Manager Mike Matheny recognizes the Cardinals don't have two of the major ingredients of their offense in camp. But he's not using the absences of right fielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina as an excuse for a sputtering offense that was shut out for the fourth time in seven games Sunday in a 6-0 loss to lowly Miami at Roger Dean Stadium. It was the Cardinals' fifth shutout loss of the spring. "I hate it. I hate it in spring training," Matheny said of the dearth of hitting. "I hate looking up there and seeing zeroes when I see the kind of offense we have." The Cardinals have 112 runs in the spring, or an average of 5.3 a game. I'm guessing Matheny would be happy with that in the regular season, which is just two weeks away.
The Cardinals donned green jerseys and hats Sunday to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. Not a great look, festive as it might have been. Seeing the Marlins' teal uniforms for an entire season would be a bit much.
Time is winding down here. The return flight to St. Louis is Monday, and I hear snow and rain could be in a chilly forecast. I think I'll call News-Democrat management and see whether we can extend the trip by, oh, another week or so. That would provide time to get those Illinois temperatures a little closer to the 77 degrees that accompanied the first pitch Sunday.
A return trip to Wahoo's in Stuart was the plan Saturday night. Proximity to the hotel was the reasoning, but the expansive --not expensive --menu also was a lure. Fish tacos, black beans and a Caesar salad extended my winning streak on dinners to four.
-- David Wilhelm