You can put it on the board … Damnit!
Everyone recognizes the slump by now. It’s pitching, hitting, and defense. Unmentioned is the mental aspect: swag, confidence, clutch. The Cardinals have so much potential, even championship quality. However, the missing ingredient is their approach.
Key clubhouse leaders are injured, à la Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Skip Schumaker. Leadership goes a long way in a downward spiral. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox present a scary team when confidence is down. Their swag is visible when they take the field. They have the luxury of a healthy A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, and Adam Dunn. Mike Matheny noticed it as well:
The Bullpen is an absolute train wreck. Mitchell Boggs has no idea where the ball is going with his whack mechanics, Marc Rzepczynski’s curveball is a hanging meatball, and Fernando Salas owns an ERA over 5 with opponents hitting .316 against him.
The defense in the 2nd inning was the difference Tuesday. David Freese was unable to turn a double play. Tyler Greene couldn’t haul in a soft line drive. Shane Robinson took a terrible read on Orlando Hudson’s triple. Giving extra outs in the big leagues is unacceptable.
It’s easy to say, but Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols’ absence are glaring. When the team was struggling in the past, they always had the best hitter in the game to rely on for big hits. Dave Duncan always seemed to have the right piece of advice to fix an ailing pitcher. Growing pains were a concern heading into 2012, and I think they’ve surfaced.
Things just aren’t clicking on all facets. Nobody is capitalizing on opportunities. The Redbirds are 3/21 with runners in scoring position during the 1-4 home stand. When a team gets 7 innings of 2 run ball from their ace, win the damn game.
Back to Tyler Greene. Please, somebody find a middle infielder more consistent than Greene. Sure, he had 2 hits Tuesday…he’s also hitting .217. Some saber metric dweeb certainly would throw a gem for a guy like Tyler. Take the bait…get some pitching.
I guess I’ll leave the rest of the rant to Waino, who pitched another gem in his return from Tommy John surgery.