There is a big reason you have not seen much from this space this season. To put in bluntly, I’ve not been particularly pleased with what I have seen from the St. Louis Cardinals this season.
And that’s really upsetting.
Today’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates highlights what the St. Louis Cardinals have been like this season.
You get a decent start out of your starting pitcher. Sure, they may have you down by a run but you have a line-up full of guys with the potential to get you back in the game. Those guys battle and get you the lead. The pitching staff and defense work to maintain that lead. And then, the ninth inning comes. And you don’t know what you’re going to get.
They falter and you have to look at other options.
Brett Cecil? He was brought in to be a set-up option. He has been aboard the struggle bus all season and was seemingly turning things around until today. It was a complete regression to what he was at the start of the season when we were wanting our money back on him.
Matt Bowman? I really like him. How can’t you… Look! He’s really good at long relief or spot situations. He’d probably be a decent closer, but he’s got a role and he needs to play his part.
This is obviously something they need to be looking into at the deadline. They need a closer and more consistent relievers. But, they have other more pressing needs.
For starters, a top notch starting pitcher. One where you wouldn’t have to worry about the bullpen. This starter? He’s got this. We need that. It use to be Adam Wainwright. You catch glimpses of that guy every so often. But we also need consistency. And while Carlos Martinez has that capability – he’s had complete game shut outs and he struck out 4 in his All-Star game appearance – he too is not consistently there. I don’t know if this person is available. But it’s worth a shot to find him.
A bat. Or two. Specifically a guy that is feared when he comes to the plate. We do not have that guy this season. We have a bunch of scrappy dudes who scrap their way around the bases. Fine. That’s awesome. … Just don’t get caught stealing and then pout about it. Just stop that. … Sorry I’m not sorry about that, guys!
But seriously. Giancarlo Stanton will probably cost a lot to get. I’d like to think there is a bargain available whether it is him or Josh Donaldson. But seriously, just a dude that can hit a freaking baseball and not let hitting coach John Mabry get in his head. That’d be awesome. We do not have that right now and our team is suffering for it. Randal Grichuk has to be sent to the minors every year to get his head on straight about hitting. Same goes for poor Kolten Wong. Aledmys Diaz unfortunately is in the same boat now. Stephen Piscotty is going through a lot this season on the personal side – I’m just thankful he’s getting a 10 Day DL stint after pulling his groin Friday. It will possibly clear his head. The guy has been struggling mightily this year. Matt Carpenter is trying way to hard to be the hero this season – bad mental mistakes on the base path and getting into arguments with the ump over obvious strike calls. He looks like a Diva out there and it’s not pretty.
Jedd Gyorko is our best hitter. Do you hear me? Jedd Gyorko. And I love the guy! But he’s a utility guy on every other team. He’s our starting 3B. And usually hitting 4th. Oh and Paul DeJong? He’s our starting shortstop after starting the season in Memphis. He has been amazing, but it seems Mabes may have had a talk with him after the All-Star break. Or something. He’s not hitting like he was. He’ll probably figure it out. But it’s happening on a weekend it should not have.
And? I want Yadier Molina from the All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic. I want that guy to show up for a game. Serious Yadi is great and all, but I would love to see fun Yadi!
I’m not even mentioning several on the team.
They are a mess. I would love to blame this all on Mike Matheny, John Mabry and Derek Lilliquist. That would be the easy way out. It’s more than them. That whole chemistry thing some of you have complained that many are too concerned with is probably valid. It seems we have got something bad that is screwing with the team’s heart. They need to find that and get rid of it. Before next season anyway.
That said. After today’s game, the Cardinals are 44-47. Some how in third place behind the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, who are 46-45.
It doesn’t really look good for them to even get in the wild card this season.
I don’t want to see the Cardinals quit, though. It would be great for them to get someone at the deadline that we could keep around for a couple of seasons or more. Build on something. Get back to winning. This team has a lot of talent. It sucks to see them crap it away.
After last season’s utter disappointment, it hurts to see them suck more. But we can hope that the team will see this opportunity to fix what is broken.
Here’s hoping Mo and Girsh step up and fix it.