Why do I know this? Is it because I’m a stone cold homer? I mean, yeah, but that’s not the only reason why. I will place my case before you here and now and you will be able to do nothing but either A) Agree with me or B) Only read the headline and then troll.
Here is the case, and it’s as rock solid as an Allen Craig double to the right-center field gap in 2012
Reason 1: Greg Holland will be Greg Holland again
Yeah, he has stunk worse than River Des Peres on a mid-August afternoon thus far, but that will not continue. From 2013-2017 Holland put up a combined 2.37 ERA with 166 saves. He is a legit top 5 closer in the game. He will find the zone again. He will be fresh. He will throw the final pitch of 2018, and it will be a swinging strike on a filthy slider.
Reason 2: Jordan Hicks is Legit
105 miles per hour. That’s like a $4,000 speeding ticket in Rock Hill. This kid is the truth. Yeah, his strikeout rate isn’t what analytic nerds want it to be, but hitters do not square this dude up. Think ahead to one of those damp, 45-degree St. Louis October nights. Your hands are frozen. You now have to step in the box and try to hit a guy throwing smoke that would make Chuck Yeager flinch. Good luck.
Reason 3: Yadier Molina and Fresh Legs
Look, we all saw the replay of the Hicks fastball to the grapes. We cannot unsee it. But, the silver-lined cup of the whole situation, fresh legs. Molina won’t be squatting for 150 games this season. His left hand won’t be turned to mush. Plus, Pena has proven himself a quality enough back up to give Yadi some rest down the stretch.
Reason 4: Marcell Ozuna and a September that matters
This poor dude has never played a truly meaningful game in September in his career. He loves the bright lights, loves the camera, and is always having a blast. Can you imagine the amplification of that joy when the pennant race is heating up here in the Gateway? He will have the September and Octobers of his life and be the lineup changing bat the Cards traded for.
Reason 5: Matt Carpenter is remembering what hitting is
Look, it’s called a batting order. It’s not a pitches-per-at-bat order. It’s not a “tough out” order. It’s not a work-the-count order. Perchance Marp is remembering that his job is to swing the stick, not just fill his hands with batter's box dirt for 5 seconds between every pitch dragging every game out for an additional 2 weeks. His job is to hit the round ball with the round bat. And, it looks like he is starting to remember that.
Reason 6: 3 Starters that will finish in the top 15 of Cy Young Voting
Wacha, Mikolas, and Martinez are three of the best pitchers in the NL right now. Yes, Scherzer will win the hardware, but these three will all get votes. They have a combined 16-4 record as of Tuesday, all with ERAs south of 2.50 and are only going to get stronger with Martinez making his comeback tonight. Add Weaver and future Cy Young winner Jack Flaherty to the conversation and you have the best rotation in the NL.
Reason 7: Ray Lankford.
First off, it’s his birthday today and we would be remiss to not say happy birthday to greatest CF in Redbird history. Second, the Cardinals have finally done right by electing him to the Redbird Hall-of-Fame, thus lifting the Lankford curse upon the organization. This, my friends, is what you call karma. It is also science….Lankford is always the key, you’re just too blind to see.
So, there we have it folks. I know I changed some minds...and to all you trolls out there...you didn’t even read this far, but if you did, feel free to hit me up on the Twitters @Will_KSDK
Until next time, to quote the great Stephen Nations... “Always throw, always go.”