Cheap Seats

No substitutes (Cardinals @ Pirates, May 13)

The next two weeks may be the key to the Cardinals' season.

It's fairly obvious, with a rash of injuries hitting hard, that the Birds have completely fallen on their faces, getting roughed up by Cincinnatti and then Pittsburgh.

I'm not making any excuses because the Cardinals still have enough weapons that they should be able to compete with some of the weak sisters of the National League. But it has hurt to lose Chris Carpenter, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Brendan Ryan... not to mention Troy Glaus who has been out all season.

The good news is that Carpenter, Ankiel and Ryan could be back in a week. Ludwick could be back in two. And we are a little more than two weeks away from finding out when Glaus might be back.

Meanwhile, the guys who are still healthy need to pick up the slack and make sure that the team is still in a decent position when reinforcements arrive.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker hit his first homer of the season...

Lowlight: Will the real Joel Pineiro please stand up. He followed his remarkable first month of the season with an utterly unremarkable second month.