The Cards lost seven games in a row (Including the infamous Scooter Gennett game…Dang you Scooter!) and now have won three in a row thanks to a sweep of the Phillies. Ride that roller coaster baby!
A few thoughts as I try to catch up on blogging.
First, we’re lucky to play in the NL Central.
The Cardinals are currently 29-32, 3 games under .500. In any other division, that would put us waaaaaaaaaaaaay behind the division leader. In the NL Central, though, that only puts us 2.5 games behind division-leading Milwaukee, who sit in first at 33-31, just 2 games over .500. The whole division is bunched together, with last place Pittsburgh just 4 games out of first themselves.
Second, the rotation started to show some cracks during that losing streak.
Mike Leake got hit, Adam Wainwright started the Gennett game, etc. I don’t really want to go over it all, but the point is, it wasn’t pretty. Even Carlos Martinez struggled, for him, giving up 4 runs in a game for the first time since April. The question now is: Was it a new trend, or was it a fluke? In the sweep of the Phillies, Michael Wacha, Martinez and Wainwright were solid. The caveat here is that is was the Phillies. The Phightin’ Phils are 21-41, 20 games under .500. A better test of whether the struggle was a fluke or not is coming up starting today, as we face division leading Milwaukee next.
Third, either way, the pitching needs help.
Some players in the lineup are producing, like Kolten Wong, Jedd Gyorko and Tommy Pham, but others we expected to rely on are struggling, like Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty and Aledmys Diaz. I expected a regression from Diaz, but the other two were expected to be key pieces in the lineup. We need Piscotty to be the solid all-around producer he was last year. As for Fowler, well, when he was a Cub, Joe Maddon famously said of him “When he goes, we go” or something like that. Well right now, he ain’t going, and we ain’t going.
Then there’s Matt Carpenter. Carp is hitting .223, obviously a disappoint, but he also leads the team with 11 homers and 32 RBI’s, and has a .344 OBP, which is solid, even if it’s low for him.
Bottom line is the offense needs to pick it up, because if the pitching shows any more cracks, we’re screwed with the offense in its current state.
As always, thanks for reading.