Sure, it’s nice that the St. Louis Cardinals took two of three games against the Milwaukee Brewers.
And it can be argued that winning four of seven games on the club’s recently completed road trip is a good thing.
Unfortunately, the reality of the Redbirds’ current situation is that winning four out of seven isn’t good enough. Especially when the team was facing a virtually helpless Milwaukee Brewers squad that it pounded in the previous two games with its most consistent pitcher on the mound.
The Cardinals desperately need to make a statement that they’ve got their act together by putting together a winning streak to put some pressure on the front-running Chicago Cubs.
It doesn’t seem that winning four out of seven is going to be enough to allow the Birds, mired at two games over .500 nearly a third of the way through the season, to make up a 9.5-game deficit.
It’s high time that this club reeled off six wins in seven games or something similar to get back in the hunt.
It’s absurd that at team which leads Major League Baseball in runs scored seems to far to frequently give the offense the day off.
It’s absolutely maddening that the Cardinals fare well against the likes of Jake Arrieta, Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer -- and then get their brains bashed in by a guy who entered the game with a 5.40 earned run average. Zach Davies shut St. Louis out for eight innings after making it as far as six innings pitched only twice this season. In all those previous short stints, he gave up at least two runs.
Saying that the Cardinals have a tough time with lefties and junk ballers is just an excuse. If those guys were any good, they wouldn’t have losing records and ERAs in the fives or sixes. If someone else can hit them, St. Louis ought to be able to as well.
By failing to win Wednesday over a lousy team, the Birds put additional pressure on themselves to win against tougher teams. They have six games in the next nine against the pitching-heavy San Francisco Giants and, after a series with the Cincinnati Reds, they travel to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates. I’m sure all Cardinals fans remember what a disaster it was the last time the local nine traveled to Pittsburgh.
Just as surely as this team is running out of games as it attempts to get its act together, it is running out of excuses.
Sure, there are shortcomings: Injuries, bad defense, struggles of the starting pitchers... But this is fundamentally the same club that won 100 games last year. So there is no reason this club shouldn’t be significantly better than it is in the standings.
I’m not sure if the Cardinals have lost their killer instinct, if they’ve lost a step to age or if they’re just have gotten a little bit too cute with the cutting of corners when it comes to the roster.
Whatever the reason, we’ve reached the time where this team needs to show what it’s made of.