Fortunately, the Pirates and Reds have managed to often lose on days that the Cardinals lose, so St. Louis is still in first place.
But that doesn't excuse the Redbirds offense from taking the weekend off in Atlanta.
The Cardinals got a couple of really nice pitching performances from Adam Wainwright -- who gave up two earned runs despite not having his best stuff in the series opener Friday -- and Joe Kelly. But the offense has scored one run through two games. And that's just not acceptable.
While they've beaten the teams on the lower half of the totem pole, the have not yet proved themselves against the better half. At some point they need to make a statement against the above .500 clubs. And, with five games coming up against the second place Pittsburgh Pirates and then three against the third place Cincinnati Reds, now would be a pretty good time.
Realistically, if the Cardinals split the eight games with the two teams immediately behind them, they'd likely come home still in first. But if they could muscle up and take six of the eight games, they might finally start putting the division away. So it's disturbing to see them wilt against the Braves.
It's one thing to lose hard-fought games 6-5. But it's different to not be able to mount a single rally.