For months, the St. Louis Cardinals offense was a juggernaut. Now, they have been shutout in three consecutive games.
The St. Louis Cardinals offense, at least on paper, is a juggernaut. For the first few months of the season, their play on the field matched that description. Paul Goldschmidt emerged as the favorite to win National League MVP. Nolan Arenado was dominant. The other pieces around those two played at a high level. They looked like a complete unit.
But in the final weeks of the regular season, that same offense has gone stagnant. And following a third consecutive shutout, a 1-0 loss to the San Diego Padres, the Cardinals haven’t scored in 27 consecutive innings. They have also gone four consecutive games without scoring a run in the first nine innings, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed out.
Cardinals manager Oli Marmol, however, continues to preach patience and insist that he’s not concerned, saying: “I’ll be honest with you, I have a ton of confidence inn them and they have a ton of confidence in themselves. I know I keep repeating this, but I’m concerned zero.”
It’s a managers job to preach patience and not to sound the alarm bells publicly. But it’s one thing if these struggles were happening in the middle of the season. It’s a whole other thing if those struggles are happening less than two weeks from the playoffs — and that’s exactly the situation that Marmol and the Cardinals find themselves in.
So yes, there should be concern about the current state of the offense, and it’s on hitting coach Jeff Albert to fix this, and fast. The good news is that the Cardinals have the talent to turn things around in a hurry, especially with Goldschmidt as the MVP favorite, Arenado being top-5 in that race as well and Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina’s veteran presences helping weather the storm.
Concern meter: 5/10. But if the struggles continue in the coming days, that number will only rise.