The Cardinals on Sunday dropped a second consecutive disappointing game to the Cubs and dropped a completely unacceptable 7 1/2 games behind the NL Central leading Reds.
I don't know what general manager John Mozeliak's trade deadline intentions are at this point. But, while 2011 taught us that there's still a chance of a comeback, I think it's pretty crystal clear that the Redbirds shouldn't shed prospects to try to bolster this team.
What's the point?
The talk is that the Cardinals adding pitching. But it's not the bullpen that is to blame for the Redbirds losing 3-2. Where is the offense?
The Birds aren't going to get any better until the heart of their lineup starts to hit again.
- Leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal hit .315 in April and .349 in May. Then he hit .179 in June and .247 in July. When the Cardinals desperately needed a win on Sunday, he's sitting on the bench getting a day of rest.
- Second place hitter Jon Jay has never recovered his stroke since he separated his shoulder in a collision with the outfield wall. He hit .314 before the All-Star Game but since then he's hit only .213.
- Clean-up hitter Carlos Beltran was hitting .310 on July 1. Since then he's hitting .187 with a .222 on base percentage.
You can't replace those guy by trades. That's the core of the team. The bottom line is that the Cardinals' only hope to make the playoffs is to have the players they already have play better.
I'd really hate to see the Birds give away Joe Kelly and Matt Adams to improve the bullpen when they look like they'd finish third in the NL Central if Chris Carpenter suddenly discovered he could pitch even better lefthanded than he did in his previous career as a righty.
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