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ElevenRingsSTL
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First blog for the Die Hard site in a while and I'll start by apologizing for the time between posts.  I don't like to let the material on the group page get stagnant, but sometimes work and life gets in the way and takes priority over putting stuff together for the site.

Anyway........ after a brutally tough stretch a few weeks ago that saw the Cards drop behind the Reds and out of first place, things seem to be turning around.   The Cards have won 5 of 7 and taken back first place.  After leaving Toronto, the Cards will have series against Kansas City, Arizona, Milwaukee and Houston over the next few weeks.   Could be a good opportunity to expand the lead between now and the All-Star break.

Some observations over the last few weeks:

  •  I'll start with the obvious:   this team is much more dangerous when Matt Holliday is being productive.  Not coincidentally, his hot streak coincides with the Cardinal hot streak.   He's obviously going to cool down from what he's done the last four or five games, but it is nice to see him get on a tear.   Given his history of being a second-half hitter, I'm looking for huge production out of him for the rest of the season.                                                                                                                           
  • I really liked the addition of Randy Winn.   I was an advocate of going after him during the winter as a fourth outfielder, and so far he is paying off, going 8 for 24 with a couple of stolen bases.   I think he is a smart player who gives the Cards a valuable fourth outfielder that can play all three positions, provide some speed, and improve the bench.   He was playing so sparingly with the Yankees that I am sure it was tough for him to get in a groove.   Winn is also the type of bench player that LaRussa typically gets maximum value out of.
  • Winn's addition meant the return to Memphis of John Jay.   I really like what I saw out of Jay and think he could be part of the outfield mix in the future, but he's probably much better off playing every day at Memphis right now.
  • Nice to see former playoff hero Jeff Suppan back in the fold, although that is probably more of a nostalgia feeling than anything else.   I agree with the post by Vulcan that I wasn't sure what I thought of the signing, but I am encouraged by his first couple of outings.   He doesn't have to be great, but if he can give us five innings with a  couple of runs given up going forward,  I'll take it.    
  • I keep waiting for Jaime Garcia to hit a wall, but he doesn't appear to be in any hurry to do so.
  • I'll admit again that I was wrong about David Freese.   I heavily questioned during the off season the Cards failure to bring in a third baseman, but Freese is proving me wrong.  He's played steady and at times great defense and has been a consistent run producer in the lineup.   Mark DeRosa's season ending wrist surgery makes it look even more like Mozeliak knew what he was doing on this one.
  • Finally, while watching the Cardinal game on Tuesday night, my five year old hit me with the following question:   "Dad, why isn't everyone in the world a Cardinal fan?".     I was so proud.......made me feel like I have raised him well.    :o)

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