Cardinals slump, or hit a bump


Beltran was one of many St. Louis players who had a bad night on Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If there were not two wildcard spots available in the National League then the Cards could conceivably be left out in October.  While it is comforting to know that there is that additional passage into the postseason like in 2012, it is impossible not to worry about the currently woeful St. Louis Cardinals who lost their fourth straight in Pittsburgh tonight.

The once potent offense of St. Louis is now coming down to sea level and the starting pitching and bullpen both look frightening.  It is difficult to recognize, but it appears as if the Cardinals are actually slumping.  For the first time in 2013, the birds on the bat are not getting breaks and are losing by wide margins.

Being swept this past weekend in Hotlanta was nothing like the close series at Busch when the Rangers served St. Louis their first bagel in June.

The Cards have been getting whooped since sweeping the sorry Phillies last week.  STL is down 15 runs (20-5) since leaving the Show Me State only a few days ago.  The trade deadline is a few days away and fans can only hope for a breath of new life in the form of a veteren stud who can produce.

It was inevitable.  Whatever it turns out to be, slump, blip, anomaly, or speed bump, the current road trip defines it.  Nevertheless it is better now than later.  Get the errors, over estimated players and blowouts out now.  A week cleanse could serve this ball club right, especially as a reality check.

Tomorrow’s true double-header is for the gruesome NL Central division lead, but more importantly, the Cardinals will try to break out of their funk and fly again.  Lance Lynn and Tyler Lyons will attempt to defy the odds and post a win for St. Louis, which would mean more than preserving first place, it would snap the streak that has caused widespread overreactions and pessimism throughout the nation.

Maybe the recent losses are as natural as Matt Holliday, or perhaps they are more revealing than at first sight.  Could the Cardinals have been over-achieving this year?  Regardless, the next 7 games on the road will tell the baseball world a lot about St. Louis.