Cardinals vs. Pirates (2-2)
Starting pitching: B.
Chris Carpenter was brilliant in his first start of the season, allowing only one hit seven innings. And we was just as dominant as the stats seem to indicate. Lohse had a very good start. Adam Wainwright battled on opening day but struggled with his control and command. Todd Wellemeyer was terrible.
Relief pitching: B
Jason Motte stumbled in his first crack at being the close, whether or not he officially holds the title. But the bullpen was largely pretty good with the exception of the Wednesday game. Hopefully Motte will get another chance very soon.
The Cardinals broke out the the bats in game two. But they barely scored enough runs to allow Carpenter to get a victory in the finale. Rick Ankiel, the Cardinals best hitter in the spring, has struggled since the start of the season. But pretty much everyone else is contributing including Chris Duncan, Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols... At least when the opposing pitcher isn't throwing around him.
The Cardinals fielding has been hit and miss so far with a revolving door at second and third base as well as in the outfield. Skip Schumaker has continued his spring training trend of struggling to turn the double play.
You'd like to see the Cardinals do better than a split with one of the weakest teams in baseball. But they are a team that will take some time to come together because there are so many new players and guys who are in unfamiliar roles. While they lack star power at second and third, they have lots of versatility there that will allow manager Tony La Russa to maximize the offense -- or defense -- late in games.