Jay blasts one

Is Hope On The Horizon?


 

In my first Redbird Rants Article I noted that there are several positives to look at when analyzing the Cardinals 2012 season.  As the dog days of summer begin, the days are longer and hotter.  The same can’t be said right now of the very cold St. Louis Cardinals.

Aside from an unlikely complete game masterpiece from Jake Westbrook, the Cardinals have been reeling, with just 3 series wins since May 9.  Let’s hope that a weekend series with the Royals breathes life into their bats as well as their bullpen, because the games to follow are tough, with several divisional tilts until their next series with the Cincinnati Reds that begins on July 13.  I’m very cautiously optimistic, but if the St. Louis Cardinals can somehow find a way to breathe life into the team, they might just have a chance to wrest first place away from the Reds.  Again, let me stress the fact that I’m cautiously optimistic.

Allen Craig

Photo Courtesy of AP

 

Where do the woes stem from?  My initial thought is the middle of the St. Louis Cardinal lineup, more specifically of late, Allen Craig.  I hate to say it, because he’s one of my favorite players on the team, but let’s look at the facts.  Since June 8, he has just 2 RBI.  In the Detroit Tigers series, he managed 1 hit in 12 at bats, while stranding an alarming 10 runners.  Some say his wrist soreness is a lingering issue, and I’ve got to believe them.  Just an eye test says that there’s got to be something that is bringing about the drop in batting average (from .345 June 1 to currently .311).

 

 

 

Hope may be on the horizon though.  Both Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter were activated today.  Jon Jay has had a strong 3 for 7 performance at the Triple-A club, the Memphis Redbirds.  Of those 3 hits, one was a homer, and another a triple.  Both will bring some added depth that will allow Allen Craig to return to 1st base, and hopefully provide a much needed rejuvenation for the Cardinal bats.

 

 

 

Berry celebrates the St. Louis Cardinals misery

As for the pitching staff, they certainly can’t be let off the hook either.  Victor Marte cost the St. Louis Cardinals the game yesterday.  His unimpressive line was 15 pitches, 3 hits, 1 hit batter, a walk-off hit given up to Quintin Berry, and 1 stinging loss.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t like the image of Berry celebrating on the Busch Stadium grass.  Maybe that’s enough to wake the sleeping giant, because the current ERA of the bullpen sits at 4.7!  That’s totally unacceptable for any team that hopes to be playing postseason baseball come October.  I’d think that a move of some sort would have to be made by management if the Cardinals hope for that headache to go away.

With Joe Kelly pitching tonight, and Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn to follow there’s hope on the horizon for this weekend’s series.  If Kelly can keep his pitch count down and go a solid 5 or 6 innings, the Cardinals should take the first game.  If Wainwright’s recent groove on the mound can continue, there’s no reason to think that the St. Louis Cardinals can’t also take game 2.  Lynn losing should be completely out of the question, as he hadn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start since mid-May before his latest 5-run outing.  All that said, I still remain cautiously optimistic at the Cardinals chances to win the weekend series.  The recent feel around the team seems inexplicably one of self doubt and hopelessness, but I’m hoping that with a little luck all that will turn around, and the St. Louis Cardinals can break past the .500 barrier and close out June and the first few weeks of July with a torrid pace, so that when Cincinnati Reds come knocking, the Cardinals will stand ready.

I just have to believe it can happen!  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a fan.  After all, fan is short for fanatic, and I’m certainly in that number.  Call me crazy, but I believe in this Cardinal team, and as long as they’re within striking distance, I’ll remain optimistic.  Let’s stand by our Redbirds, and cheer them on harder than ever this weekend.  They’re going to need it!

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Tags: Adam Wainwright Allen Craig Busch Stadium Cincinnati Reds Jake Westbrook Joe Kelly Jon Jay Kansas City Royals Lance Lynn Matt Carpenter Quintin Berry Redbird Rants St Louis Cardinals Victor Marte

  • http://yardsellr.com/yardsale/John-Weitzman-124454 johnwvideo

    I totally agree with you on Craig, he also is one of my favorite, I look at him as having some Albert type years ahead of him.. There is something wrong though. You can see it in his face at the plate.
    Something is not right, and Matheny BETTER get him out of the 4 hole, maybe put him back into 2 hole where he will see better pitches.. They are walking Beltran to get to  Craig, that has to stop..
     
    JJ is a plus, this kid will play shallow and as small as he is, he hears the sound of the ball off the bat and gets GREAT jumps, hence you can feel comfortable he will run down a ball. He is no power threat “YET” but he can spray that ball all over the field..
     
    I cant blame Marte for loosing that game as much as Matheny, The MOMENT he gave up those back to backs he should have been pulled. Matheny left him in to long like he does many times. Marte is still to young and inexperienced, so what does he do, hit the next guy..
     
    Matheny still has a lot to learn about match ups , He used Boggs for one guy and then brings in Rep as the lefties and he gives up a hit., I would have stuck with Boggs and not wasted him..
     
    I think Kelly can go six , he seems to keep his cool, I really liked the way he handled that fake triple play and still got out of it.. But he is not the answer. Its up to the offense to give KC there pay back in FULL.. Hopefully Waino and Lynn will keep them in check..
     
    We have JJ back and Skip, with Carp so we can look more like an American league Line up this weekend  They just need those clutch hits, on top of there regular hitting.. NO leaving 10 to 12 men on base.. bring them all home..

  • JABenoit01

    It sure looks like they listened, huh?!  I really liked what I saw out of the offense yesterday.  I’d liked to have seen more than the runs that they got, because most of them came in the first few innings, but it was still great to watch.
     
    Something Kyle Lohse said the other day really stuck out to me, and I hope he’s right.  He said something along the lines of — our offense has been really frustrated lately, and God help the team that is on the wrong end of our crooked number, because that’s when we’ll get right.
     
    I believe the Cardinals are slowly coming around, and Matheny won’t waste Boggs like that again.  I won’t be surprised if he does more than his fair share of tinkering now and then, but I think he’s also far too experienced with baseball to keep making the same mistakes.
     
    As for Craig, I think just the comfortability of being back at 1st will be good.  They also got Matt Adams some valuable time, and sent him back down just in time.  I believe that he was costing the team a little bit, but the experience he did have in those few weeks will be invaluable to him when he comes up again.
     
    I played baseball for a while, and as I’m sure with anyone, the players like routine, and consistency.  Hurt players disrupts that chemistry and routine, and I don’t think the severity of that can ever be overstated.  Now that they’ve got these guys back, let’s seem them put a few solid games up there, and get out of KC with a sweep.
     
    Thanks for the FB add, and keep those comments coming.  Tell your friends about us too!

  • http://yardsellr.com/yardsale/John-Weitzman-124454 johnwvideo

    To true, now a day later, they made KC pay last night.. However like you, I feel they went flat after the 4th, though they still hit , there clutch hitting stopped.. That CANT happen, technically they should have won 16 -3, Just keep pounding them runs in..
    I take it though..
    Kelly again last night showed no fear when in trouble which he was every inning.. He got out of it.. Though I still worry, its not like Carp with a man on 3rd and no outs, you just dont worry about him.. My fear is, will he hold up and maintain NO FEAR in a close game.. If so, I have to say, unless Miller can get out of that “head play his mind is doing” and Listen and learn then I say, he becomes tradeable ONLY for a player they can resign.. He yet may only be another Rasmus.. But give him a chance..
     
    Now we have Greene, just when you want him off the team, he produces, though it was a cushion, I want to see him hit with its clutch.. He was the rally killer in the first inning.. Defense is way to erratic, mostly poor then makes a great play.. What do you do with a guy like this ? 
     
    Lets see what they can do tonight, I just hope they can continue to hit hit hit.. With Lynnn and Waino lets kick some KC ass for payback..