By Patrick Kelly
Despite a sweep over the Miami Marlins to start the week, the Cardinals were in a skid ever since the loss of ace pitcher Jack Flaherty. Since losing Flaherty, the Redbirds are 3-10 and are falling deeper down the division standings after a sweep by the Chicago Cubs. The problem seems to be coming from multiple areas. While some of the offense has been adequate, those that need to be consistent all year seem to be faltering lately. Between the top four bats in the Cardinals order, no one is hitting over .245 in the last 13 games.
It has become clear that this Cardinals squad is not as talented as fans probably thought. In fact, the way the Cardinals should be playing this year seems to be how the rival Cubs have been playing. With a team that still includes a championship core, they have received timely hitting from young players coming up and while their pitching hasn’t been superb, it has been enough to win games. Meanwhile, after losing Flaherty, the Cardinals went into a tailspin. While they achieved the sweep of the Marlins, that is not something that should be read into too much. Prior to the sweep by the Cubs, their play before that was also subpar.
If the Cardinals want this season to be salvaged, they will need to look to the outside for help. The rotation and bullpen have shown they can’t give enough and with the amount of injuries, the addition of an arm or two save the season if they are able to perform. The Cardinals did see a bit of a boost in the previous series with Paul Goldschmidt performing well, tying the game on Tuesday and then walking it off in the ninth. The Cardinals will continue to need that kind of dominance in their big hitters or they will find themselves in the middle of the division hunt for most of the year.