St. Louis Cardinals: The starting rotation is gaining some momentum

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 14: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after scoring on a RBI double hit by Matt Carpenter #13 in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 14, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 14: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after scoring on a RBI double hit by Matt Carpenter #13 in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 14, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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The most recent turn of the rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals has started to garner better results than we have seen all year. What’s been going on?

The St. Louis Cardinals came into Spring Training with what manager Mike Shildt said was “five number-one starters” but that has been anything but the case since then. Carlos Martinez went on the disabled list and to this point, it may be only Adam Wainwright that has met or beaten expectations coming into the year.

To that note, the Cardinals are currently ranked 15th in the MLB in ERA, 6th worst in HR/9, 7th worst in K/9, all the while being in the bottom 10 in BABIP meaning they have been lucky/bailed out by the defense. Not a pretty picture to see when this was supposed to be a strength heading into 2019.

However, the pitching has improved lately and may be starting to get on a roll.

Building on Mark Saxon’s note, Michael Wacha has a chance to finish the rotation sweep and have all five of the starters have quality starts. It may be small, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Now, of course, the problem is that in the last four games, the team is just 1-3.

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On Friday, Adam Wainwright’s single earned run and eight strikeouts over seven innings weren’t backed by any offense and the Cardinals lost game two of the Pirates series 2-1. On Saturday, Miles Mikolas gave up just two runs over seven innings of three-hit ball and again, the offense was silent and they by the same score. After a shaky start on Sunday, Dakota Hudson settled in and put forth six innings of three-run ball only to be let down by the bullpen.

It may not have worked the last four games, but more times than not, if the starting pitcher puts forth a quality start, the team should have a very good chance to win. You are going to have your bullpen blowups occasionally but with the starter going at least six innings, the load on the bullpen is hypothetically smaller.

After a very rocky start, the rotation has settled down in May and Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty have looked more like the pitchers we saw last season which hopefully will only continue and spread to the rest of the rotation.

Next. A treat is cookin’ on the grass of Peoria. dark

Four straight quality starts is honestly nothing to write home about, but it’s a step in the right direction for a rotation that needs to step up. The offense needs to pull their own weight but if the starting pitchers keep aiming for quality starts, the rotation should do enough to keep the team in games.

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