Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

July 27, 2013

St. Louis: MLB's perpetual motion machine

Cardinals just keep moving through NL

For the past week and a half, I've been trying to balance the tables for the column I wrote on Travis Wood and the All-Star Game by penning one about the St. Louis Cardinals.

Lest I seem biased, I keep running into the same problem: it's pretty hard to say anything substantially interesting about the Cardinals.

That's not to say I dislike them, they're bad, etc. It's just much easier to write about things that are bad or someone controversial.St. Louis, however, is the closest thing to a treadmill, going at the same speed for hours on end.

Really, as a fan, could you want anything more than a perfect perpetual motion machine?By almost any account, the Cardinals are the best team in baseball this season.

Most wins entering Friday? Check. Fewest losses entering Friday? Check. But the number that really stands out, that really shows how good St. Louis has been is their run differential.

For their 99 games, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 142, the only triple digit positive mark in baseball.For good measure, the run differentials of the other first-place teams entering Friday: Boston (+88), Detroit (+99), Oakland (+59), Atlanta (+75) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (+4).

That's true dominance, and a number that generally shows what to expect out a team on any given day. The Cardinals pound the baseball with authority and have a pitching staff that keeps runs off the board better than all but one team in baseball. The team doesn't have any cracks or weaknesses, seemingly.

Even the ones that crop up don't seem to matter much. Chris Carpenter goes down at the beginning of the year, but Shelby Miller comes in and pitches well beyond his years. Jaime Garcia gets hurt, and a combination of Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha, John Gast and Tyler Lyons pick up the slack to form one servicable fifth starter.

Text Only
Sports
  • Altamont downs Charleston 6-2

    At least it’s the last year of the Ohnesorges for Altamont’s opponents.
    That’s the sister duo of Madison and Lauren that have been top athletes at Altamont High School. The pair produced once again in a 6-2 win over Charleston at Karch Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • ZGard1.jpg Pitcher's duel: Gardewine leads St. Anthony over Teutopolis 1-0

    Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
    It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-22Ziegler.jpg Ziegler's choice an easy one

    Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
    The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vonderheid.jpg Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0

    Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
    It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
    “They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
    The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever

    I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
    It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
    What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • White2.jpg Indians' bats too much for Eagles

    An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Schultz.jpg Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4

    Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cutts.jpg Cutts carries Cumberland to 4-3 win

    His first three hits were no doubters, but Blayke Cutts’ fourth hit on Thursday was a high bouncer over the glove of Olney third baseman Peyton Billington to win in a walk-off.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McNamee.jpg McNamee: Questions about EIU's Jimmy G

    The typical phrase used in situations like this, I think, is: “He shows potential.” I may not have believed anything I was saying, but at least he was in line to be a four-year starter; at least, he had that.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Booker.jpg Pirates push past Flaming Hearts 10-2

    It took a bit for the bats to warm up, but Cumberland made the necessary adjustments at the plate and took down Effingham 10-2 Wednesday afternoon.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.