The St. Louis Cardinals are not off to a great start in the NLCS against the Washington Nationals. What led to them getting into this spot?
If you’ve been watching the last two St. Louis Cardinals games, which I hope you have, you would see that the formula for losing in the NLCS is actually pretty simple.
Through the first two games, the Cardinals have a combined four hits. These four hits have yielded just one run, and that one run came on a double that likely should’ve been caught. This is all coming from an offense that had just put up 10 runs on the Braves in Game 5 of the NLDS.
There’s really not much to say. If you haven’t been acquainted yet, welcome to the St. Louis Cardinals offense.
There may not have been many hits happening, but the Cardinals didn’t necessarily go without any chances to score. In both games, the team was 0-3 with RISP. That’s not much, but it is an opportunity.
This offensive disappearance isn’t totally fair because the Nationals pitching staff have really done a fantastic job. We knew pitching was going to be a highlight this series, we just didn’t know it would shake out quite like this.
Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have both pitched fantastic games with Game 1 starter Sanchez taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Scherzer taking it to the seventh in Game 2. When opposing pitchers go to the point where ESPN starts sending out no-hitter alerts, it’s not likely you are going to win the game.
The Cardinals starters, Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright, did awesome in their two starts, allowing a combined four runs over 13.1 innings. None of the blame for the Cardinals’ current position can land on them.
The problem so far is wholly offensive.
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The Cardinals are now headed to Washington down 0-2 with a tough hill to climb in front of them. Teams have come back form an 0-2 deficit before but the odds are stacked against them with Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin slated the next two games.
It could’ve been the cold weather in St. Louis, it could’ve been the fantastic Nationals pitching, either way, the Cardinals need to find their offense quickly if they want to have any hope of making it back to the World Series.
I wish that I could be writing about how the Cardinals had battled well and are in a great spot heading to Washington, but instead, they have thrown away their home-field advantage and now have to go into the opponents ballpark and win at least two of three if they want to make it back home.