A Shot in the Arm: Birds' Hurlers Have Been Dominant

Craig BrownCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 9:  Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 9, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 2-1.  (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals' improbable rebound from a dismal early May has yielded five straight wins, a three-game sweep of their bitter rival Chicago Cubs, and taking the first two games against the fading Kansas City Royals.

With the big bats of Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick still on the rack, the Cardinals have turned to small ball and strong starting pitching to revive their team.

In their last five games, the Birds on the Bat have outscored their opponents 18-2. 

While 18 runs in five games is not earth-shattering offensive productivity, yielding only two runs is outstanding.

Through Saturday's game, the starting pitching staff had yielded only one run in 36-2/3 innings, while the bullpen has allowed only one run in eight-and-one-third innings.

Through the 36-2/3 innings of one run ball, the starters have also allowed only 19 base hits. That's an average of only four hits per nine innings. 

Having gone through the five-man rotation once with each pitcher trying to out-duel his teammate from the game before, Joel Pineiro will try to keep the momentum going in the finale vs. the Royals tomorrow.