The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played up to their potential for the past six weeks, but that may change in the coming weeks.
For the first time in a very long time, the attention of St. Louis sports fans haven’t been on the Cardinals. Fresh off a Blues Stanley Cup victory, the media will be back on the St. Louis Cardinals, and it may be a perfect time.
The team has lost eight of their last 11 series, dating back to the first sweep at the hands of the Cubs at Wrigley in early May. The vast majority of key members on the team have been underperforming:
Paul Goldschmidt has not been the middle of the order bat that is expected of him.
Paul DeJong has been ice cold for some time now, posting just a .679 OPS since May 1st.
Matt Carpenter has looked lost regardless of where he’s hitting (albeit better recently, still not up to his standards).
If all Jose Martinez does is hit, then he has been useless, getting only four hits in his last 34 ABs.
After a resurgent stretch for Dexter Fowler in April, he’s getting on base at just a .299 clip since May 7th.
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The pitching staff has been better as of late but still doesn’t have the depth they should at this point in the season.
So where is the light at the end of the tunnel? It’s easy: the schedule. It’s no secret the Cardinals have played a gauntlet of a schedule to start the season. They’ve played the Cubs three times already, Brewers three times as well, an early season series with the Dodgers, and two different meetings with the much improved Phillies. There have been very few “gimme” series for the team so far.
The upcoming schedule? A completely different story. From today, June 13th, all the way through July 26th, the best record they face is 36-33 Diamondbacks.
The schedule goes as follows:
Four games at the Mets (33-34)
Four games at home against the Marlins (24-42)
Three games for the homecoming of Albert Pujols and the Angels (33-35)
Two home games against the A’s (35-34)
Three games at the Padres (33-35)
Three games at the Mariners (29-42)
Three games at the Giants (28-38)
Three home games against the Diamondbacks (36-33)
Three more home games against the Pirates (30-37)
Four games in Cincinnati (30-36)
Four games in Pittsburgh (30-37)
Then finally, on July 26th, the Cardinals welcome the (46-23) Astros to Busch Stadium.
I’m not saying one of these teams couldn’t get hot by the time they face the Redbirds, but this is a very long stretch that the team needs to capitalize on if they want to make it to October.
One can only guess that Carp, Goldy, DeJong and JMart will inevitably break out of their slumps in the very near future. Different parts of the lineup have been hot at different times this season. The lineup can sync up the next month and a half, Dakota Hudson can keep his production going and the rest of the rotation can follow suit.
Every team hits a rut at some point in the season. It’s the true contenders that are able to break out of those times and continue their winning ways.
There is too much talent to waste on this team.
Prepare yourselves, a winning streak is coming.