Cardinals analysis: The frustration grows


Two losses to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday have the St. Louis Cardinals officially in panic mode. They may not show it, but editor Steve Ungrey believes it is here.

By this time tomorrow, I firmly believe the St. Louis Cardinals will be swept by the Cincinnati Reds, bringing an impressive streak of not being swept to an end.

By the end of the coming week, I also believe the Pittsburgh Pirates will take over first place in the National League Central, leaving the Cardinals and Chicago Cubs to duke it out in a one-game playoff for the wild card.

I want to be wrong. So why can’t I shake this feeling?

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I didn’t want to write another “push the panic button” column, but let’s face it. The Cardinals really haven’t given us much reason to celebrate in recent weeks, and the team is now three games in front of the Pirates following Saturday’s 4-2 and 5-1 losses to Cincinnati.

What was frustrating in the first game was the Cardinals had the 2-2 tie but let it get away in the completion of the suspended game on Saturday. The culprit? Jonathan Broxton, a suspect reliever who was having a bad season before he was traded.

A home run by Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall was the difference between St. Louis winning and losing.

Game two wasn’t much better. The Cardinals banged out just five hits, two each coming from Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward. Lance Lynn struggled once again, as he walked three and struck out three in just six innings of work.

The week of Sept. 6 has been one to forget. This is the worst losing streak the Cardinals have been on all season. They have dropped seven of eight games and been throttled in a few of those losses.

The first game against Cincinnati, an 11-0 loss, had everyone reaching for a gigantic bottle of Pepto Bismol.

Look, everyone knows the Cardinals will make the postseason. It’s where they finish that could have an impact on how things go.

The Cards would like to arrange their rotation so Michael Wacha starts a Division Series game, not a one-game wild card playoff.

If St. Louis keeps this up, it may have no choice but to burn Wacha for an early turn.