St. Louis Cardinals: Game two as disappointing as game one

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Michael Wacha
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Michael Wacha /

The St. Louis Cardinals continued their stumbles out of the gate here at the start of 2018 dropping the second contest as miserably as the first.

The St. Louis Cardinals, after stumbling and striking out in game one of their series with the New York Mets, found themselves experiencing the Groundhog Day syndrome in game two. A miserable 6-2 contest went in favor of the Mets.

After striking out a miserable fifteen times on Opening Day, the St. Louis Cardinals K’d twelve times in game two that took place two days after Opening Day. Did anyone in MLB consider the implications of taking an off-day immediately following the opener? Really?

I guess it didn’t matter much since the Cards were unable to defeat the Mets.

That said, the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals were looking at an uphill climb from the onset having to face to two best pitchers the Mets have in Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. Argumentatively, however, the Mets were challenged with the Cardinals’ ace and runner-up in Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha.

For a recap of game one, click below to read Tito’s recap.

Related Story: Opening Day recap

Where Martinez struggled with command, Wacha only surrendered five hits across 4.2 innings. These hits, however, allowed four earned runs and essentially spelled Wacha’s doom. In short, in two games, the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting pitchers failed to survive past the fourth inning. Hell, they barely made it into the fourth inning.

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And how about the absent hitting? As has been mentioned ad nausea here, the Cardinals K’d fifteen times in game one and the striking out continued in game two. Dexter Fowler carried his hit-less streak into game two (and still has it going today), Marcell Ozuna went 0-for-4, Kolten Wong went 0-for-3, and not a single pinch-hitter managed to record a hit either.

Tommy Pham went 1-for-3 and recorded two of the 12 strikeouts. Paul DeJong didn’t fare much better having gone 1-for-4 and recording two strikeouts.

Here’s the killer in both games: left on base. In game one, the St. Louis Cardinals left five runners on base. This says they simply couldn’t muster the offense to even attack the nine runs that the Mets posted. In other words, game one was going to be lost no matter the effort.

But game two…? In game two, the Cardinals left a horrific 18 runners on base. EIGHTEEN?! This is just unacceptable. Had only a quarter of those runner scored, the Cardinals could have tied the Mets (and actually surpassed them if we round up since a quarter of 18 is 4.5).

Here’s the bottom line: the St. Louis Cardinals must hit and pitch better. Thankfully, the Cardinals are stumbling in a month that really doesn’t matter. So long as they start winning and hitting (which I believe they will), then these losses won’t matter and it is best that they work out the kinks now rather than in July or August.

Next: Ideal roster moves out of spring

As sad as the start was, the light shined in game three. Now the Cards roll to Milwaukee and play today so stay tuned for updates.