I'm probably wrong. In fact, I hope I am wrong. But it just seems, from the outside looking in, that the St. Louis Cardinals have a bunch of guys on the roster who don't really get all that excited about playing baseball.
I hadn't really paid attention until the Arrival of Oscar Taveras, who smiled throughout his debut and seemed to be aware of the fact that he's the life of the party. They go about their business and I'm not saying that they don't work hard. But for too many of the Cardinals players it seems like it's only business, no passion.
Peter Bourjos doesn't seem to relish the competition of fighting for job of being the starting centerfielder. He had the inside track. The job was his to lose. But when Jon Jay got his chance to shine, Bourjos completely folded.
Kolten Wong flashed some signs of excitement when he returned from a wake-up call trip to Class AAA Memphis. He electrified the crowd with his daring play to score on a pop-up to second and with his multi-hit games. But he's back to painting by numbers and playing less to win and more not to lose. No hit and runs. No stolen bases. A gaffe in the field Sunday that opened the door for the San Francisco Giants when he bobbled the ball once to lose a chance at a double play and then a second time to eliminate the possibility of getting one out.
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Burned by a couple of ground balls that found holes and a flare over the infield, the botched grounder to Wong caused starting pitcher Lance Lynn's shoulders to sag. Only one game removed from the best start of his career, he was primed to take a beating. Another guy who doesn't seem to enjoy the competition is Lynn's rotation mate Shelby Miller.
Nobody in the bullpen seems to be having a good time right about now.
I'm not sure if the Cardinals players are down because of the losing or if they're just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But something has to change. Not only has St. Louis dropped four of their six games on the home stand. But when the Redbirds are losing lately, they're losing badly.