Battle Tested

Redbirds confront adversity for first time 2012.

Just 20-15 overall…

After a hot start through 31 games to start their 2012 campaign, the St. Louis Cardinals have lost 4 straight and weaknesses have surfaced. The dropout of the starting pitching is alarming. Now, we are talking about two weeks, but several starters have regressed to their career tendencies. Could we REALISTICALLY expect Kyle Lohse to pitch as an ace for 30 starts? No. The rotation owns an ungodly 2.57 ERA through April. In May it sailed to 4.38, which ranks 13th in the National League. The starters are also leaving a ton of work for the bullpen.

Workload…

Through May 14th, with just 14.2 more innings, the bullpen would exceed their total workload for the month of April (56.2). Their increase from April to May in base runners allowed per nine innings is substantial, jumping from 8.74 (best rate in NL) all the way up to 15.0 which ranks 2nd to last. The entire staff has allowed nearly four more baserunners per game (9.66 up to 13.88). The problem is obvious: pitching. Starters must pitch deeper into  games to turn around this 4-7 slide.

Realistically…

Adam Wainwright will be fine, but he’s still a while away from dishing out the 7-8 innings per start he did before his elbow blew out. Jaimie Garcia CONTINUES to tease us with his talent. His strong start has once again faded. Lance Lynn is 6-1, but how long can we expect him to be top dog? And is it even fair to ask someone in his first full season as a big league starter to be the top dog? Kyle Lohse had his typical DOMINANT April, and expect a roller coaster ride with Lohse, whose career ERA is 4.58. A major measure for a strong starting pitcher is their ability to stop a losing streak. Adam Wainwright did it earlier this year to end a 3 game skid in Houston, pitching his best game of the season with 7 IP’s, 1 ER, and 7 strikeouts en route to a 8-1 victory. Lohse has failed to pitch past 5 innings since 4/28. The starters need to find the workhorse level that made the team successful in April.

Offensively…

The offense is averaging more runs and hitting for a higher average with RISP in May than April. While all aspects of a team deserve some blame for any prolonged losing streak, the offense has produced. Averaging 6 runs a game should win the majority of ballgames. 

Somehow those Red Legs are lurking…

The most disturbing part of the recent slump is the standings. Seeing the Cincinnati Reds only 1.5 games back is pathetic. Two costly getaway games in April, both losses with mainly backups, are the difference between a 4-2 record and a 6-0 record against the biggest divisional contender. Also, the abysmal 3-4 record against the piece of shit Chicago Cubs is completely inexcusable. Great teams beat up bottom feeders, and the Cards have failed against their most bitter rival. That should be at least 5-2 or 6-1, and instead two walk-off wins in Chicago and a fumbled game last night have soiled that opportunity to rack up the important divisional victories.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

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