Game 11: The Blowout Hidden In a Shootout

A periodic check in on the Cardinals season through the spectrum of a single game.

Game 11: The Blowout Hidden In a Shootout.

The Cardinals biggest offensive output to date was marred by an equally offensive performance by every single pitcher the team employs.

8 runs and 3 HR’s is usually enough to beat a line-up that was created merely to exist. The Diamondbacks are neither positioned well into the future or a veteran club hanging on to past glory. They are a team with only one purpose- to play out the string. They’re instantly forgettable and neither on the come or the go. They play in mostly empty stadium in a mostly apathetic baseball city. Their exploits are in a vacuum where raw emotion doesn’t exist around them.

It’s probably a pretty nice life to lead. The ultimate slacker dream; to hide in plain sight.

And while the final score was a 5 run separation. And while the Cardinals did creep within 1 run on multiple occasions. And while we can take solace in the fact that the bats are waking from a winter slumber… the longer 2011 extends, the more I’m reminded of 2010.

This isn’t to say that the season can’t be salvaged. You’re right, it is early. But the one takeaway from 2010 that really sticks in my head is this feeling of, well, blah.

The Cardinals weren’t bad, per se. They did win more games than they lost. But they never got into that zone of momentum where it can carry you to bigger heights to drag you to the breaking point. They maintained this purgatory state for months on end and no one could really get too worked up about the damn season either way.

I was sure that 2010 was an aberration.  That the malaise that coated every game and every week and every month was an accidental fall into the ranks of the D-Backs or Orioles or Royals where the games are to be played but not enjoyed. Just played sans emotion. Sans meaning.

11 games into 2011 and the funk that marred ’10 hasn’t been disinfected. The spark that a team either has or doesn’t looks to be missing again from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Maybe it’s not fair to charge this new group of teammates with immediately eradicating the memory of a lost season 2 weeks into the new one. But it’s also not fair to say it’s way too early to start looking for trends.

Maybe things will change, but through game 11 I think we’re re-evaluating what needs to be done for this team to be championship caliber again. And maybe that includes letting go of players that were previously thought un-letting-go-able.

Maybe.

Oh, and props to Pauly D for letting us use the term blowout withot a lawsuit.

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