3 Early Red Flags for the St. Louis Cardinals

Giovanny Gallegos (65) walks off the mound during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Giovanny Gallegos (65) walks off the mound during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Harrison Bader, St Louis Cardinals
Harrison Bader of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at loanDepot park on April 21, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

These are early three warning signs for the St. Louis Cardinals season.

At the beginning of every season, it is easy to overreact to team trends or results on such a small sample size.

It can be very difficult to tell at times if it is a sign of things to come, or just the current state of the ballclub. Just ask the 2019 Nationals when their team was below .500 late after 60 games played and went on to win the World Series.

While making strong judgements about the St. Louis Cardinals may be too early, there is enough of a sample size now to identify “red flags”.

When looking at a red flag, it is best to define this as a “major concern” that can be observed about the club early on. This does not mean the club cannot rebound from it or make a change to solve it, but it does mean the Cardinals current play or state lends concern in this area.

This article will identify three of the biggest red flags for the club as of April 26. Fans could argue there are other red flags associated with the team, but these three red flags will be the issues that could plague the club throughout the year and prevent them from reaching the heights that they aspire two.

St Louis Cardinals Red Flag No. 1: The Cardinals have been beating themselves

This has got to be the most frustrating and potentially biggest red flag facing a club at any point in a season. When you play great baseball, you should win games. When the opponent plays better, you tip your cap to them. But when games are lost on self-inflicted wounds, it kills team momentum and can be extremely difficult to bounce back from.

Just take the Cardinals 5-2 loss to the Mets on April 25th. Miles Mikolas went toe to toe with Max Scherezer and kept St. Louis in the game, and Tyler O’Neill put the club ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the 8th. In the 9th inning, a missed opportunity to tag third base and end the game by Nolan Arenado and an inexcusable mental error by Giovanni Gallegos gifted the flounder Mets a comeback win. 

Fans who have watched the team over the last few years know that this has been a frustrating reality with the team. Whether it is unforced mental errors, sloppy defense (although that has improved greatly), runners left in scoring position, or walking high numbers of batters, the Cardinals can be prone to handing games over to their opponent.

Giving these kinds of games away not only kills momentum for a team trying to compete at a high level, but these games can add up and be the difference between a division title and the Wild Card, or even between sneaking into the playoffs and missing all together. If the Cardinals are serious about a deep playoff run, manager Oli Marmol has to find a way to get this club playing sound baseball in big moments.