Apr 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) looks on as his team plays the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh defeated St. Louis 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A lack of crack in the bats


Busch stadium was not the place to be this weekend. Three runs of offense and a bullpen that couldn’t stop blood with a first aid kit. Cardinal red was throughout the stadium, and by the seventh inning stretch today, there were lots of red seats to illustrate the point of the weekend.

The bullpen shuffle which has gone on all month is now proving to be insurmountable. Even when starters Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller do their job, the offense stalls. The result is tragic and boring baseball.  It is worse than a hockey or soccer game without any goals. Today two lefties treated the Cardinals lineup like roast beef under a heat lamp giving up only three hits.

Rookie hitting coaches John Mabry and Bengie Molina are juggling nearly an entire lineup that has slumped. Only Matt Adams is hitting over .300, and he is not active.

The Cards rank in the bottom tier of MLB teams in walks, on base percentage, and slugging. That says a great deal.  St. Louis is last in stolen bases but has over 100 runs batten in. There are major inconsistencies that will need to be worked out if this squad is to be something to remember in a positive light.

The bullpen shuffle that was created when Jason Motte went on the DL has not gotten any better besides a closer emerging. But, the former Redbird stopper and World Series Champion didn’t have any ill news after throwing yesterday.  Hopefully Motte’s funny bone continues to be a source of promise . However, nobody really knows when he will make the dreaded surgery decision.

The infield mixing and matching has not produced a ton of errors as I feared, and neither has the outfield. Overall the defense hasn’t been losing games, but the pen continues to cough up close games. Mark Rzepczynski, Mitchell Boggs and Fernando Salas are serving opponents averages all above .360 and their earned run averages are all over 7.

If May looks like April, or worse, the Birds on the Bat may be worn by some arms that are now throwing for the Redbirds in Memphis. With 14 wins already, and many of them from the road for the Cardinals, all could be rosy in a short time with some sizzling streaks and maybe even some power hitting from a power hitting lineup.

Oscar Taveras hit a homer today, maybe it is almost  time for a reality check.

Tags: St Louis Cardinals

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