Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: 2012 St. Louis Cardinals

When I think of the 2006 season, I’m flooded with great memories. Kenny Rogers dominating the playoffs. Placido Polanco going off in the ALDS and ALCS. Justin Verlander coming into our lives. Joel Zumaya blowing away the competition. And of course, Magglio taking Huston Street deep.

But what my subconscious seems to always try to block out was how bad the team performed in the World Series. With the exception of Rogers and Sean Casey, the team went to hell and lost the Series in 5 games. And they lost to an inferior Cardinals team that had only won 83 games during the regular season.

So yes, I do not like the Cardinals. And they are next up on the schedule for the Tigers, looking as pedestrian as they did in ’06 at 34-33. Here’s a look at them.

FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
Albert Pujols

Pujols may be the only hitter in baseball more feared than Miguel Cabrera. I mean, the guy…

What’s that?

Oh. Right. Hahahahahaha…

FACE OF THE FRANCHISE
Matt Holliday
-5 time All-Star

-4 time Silver Slugger winner

-2007 NLCS MVP

-2007 NL batting champion

-Drafted by Colorado in the 7th round of the 1998 MLB Draft. For those of you keeping score in “What Awful Player Did Detroit Take That Year”, the Tigers had two first round picks that year at #14 and #34. They took Jeff Weaver and Nate Cornejo. Three picks before Holliday went to the Rockies, Detroit selected pitcher Clint Smith, who never made it past Double-A.

-Chose signing with the Rockies over a scholarship to Oklahoma State to be their quarterback.

-Traded to A’s in November of 2008 for Hustron Street, Greg Smith, and Carlos Gonzalez.

-Traded by A’s to Cards in July of 2009 for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, and Shane Peterson. I thought Billy Beane was supposed to be a genius?

-.487 average in 12 career games against Detroit.

TEAM STRENGTH

These guys can hit as many of their players are having career years. Every starter except for 2B Tyler Greene has an OPS+ of at least 102 and 6 of the 8 have an OPS+ over 120. Of course, they do play in the NL Central which will inflate some offensive numbers a bit.

Starting pitching is good, not great. The bullpen sucks, though. The Tigers need to be patient, get pitch counts up, and pounce on the bullpen.

Yeah. Right.

OLD FRIENDS

None! Three opponents in a row with no ex-Tigers. Where have they all gone?

Oh yeah. Tampa.

WORST ENEMY
Carlos Beltran

The ex-Royal is having a career rebirth in St. Louis this year, hitting .306/.389/.594 with 19 homers and 48 RBI already.

-6 time All-Star.

-3 time Gold Glover winner.

-In 92 career games vs. Detroit, Carlos has hit .276 with 16 HR, 19 doubles, 10 triples, 63 RBI, and stole 18 bases. What a dick.

-Of those 16 homers, only 2 have come against current Tiger pitchers. 1 against Joaquin Benoit and 1 against the crippled Daniel Schlereth.

-0-3 w/2 K’s against JV. 2-10 with a homer against Our Hero, Nate Robertson.

FANBASE
-Billy Bob Thornton

-John Goodman

-Will Leitch (author/founder of Deadspin)

-Nelly

-Not sure who else. But I’m constantly told they’re the best fans in baseball. Almost always told that by Cardinal fans. Eff them.

OVERALL

Detroit is 2 ½ games back in the AL Central. They need to keep doing what they’re doing and take 2 of 3 here once again. And with the team getting healthier and Justin Verlander on the mound tonight, I like the team’s chances.

/dooms team to 10 game losing streak with silly optimism

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joe buck should be added has a fan. What a homer

H2OPoloPunk said...

I fucking hate the Cardinals.