St. Louis Cardinals: Hope remains for the 2017 Cardinals
After a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals losing streak is now at seven games, and fans are justifiably losing patience.
Rock bottom may be the best way to describe where the St. Louis Cardinals are at right now. It’s no doubt been a rocky road all season, which is uncharted territory for Cardinals fans. Despite the continuing struggles in all facets of the game, recent seasons for the Cardinals show it is possible to overcome long losing spells.
Good starting pitching. Embarrassing relief pitching. Weak hitting that folds after the 6th inning. We all know the script. It’s plagued the Cardinals all season long, and there’s little signs of improvement.
On top of that, the Cardinals lack stardom, grit and firepower. The Cardinals aren’t feared anymore in the National League Central, and are blowing leads like it’s there job.
That number is up to 14 now. In Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Reds the Cardinals surrendered a 3-0 lead. This is just ONE example.
It’s not the losses that haunt fans, it’s the bad losses that should be wins. For this reason many fans, writers, and other personalities on Twitter have voiced their displeasure towards manager Mike Matheny.
Dave Schoenfield, ESPN Senior Writer, explained why Matheny might be on the hot seat:
Full tweet can be found here.
I would somewhat agree with Schoenfield and fellow St. Louis Cardinals fans, but it’s not all on him because players aren’t performing to their capabilities.
Nonetheless, Matheny and his staff are at fault when they fail to put players in a position to win, like Chris Maloney’s inability to coach third base. Those are things that raise the angst of fans.
However, I’m here to tell you the history books show the Cardinals can (hopefully) overcome their poor play.
Last year, the World Champion Chicago Cubs went through a stretch at the end of June and beginning of July where they were 5-15. The Cubs, of course, could get away with a losing stretch because they were leading the NL-Central by a handful of games. The point here is that, teams go through rough patches and it’s hard to constantly play at a high level. That’s baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t in first place and now sit 5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers so there is little leeway for lackluster play. Luckily the NL Central seems to be mediocre this season.
Last year, the St. Louis Cardinals had eight losing streaks of three or more games including one of five games and one of four games. The 2016 season came down to Game-162 and the Cardinals missed the playoffs by one game.
In 2013, the last season the Cardinals made it to the World series, they had a seven-game losing streak and three other losing streaks of three or more games.
In 2011, when the Cardinals last won the World Series, they too suffered a seven-game losing streak to go along with a couple three-game skids. The St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs as a Wild Card team and ended up winning the World Series in historic fashion.
Previous Cardinals teams had their lowlights, but were able to overcome tough stretches when nothing seemed to go their way.
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That’s where the Cardinals are now — playing uninspired baseball while continuously finding ways to lose games. I keep thinking the St. Louis Cardinals will turn it around, but who knows if or when that will ever happen.
If you can’t tell, I planned to write this post to instill faith back into Cardinals fans. It’s only June and a lot can happen in the next one-hundred games.
Yet it was hard to be optimistic after watching Scott Feldman slice and dice the St. Louis Cardinals lineup on Friday. Each game something new comes up that illustrates it may be a long season for the Cardinals and their fans.
Scooter Gennett hits four home runs against the Cardinals. All you can do is applaud and laugh.
Brett Cecil gives up four runs in two-thirds of an inning. All you can do is cry.
Game after game there seems to be a punch to the gut for this Cardinals team. Misplays in the outfield, atrocious base running and untimely hitting have made the Cardinals a depressing team to watch.
For all of those reasons, it’s hard to confidently say the Cardinals can turn around their season.
A shuffle in the coaching staff might be best for the team, but it might also take acquiring an offensive improvement like Marcell Ozuna or J.D. Martinez to jump-start the St. Louis Cardinals.
My heart predicts a late run to squeak into the playoffs, but my head predicts a losing season. Let me know your outlook on the rest of the season on Twitter.