Cardinals-Royals: A Predictable St. Louis Sweep

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IJune 22, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Khalil Greene #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Watching a probable playoff team pound on the inept Kansas City Royals isn't much fun, and it is even less fun to write about.

When a pretty good squad beats a completely crappy pack of nobodies, there is no conflict, no inherent drama, no surprise. So, there really isn't much journalistic insight that can be extracted from the St. Louis Cardinals' 12-5 victory in Kansas City on Sunday.

This brutal beating of a baseball game pretty much spoke for itself, but here are a few things about it that might be considered worthy of attention.

1. LaRussa's 2500th Win

As of now, only two managers in Major League history have presided over more wins than Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. Ignoring all of his other accomplishments (and the multitudes of criticisms that could be levelled at him), this fact alone should make him an automatic entrant into the Hall of Fame.

2. Albert Pujols's Amazing Offensive Performance

Pujols wen 4-for-5 on Sunday, with two home runs, six RBIs, and a massive grand slam that should be a fixture of baseball highlight reels for years to come. The ball ended up hitting the roof of the newly constructed Royals Hall of Fame.

Of course, that development lead me to wonder, for such a historically awful ball club, what exactly does the Royal Hall of Fame consist of? Pine tar bats and a special exhibit devoted to the wisdom and clear judgement of Don Deckinger?

Because, to me, that would pretty much cover the only highlights of the Royals' pitiful existence.

Anyway, Pujols now leads the Majors in home runs and RBIs and, so far, seems to be the clear front-runner for yet another National League MVP Award.

3. Adam Wainwright

Am I alone in thinking that Wainwright, this season, isn't as strong as his good win-loss record would indicate? His sloppy technique is very frustrating to watch, and he has some downright awkward moments.

I mean, giving up five runs to the Royals should trigger some managerial alarms.

However, I've also noticed the Cards seem to hit better and score more runs whenever he is pitching.

4. The Bullpen

Four Cardinal middle relievers were used in one game, and not one of them walked anybody or gave up any unnecessary runs. That's a rarity this season!

5. Khalil Greene

After a depressing couple of months, the Cardinals' new third baseman pounded his third home run in three games, proving cynical sportswriters—like the one writing this article—wrong.

Unfortunately, Greene was taken out of the game after being hit in the leg by a pitch.

Let's all hope this incident doesn't trigger a new round of his ever-present anxiety problems.

The three humiliating defeats of Kansas City over the weekend cemented the Cardinals' lead in the Central Division.

On Monday night, they start a four game series against the Mets at Citifield. It will be interesting to see how the generally intimidating Mets pitching affects the hot streaks of Pujols and Greene.

No matter what happens, this week should be a little more interesting than the routine poundings of the Royals.