St. Louis Cardinals: The Good, Bad and Ugly from Atlanta
By Landon Clapp
The Bad: A handful of key guys continue to struggle
Even with the offensive outburst over the weekend, The Cardinals are still struggling to get three of their key offensive weapons going.
The trio of Matt Adams, Matt Holliday, and Randal Grichuk are a combined 6-48 (.125) with 21 strikeouts and zero long balls so far in 2016.
Grichuk came off of the bench to draw three walks and score two runs, which was encouraging after watching him chase breaking ball after breaking ball out of the zone prior to this afternoon.
Likewise, Holliday came off the bench and singled in his only at-bat. He scored once himself.
The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals will probably never score 31 runs in a three game stretch again without production from those three guys. It makes it all the more impressive what the Cardinals were able to do, considering what little they got from their three run producers the entire weekend.
Going into the weekend series in Atlanta, the key was to simply get a couple of wins and to get something positive going. The Cards accomplished that.
The goal going into the next couple of series’ (before the Cubs are in town next Monday) has to be getting those three going.
While the Cardinals have the pieces to be able to platoon in the outfield and at first base, you can’t ignore the fact that Adams, Holliday, and Grichuk are three of your best candidates for 20+ long balls on the season.
When the quality of opposing pitching gets back to the Pittsburgh-type levels, the Cardinals need to be able to lean on those guys and rely on them to produce runs like we all know that they are capable of.
As much as I enjoyed watching Hazelbaker, Diaz, Greg Garcia, etc. feast on Atlanta’s questionable pitching staff, I’m not sure if they can be relied on for those levels of production against the Jake Arrieta‘s, Francisco Liriano‘s, and Gerrit Cole‘s of the world.
Next: The Ugly: Walks, Errors, ATL's 2016 Outlook