

 Rosenthal had a dominant postseason, allowing zero runs in 10.2 innings while striking out 17.  He was 1-0 with 4 saves and has pretty much locked up the closer job for 2014.

Jason Motte will still be recovering from Tommy John surgery to start next season and Edward Mujica probably earned himself a big paycheck elsewhere, so the job is Rosenthal's to lose.

He could become the right handed version of the Reds' Aroldis Chapman.

Will Carlos Martinez be a starter or a reliever?

After spending the entire postseason in the pen, it remains to be seen what the long term plan is for Carlos Martinez.

It would be a shame to waste a talent like his in a bullpen role, as he could add much more value as a starter in the Pedro Martinez mold.

However, with so many starters vying for the top 5 spots, it may require a trade or an injury for him to crack the rotation.

Good News/Bad News

The good news is that the Cardinals will have a young and formidable nucleus to build around for years to come.

Headlined by youngsters Wacha, Rosenthal, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist and Seth Maness, along with veterans Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay, the Cardinals should once again be a championship caliber team next year.

The bad news is that the Red Sox will still have David Ortiz and Jon Lester (if they pick up his option) next year.

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