St. Louis Cardinals: Cards win when offense appears, duh!
The St. Louis Cardinals, despite dropping the competition on Independence Day, had won seven of the previous nine. Why? The offense finally came out of retirement.
The St. Louis Cardinals failed to re-sign Jason Heyward after the 2015 season. We all know that he stated that he chose the Chicago Cubs because he felt that the Cardinals were aging too quickly and that the Cubs had more interesting younger players. Heyward won a World Series with the Cubs and the Cardinals offense went into retirement.
While Heyward might not have been 100 percent correct, he might have smelled the stink that was to come from a lackluster St. Louis Cardinals offense.
In 2015, the Cardinals scored 647 runs (the Cubs scored 689; the #1 slot went to the Blue Jays with 891 runs). Heyward departed and in 2016 the St. Louis Cardinals scored 779 runs, just one rank below the Cubs who scored 808 runs (Cubs were ranked #3; #1 went to the Red Sox with 878 runs scored).
Jumping to 2017, and something of an obvious frustration, the St. Louis Cardinals have often fallen silent with the bats. Maybe Heyward knew something that no one else knew, or maybe he just didn’t want to play for Mike Matheny any longer. I think the latter makes more sense.
Back to the numbers, then. In 2017, the St. Louis Cardinals have scored 377 runs and fall just one step lower than the Cubs who are not scoring well this season either– the Cubs have scored just two additional runs over the Cardinals.
The frustrations this season stem from struggles from Matt Carpenter (until he was moved back to the lead-off spot), Dexter Fowler (who was thought to be a spark plug for the offense at his signing), and Stephen Piscotty (who seems to have lost himself at the plate). Oh, and never mind the fact that the club is missing a real number-four batter (or number-three for that matter).
And I would be remiss if I left off the offensive struggles of Randal Grichuk (to the tune of being optioned to single-A/AAA to change his ways) and Kolten Wong (who apparently was injured).
But wait, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As the heading indicates above, the Cardinals offense- of late, ignoring the 4th of July game- has cashed in their retirement policy and found themselves back in action. Prior to the 4th of July game, the Cardinals offense scored an impressive sixty-one runs which propelled them into the win column in seven of nine games played.
Interestingly, the spark plugs during this offensive tear were oft-injured Tommy Pham (the oldest of the young guns), Yadier Molina (after a decent amount of “rest”), Paul DeJong, Jedd Gyorko, and Luke Voit. Three of these five are young guns. In other words, the organization has finally decided to cash-in on the farm and see what sparks might fly.
This is a great turn of events and needs to continue. Here’s a quick look at those nine games:
|74||Sunday, Jun 25||boxscore||STL||PIT||W||8||4||34-40||3||5.0||Rosenthal||Nicasio||3:11||N|
|75||Monday, Jun 26||boxscore||STL||CIN||W||8||2||35-40||3||4.5||Wacha||Finnegan||2:49||D|
|76||Tuesday, Jun 27||boxscore||STL||@||ARI||L-wo||5||6||10||35-41||3||4.5||Rodney||Bowman||3:22||N|
|77||Wednesday, Jun 28||boxscore||STL||@||ARI||W||4||3||36-41||3||3.5||Wainwright||Godley||Rosenthal||3:18||N|
|78||Thursday, Jun 29||boxscore||STL||@||ARI||W||10||4||37-41||3||3.5||Lynn||De La Rosa||3:18||D|
|79||Friday, Jun 30||boxscore||STL||WSN||W||8||1||38-41||3||3.5||Leake||Roark||2:54||N|
|80||Saturday, Jul 1||boxscore||STL||WSN||W||2||1||39-41||3||3.5||Wacha||Gonzalez||Bowman||2:53||N|
|81||Sunday, Jul 2||boxscore||STL||WSN||L||2||7||39-42||3||3.5||Scherzer||Martinez||2:57||N|
|82||Monday, Jul 3||boxscore||STL||MIA||W||14||6||40-42||3||3.5||Wainwright||Locke||3:17||N|
Impressed? The St. Louis Cardinals certainly were. In fact, in an effort to continue the string of sold-out games, the Cardinals’ official twitter posted this fun image and bragging tweet:
I am impressed, don’t get me wrong, but it is very much a “duh” factor to me that offense can win games. Haven’t we all yelled for this through the 2017 campaign (and 2016 too?)? At what point will the Cardinals’ coaching staff discover their own consistency?
This begs a strong point and one that I’m not usually a fan of arguing for: at what point will the PLAYERS themselves find their own consistency? In other words, how much blame should we heap upon the coaches if the players aren’t going to produce?
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- The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2024 rotation needs work
Is John Mabry really that horrible of a hitting coach? Does the Grichuk case argue that Mabry is bad to the tune of sending Grichuk down to learn to hit again? And, if his recent numbers are showing a regression to the mean (after returning with renewed abilities), is this the product of Mabry or Grichuk?
Perhaps we won’t really know the answer to these questions until Wong returns. But even then, Mabry will get a pass because the question of injury as a culprit will surface.
All-in-all, when the offense clicks, the St. Louis Cardinals win. The organizational shakeup at the top will now need to decide how to ensure that this trend continues or the 2017 season is for naught.
St. Louis Cardinals: Likely trade partner teams to consider
The St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a tailspin of a season which was surely not what was planned. Now is the time to find suitors for trades.
What do you think? Can the St. Louis Cardinals offense- as it stands today- continue to awaken from the slumber of retirement? Will the youngsters continue to assist with these efforts? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!