Cheap Seats

Cardinals at Phillies July 24

What a debut! Matt Holliday had four hits in his first game as a Cardinal, drove in a run, scored a run and stole a base to lead the Birds to an 8-1 beating of the hottest team in baseball.

Talk about your shots in the arm...

Albert Pujols was only 1-for-4, but he wasn't walked a single time. And, with the pressure off, Rick Ankiel had three hits and Ryan Ludwick chipped in a pair. Meanwhile, newly acquired infielder Julio Lugo played a nice second base and had a triple and a homer.

I really like the looks of this club now. The offense is not only much more dynamic. It is much more consistent from top to bottom. And while there was a lot of talk about the production Holliday and fellow mid-season trade acquisition Mark DeRosa bring to the table, it should be pointed out that they are both great team players and clubhouse guys.

It is not absurd to think that this could be a longterm arrangement. The Cardinals have a ton of money coming off the books and not a lot of holes to fill for 2010. If they brought Holliday and DeRosa back with the money they save from letting Troy Glaus, Khalil Greene go and getting Adam Kennedy and Scott Spiezio off the books, they would still have the $11.5 million they'll save from the expiring contracts of Joel Piniero and Todd Wellemeyer to address the back end of the pitching staff.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday.