July 16, 2012: Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire (left) and manager Mike Matheny (22) look on during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Ups and Downs


Going into the All Star Break, Cardinals fans had to be feeling optimistic going 5-2 the week leading up to the break.  Unfortunately, the break has brought misery for us all.  The Cardinals have struggled to find offense lately and it is a problem that has existed since the beginning of May.  Getting on base hasn’t been the problem.  Driving guys in, on the other hand, is another story.

June 1, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but as a Cardinal fan, it’s frustrating watching this team play everyday.  Lately, it seems as though they are always behind in games, even when there is no score.  Maybe I’m just being overly pessimistic and using this article as an excuse to vent my frustrations.  That could very well be the case.  When a team has a starting lineup where seven of the eight starting position players have the ability to hit .300 or better, it’s easy to expect a team to be productive.  For the most part, the team has been productive all season, except when it comes to getting the big hit.  The worst part about it is they’ve made some pretty mediocre pitchers look great (i.e. Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Carlos Zambrano, Jeff Francis).

Fortunately for the Cardinals, the Reds will be without their first baseman and MVP candidate Joey Votto for the next three or four weeks due to a torn meniscus.  This will give them the opportunity, if they can put together a hot streak, to make up some ground in the division.  Let’s face it, the Reds are just not the same team without Joey Votto in the lineup.  The addition of Lance Berkman should help the club whenever he is back to feeling comfortable and healthy.

It’s not really time to panic if you’re a Cardinals fan, but you should at least be concerned.  It isn’t an easy fix because other than second base, there really isn’t a spot in the lineup where any player on the trading block would be an upgrade.  The starting pitching has been great lately and the bullpen seems to be improving.  Signing Brian Fuentes and calling up Trevor Rosenthal could end up paying off down the stretch, but there really aren’t any kind of moves that could be made to help the offense.  Each position player on the roster has the ability to be a key contributor.  The problem is they are all hitting a cold streak at the same time (other than Yadier Molina).

I am anxious to see what the Cardinals will be looking to do from now until the trade deadline, but it seems to me that it would be best to ride out the struggles with the current roster they have and hope that the team snaps out of it.  What else could they do?

Tags: Brian Fuentes Carlos Zambrano Featured Homer Bailey Jeff Francis Joey Votto Lance Berkman Mike Leake Popular St Louis Cardinals Trevor Rosenthal Yadier Molina