By Patrick Kelly
Inconsistency is the word that could be used to not only describe the Cardinals this year, but also for a good part of last year. On one side of the pitching coin you have Daniel Ponce De Leon, who after going 0-3 with a 7.82 ERA was sent down to Springfield this past weekend. On the other side, you have the ageless veteran Adam Wainwright, who always seems to find his game year in and year out despite what father time thinks. Wainwright had another classic game with of course Yadier Molina behind the plate. It was Wainwright’s first complete game since July, 2016 and it helped the Cardinals avoid the sweep by the Cleveland Indians with a 7-2 win.
While the offense has been able to bail out the pitching now and again the Cardinals have allowed two or more runs in 21 of 24 games, only shutting out an opponent once. On the contrary, the offense has seemed to rarely be stopped with the only two games the Cardinals got one or no runs happening in the last week.
Saturday was a day that seemed to sum up what happens to the Cardinals if the offense’s back is pushed against the wall. The Redbirds were held to only four hits and despite the Cardinals throwing in some of their best young arms they weren’t able to weather the Indians storm. Alex Reyes eventually got the loss in the 12th inning after pitching two innings despite striking out three batters in his appearance.
The Cardinals had set themselves up nicely when their season was restarted after their sabbatical, but their play has gone down a bit, and with big doubleheaders on the horizon in a short time span they risk losing their spot in the divisional race. The Cardinals offense has found their stride and they are built deep, It’s now just a question if the starters and bullpen can get a few wins.