Cardinals 11, Giants 1: It Must Be in the Cards

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2008

I thought it was Game 5 of the '05 NLCS when Brad Lidge came in for the Astros. Albert Pujols hit a laser three-run blast to left field to help slaughter the Giants 11-1 on Friday night.

Pujols is a beast, plain and simple. He's a hitter's hitter. However, the game was not just about the "Pride of St. Louis."

Todd Wellenmeyer pitched a great game with seven innings pitched, one earned run, and six strikeouts.

Maybe this reliever from the cross-town rival Royals was let go too early. He's quickly making a name for himself as a force in the Cardinals rotation. 

"I always felt like I had it in me, and it was just a matter of getting innings at the Major League level," Wellemeyer said. "That's all I ever wanted. Be it out of the bullpen or starting, just to be able to go out there and play is huge for me."

He set the pace of the game immediately as he struck out the side and followed that up by retiring the side in the next inning. He worked for the outs but, he deserved them.  

However, I don't want to get ahead of myself here. After all, we are talking about the Giants, whose offense is more anemic than the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Regardless of what team they are playing it seems as though the Cardinals are playing with a chip on their shoulders. Could it be from all the "experts" slotting them in the bottom of the division? Maybe people just can't see how an 83-win team eeks into the playoffs and wins all the marbles? 

Their winning ways obviously stem from great coaching. Manager Tony LaRussa obviously brings an atmosphere of being prepared for the next opponent and taking what the opposition gives you, as well as taking each inning as a new chance.

Todd Wellenmeyer put that trait into his start last night.

"We actually all went in and had a meeting about it," he said. "Staying focused is the big thing. Don't think too far ahead. Every inning is a new inning. We're pitching so good through five, six innings. We want to make sure that everybody's still focused going into the seventh, eighth inning."

The Cardinals now have their 12th victory of the year. And they keep rolling along, taking on all comers. Could this be a classic clash of the immovable object vs. the unstoppable force?

Only time will tell.