As we wake up this morning the St. Louis Cardinals (53-48, .525) are in a virtual three-way tie with the Milwaukee Brewers (54-49, .524) and Pittsburgh Pirates (52-47, .525) for 1st place in the NL Central.
There’s consistent, yet not cocky talk of the playoffs, and even the World Series in the clubhouse. The Cardinals are a group that truly seems to share a common approach and focus. No matter which player a reporter speaks to, a similar attitude comes across. They are businesslike, and the spectre of a tight race or the star power that pockmarks the locker room does not make this team overconfident. The Cardinals players remain level-headed, knowing to never get high or too low. Lance Berkman shrugs off a towering home run, saying “they all count the same.” David Freese didn’t let a long layoff deter him or get his spirits down.
The young players and the veterans preach the same mantras. Let’s do what it takes to make the playoffs, and keep the eyes planted on the goal of winning it all. The Cardinals lineup is carried by superstars, yet the starting pitching has been better than advertised. The bullpen has been more of an area of concern. rumours are rampant that St. Louis is in the market for one more starter to further solidify the rotation, and a true closer. The Cards have been linked to names like Heath Bell, who would fortify the back end of the pen and likely strengthen the rest of the relief corps in a chain reaction scenario. St. Louis has dealt with key injuries to some of its top hitters, and shaky relief work. Yet the team is still in position to take the NL Central crown. Tony La Russa is keeping his players on an even keel, and if reinforcements arrive soon, the Cardinals could indeed be the serious contender they openly profess to be.Last week the Cards visited New York for a three game set with the Mets. The Mets won the first two games of the series but St. Louis was not about to get swept on their way to Pittsburgh. Backed by a strong eight inning effort by Jake Westbrook and home run by Albert Pujols, the Cardinals took game three of the series 6-2. Scott Engel sat down with some Cardinals players and coaches during the three game set and talked about some of the individual and team successes.
The Interviews with Cardinals players and coaches are courtesy of RotoExperts.com and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio.
Albert Pujols goes one-on-one with Scott, as he covers a variety of topics. Listen as Pujols talks about his recent, and eye-opening return from the disabled list, and much more.
Lance Berkman discusses his surprising rebound year, and his place in a potent St. Louis lineup.
Matt Holliday is a Fantasy Sports enthusiast, and talks about how he reacts when Fantasy owners make him a topic of their discussions. He also discusses the team’s outlook as it vies for NL Central supremacy.
Hitting coach Mark McGwire gets into the cage with Scott and gives his views on the top standout sluggers on his team, while also sharing his takes on other key members of the lineup.
David Freese is healthy again and excited to be part of the NL Central summer jockeying for supremacy.
Jamie Garcia has been St. Louis’ most dependable starting pitcher. Garcia talks about his approach during his successful follow-up campaign to his breakout year in 2010.
Jon Jay has went from unheralded performer to an integral member of outfield and batting order. Scott shines the spotlight on a new Cardinals fan favourite.
You can check out an archive of all Scott Engel’s Player interviews here.
- MLB Power Rankings Week 17
You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike Cardano on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.
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