The St. Louis Cardinals haven't been playing like the defending National League champions. They look a lot more like the team that lost four straight to the Boston Red Sox, than the team that won 105 games, last season.
Cardinal fans are hoping the St. Louis Cardinals can rebound from a very lackluster performance by the Cardinals in their final season home opener series at Busch Stadium against the Phillies.
The Cardinals begin a two game set with the Reds tonight with a day off on Thursday before they head back out on the road Friday to Milwaukee for a three game series against another one of their Central Division rivals.
The Cardinals are batting just .229 as a team this season and was embarrassed this weekend by losses to the Phillies by a combined score of 23-8.
Pitching is suppose to be one of the Cardinals strong suits, but so far there is some reason for concern, for the fans in Cardinal Nation. Last season's Comeback Player of Year & Staff Ace Chris Carpenter, lasted only 3 1-3 innings Sunday, giving up eight runs and 10 hits.
Baseball like it ought to be?
In his Cardinals' debut, Mulder had an unspectacular outing, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits in six innings of work.
A lot of Cardinal fans were concerned about the trade of RHP Dan Haren and C Daric Barton to Oakland for Mark Mulder. The big question and concern was how will Mulder rebound after a 6.13 ERA in the second half last year.
Cardinals' Manager Tony LaRussa insists Mulder is one of the premier starters in the majors. Cardinal fans will get a first hand look at their new staff ace, Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday's game is a business man's special with a start time of 12:10 p.m.
GAME DAY NOTES:
STANDINGS (through April 10): Reds - 3rd place (tied), 1 1/2 GB, NL Central. Cardinals - 5th place, 2 GB, NL Central.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The right-hander allowed only one single in 6 1-3 innings Thursday as the Reds beat the Mets 6-1. He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Marquis (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Marquis will make his second start of the season today. Jason allowed one run and nine hits, struck out four and walked one over six innings in his season debut at Houston Wednesday. The right-hander went 9-5 with a 3.76 ERA in 18 starts at Busch Stadium last year.
Marquis posted a career-high 15 wins last season while surpassing the 200 innings plateau. The Cardinals will need that same type of production from the young right hander if they are to return to the World Series.
Jason went 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts vs. CIN last season.
The Cardinals are hoping Marquis can get a good another good outing in today. He struggled in spring training, with a 3-2 record and a 5.61 ERA in six Grapefruit League starts.
WHO'S HOT: Cardinals leadoff hitter and shortstop, David Eckstein is hitting .353 with a .476 OBP.
WHO'S NOT: Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina is still looking for his first hit of the season.