St. Louis Cardinals: Atrocious offense highlights dull 4-0 loss

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ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 31: Dexter Fowler #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run single against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 31, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 31: Dexter Fowler #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run single against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 31, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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A rare loss with Miles Mikolas on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night was highlighted by a disappointing showing offensively.

On a night where it seemed positive momentum was in the favor of the St. Louis Cardinals, the bats were silenced by an impressive pitching performance by Pirates starter Jameson Taillon.

From a fan’s perspective, it appeared with Miles Mikolas on the mound & one night removed from an electrifying comeback, the Red Birds had a great chance at another win. After an early 1-0 lead by the Bucs, there was still a small sliver of optimism in the Cardinals along the lines of a successful attempt.

One of the most significant bright-spots for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night, remained in the form of OF Harrison Bader. Busting his tail on numerous occasions down the line, his speed was on showcase yet again.

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With Miles on the mound, a deep drive by Gregory Polanco sent Bader racing back to to dep left-center. Bader made an impressive grab, crashing into the wall. It is clear to me, no matter the situation or circumstance, the raw hustle every game expressed by the Cardinals’ rookieis eye-opening.

As far as offensive performances, the St. Louis Cardinals went quietly. Standout players with the bat stood nonexistent with the exception of a 9th inning double by Jose Martinez.

Defensively, there were multiple gems by the Birds. It was still yet, not enough in a 4-0 final.

St. Louis Cardinals Player Grades:

Miles Mikolas: “B-

Although the Cardinals starter gave up two runs (only 1 earned), his ability to work out of trouble proved significant. It was clear Miles didn’t have his best stuff. However, he was able to pitch to contact and let his defense work behind him. Although the outcome could have been much worse given the amount of hits surrendered, it was still yet a very consistent and positive showing by the St. Louis Starter.

Harrison Bader: “B+

A particularly stellar offensive showing was nonexistent, however, the grit and hustle down the line was enough to deserve at least a B+. The phenomenal defensive catch early in the game was another positive mark.

Sam Tuivailala: “C

In 1.1 innings of work, “Tui” showed some overall progress. Unfortunately, 2 ER were coughed up in the appearance. The ability to throw strikes and strikeout three batters was what ultimately kept Sam from receiving a lower overall grade.

Marcell Ozuna: “B-

With two total hits in the ballgame for Ozuna, it was a positive to see him reach base. The hope now turns to the potential of his bat heating up. One of the most disappointing factors for him early in the season, has been the inability to truly drive the ball often. Hopefully the showing was enough to light a fire under him.

Dexter Fowler: “B

In what has been a significantly disappointing offensive start for Dexter Fowler in 2018, it was a relief to see him drive the ball with authority for a hit in the game. Optimistic and realistic outlooks may see this is a turning point for Fowler. This may be the beginning of good things to come.

A disappointing night to say the least, it will be rather interesting to see how the Cardinals respond in-game three of the series.

Next: Refusal to embrace the shift is hurting the Cardinals

Game 3 at Busch featuring the match up of Luke Weaver and Chad Kuhl, will get underway Saturday afternoon. The first pitch of the day game is set for 1:15 P.M. CT.

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