Cheap Seats

How many games do the Cardinals have to win to gain recognition from national media types?

Why is it that most people seem to believe the theory that it’s pitching and defense that wins championships ... but at the same time that the St. Louis Cardinals are lucky rather than good?

We get it. The Birds don’t score a lot of runs. But don’t discount the fact that they allow even fewer by the opposition.

The Cardinals (73-40) have the best record in baseball by five games. Yet when the national media talks about the best teams in baseball it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-50), the Kansas City Royals (68-54) and the New York Mets (62-52) that seem to get all the attention.

Recently there was a breathless story that asked who had the best pitching in the National League, the Mets or the Washington Nationals. Pardon? The Redbirds have the best team earned run average in baseball dating back to 1972.

Critics marvel about how the Cardinals can win so many games when they only score three runs a contest.

But, as former National Football League coach Bill Parcels famously said, you are who your record says you are.

I don’t care about how many of St. Louis’ wins are of the one run variety. This is a team built on pitching and defense. It may have a smaller margin for error, thanks to the loss of its number three and four hitters. But the wins all count the same.

So let opposing clubs be frustrated by 2-1 losses. Let people complain about the Cardinals hitters’ lack of power or the fact that the team doesn’t have a single regular with a batting average close to .300.Former Cardinals Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter had it right when they said that individual honors are nice. But that it’s team accomplishments, especially championships are what matter.