St. Louis Cardinals: Look for another sweep this week

Apr 14, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta (27) reacts to flying out against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta (27) reacts to flying out against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals were swept out of New York behind poor pitching and poor offensive performances. Will they face another sweep this week?

While the St. Louis Cardinals were rolling over and dying this past weekend in New York, the Pittsburgh Pirates went roaring into Wrigley and handed the media darling Cubs their first sweep of the season. Tonight, these “flying-high” pirates will enter Busch Stadium looking to keep their brigade intact and firing on all cylinders.

The St. Louis Cardinals should be concerned. Simply put, the Pirates are on a roll and will look to embarrass the Cardinals in their home stadium. Let’s take a look back at this past weekend to see evidence for cause of worry.

On the Cardinals side of things, the birds on the bat were able to muster only eight runs across their three games in the Bronx. The St. Louis Cardinals pitching surrendered sixteen runs– double what the offense could muster.

At the same time, the Pirates offense compiled eighteen runs against the juggernaut (or what the media would like for us to believe is the juggernaut) of the NL-Central. Some solace can be found in the Pirates pitching that allowed ten runs to the Cubs. But wait, this was to the Cubs… shouldn’t they have exploded with runs?

The Pirates, during their broom work in Chicago, faced Kyle Hendricks (scored four runs total in the game and handed Hendricks the loss), tacked three earned runs on Jake Arrieta, then shocked pen arm Koji Uehara landing him with the blown save and loss.

The road will be tough if the St. Louis Cardinals are going to prevent another sweep. Tonight’s game one will have Ivan Nova facing the Cards for the first time in his career. This typically fares well for the pitcher, especially when facing this year’s Cardinals.

Opposing Nova will be Lance Lynn. Lynn hasn’t been great against the Pirates in his career having defeated them five times while having been defeated by them five times. The Cardinals will need for Lynn to show his power from before if the birds have any hope of winning.

My short answer for tonight is a likely loss. I hate viewing my Cardinals in this way but I just don’t see this offense being able to do anything against a pitcher they have not ever seen.

Tuesday night’s match up has Mike Leake facing Chad Kuhl. Leake has shown a nice start to 2017 and could well be the best chance the Cardinals have to winning a match up. That said, he will be countered by Kuhl who owns a 2.56 ERA in his road starts– as though this offense needs any additional reason to not show up.

Michael Wacha will climb the mound on Wednesday afternoon to face Garrit Cole. Cole was good in Wrigley but has had a tough start to the season. If Wacha can hold it together then perhaps the Cards can avoid the sweep.

So, to recap, I look for the Cardinals to drop game one, struggle in game two but ultimately lose, and have a disappointing end to game three. That’s right, I predict that the Cardinals will be swept yet again.

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Why? I believe that Mike Matheny will continue to cart out Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams and maybe even Kolten Wong. I believe that Matheny will toss Kevin Siegrist too often, send Jonathan Broxton to the mound too often, and leave struggling starters in too long. These are the pillars upon which the house of Matheny is built.

Can the Cardinals turn the tables? Sure but they must work hard at it. The Cardinals are the worst team in regard to errors and these are starting to pile at a rate that is terrifying. In addition, the swing-and-miss hitters are making fandom a tough thing to maintain.

So, how do you reverse this curse? I think the first place you start is by removing the names Peralta, Adams, Siegrist, and Broxton. I think you let hungry players play. Who are these? Greg Garcia is one. Jedd Gyorko is another. Jose Martinez is one more. These are the names that should appear in the lineup.

Next: Don't Fire Yet

What will this week bring? What do you think? Maybe a better question is how many innings into the games do you think you will make it as a spectator before you give up and change the channel? Thanks for reading and let’s all hope my prognostications are wrong.