To say that the St. Louis Cardinals are in a scoring drought would be an understatement.
To use a few old tired cliche’s: The Cardinals couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. They couldn’t hit the broadside of barn, even if they were standing inside of it. Right now, the Cardinals are so cold it’s a surprise nobody has suffered frostbite.
You get the point, right? It’s been a bad stretch.
The Cardinals suffered a shutout loss last night at the hands of Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Lincecum went eight innings allowing just six hits and no earned runs. He did walk two, but also struck out six.
St. Louis was only able to get four hits off “The Freak”, and as a whole, the Cards were only able to poke five out onto the field of play. Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina both went 1-for-3 at the plate, while Jhonny Peralta, Matt Adams and Allen Craig went a pedestrian 1-for-4 against San Francisco.
Nobody was able to knock in any RBIs, so unfortunately for rookie starter Marco Gonzales; that meant no run support. Even the best starters in baseball need something to work with in regard to offensive production, so to put this loss on Gonzalez would be foolish. With that said, the young lefty has got to be better.
Gonzales pitched just 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs, including a 2-run home run off the bat of Giants’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the fourth. The rookie also walked four, and he left the game with an abysmal 9.64 ERA.
“It was real simple,” Gonzales told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. “The first time through the lineup, I was able to command all my pitches for strikes and get ahead of hitters. The second time through, I just started leaving some things up. That’s kind of what you look for as a pitcher to be able to throw your whole arsenal for strikes. It wasn’t up to my standard, but I’m hoping to learn from that.”
Gonzales may have not pitched up to his standard, but it’s the lack of run support that should have the Cardinals worried right now.
In fact, St. Louis hasn’t scored a run since the third inning in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, on June 28th. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 24 innings in a row without a single run crossing the plate.
That has to change, and it’s going to have to happen tonight with right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (5-4) and his 3.96 ERA on the mound for San Francisco.
St. Louis counters with Adam Wainwright (10-4), who boasts a 2.01 ERA.
Follow Redbird Rants co-editor Michael Edwards on Twitter at @CardinalsWriter.