Starting pitching. The name of the game. A bad pitcher could lose a baseball game single handedly. On the other hand, a good pitcher can win games. The Cardinals had a very young, but dominant starting rotation at the beginning of this past year. The thoughts of that changed quickly into the season as Jaime Garcia was injured in spring training, and #1 Adam Wainwright needed surgery after only his second start, losing him until the playoffs. There was no hope as a Cardinal fan to have good pitching when two of your starters are less than 22- years-old. The Cardinals once again did the impossible. Tyler Lyons pitched out of his mind, and Carlos Martinez was one of the best pitchers on the team for consistantly the entire year.
The amazing thing was John Lackey. He was playing way over what he was getting paid. He was the rock to the rotation all season long. Now, that he is with the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals have a very big hole to fill. They don’t just need to replace his skill, but they need to replace his consistency and his leadership. He is one of the sole reasons that the team with a young pitching staff could keep up so well. There are several pitchers on the market, but still no moves from the Cards.
-Photo by Flickr user The Rustic Victorian