The St. Louis Cardinals had a hard time driving in runs when they had the opportunity, tallying only ten in the three games while swatting only five extra base hits.
Randal Grichuk’s home run in the eighth inning Sunday was the Cardinals’ only home run of the series. Aledmys Diaz (2), Jose Martinez, and Kolten Wong were the only Redbirds who hit two-baggers. As a team, St. Louis went just 4-for-27 (.148) with runners in scoring position.
Eleven of the twenty-three outs with runners in scoring position were strikeouts. In the three games, the Cardinals struck out at the plate a total of twenty-seven times.
If you’re looking for a player or two other than Grichuk who looked good at the plate during the series, Molina reached base six times (three walks, three hits), and Aledmys Diaz tallied four hits, the most of any Cardinal in the three-game set. New lead-off hitter and center fielder Dexter Fowler also recorded a hit in each of the three games.
It’s not unusual for teams to collectively trudge out of the gates on the offensive side as the season begins. Brisk April weather in the Midwest and Northeast plays a factor in many teams’ slow starts with the bats.
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That makes pitching all the more important in the first month of the season. As was discussed, this was a mixed bag for the St. Louis Cardinals in the first three contests. All three starters performed well, although you’d like to see Wainwright and Lynn go deeper into their next starts. Two shoddy outings from typically-solid late-inning relievers spoiled the bullpen’s performance.
Up next for the St. Louis Cardinals is a three game weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium to close their first home stand of the year. The Redbirds then go on the road for series against the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees.
The Cubs travel to Milwaukee for the weekend to take on the Brewers before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers for their home opener next week. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Brewers will also visit Chicago during the Cubs’ first home stand of the season.
If you’re concerned about the St. Louis Cardinals dropping two of three against the best team in baseball to begin the new season, take a deep breath. There’s plenty of baseball ahead to determine the characteristics of the 2017 Cardinals. What were your thoughts on the Opening Series? I’d love to hear from you on
. Go Cardinals!