I've been reminded a few times over the past few days that the St. Louis Cardinals have been facing a pretty tough schedule -- not to mention a pretty tough run of pitchers -- over the last week and, subsequently, they should be forgiven for their total lack of offense and the loss of four of their last five games.
I thought the Redbirds fancied themselves a lock for the postseason and another run at a World Series title. Did no one inform them that, by definition, they'd have to beat the best teams with the best pitchers to have success in the playoffs?
The Cardinals left 21 runners on base Tuesday night against the Giants. How can you get shut out when 21 runners are stranded, especially when four of them were left with the bases loaded and no outs.
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Geez. Allen Craig could have hit into a double play and still cracked the scoreboard. Instead, he and Jon Jay struck out to produce nothing and Daniel Descalso meekly ended the opportunity by making the final out.
I really felt bad for rookie starting pitcher Carlos Gonzales who was forced to be perfect by the complete lack of support.
He pitched pretty well the first couple of innings. But immediately after his team's bases loaded meltdown, Gonzales was touched for three runs and the downhill slide seemed inevitable.
I'm not sure what the answer is to the Birds' disturbing offensive inadequacies. But this team seems to have gone completely off the rails. Something better be done quickly or the playoffs are going to be a pipe dream.