Bad starting pitching
Let's just go ahead and talk about the unit that everyone was concerned about going into the season - the starting pitching. I was optimistic that they could at least be an average unit that bought them time until the trade deadline, but it's been far from it.
Boosted a bit by better performances as of late, the Cardinals rotation ranked 22nd in baseball with a 4.69 ERA and 25th in wins with 14, This rotation just has not been good enough for this team to truly compete, even if the other units have underachieved as well.
The bullpen ranked 19th in baseball with a 4.25 ERA, but I honestly believe it's a better unit than that, but they have been asked to cover the rotations struggles so much this season that they themselves have been falling apart now too. I'm not saying the bullpen hasn't had its own issues that will continue to keep it from being a top unit in the game, but I do believe it would be better if they weren't asked to save the team so much.
The way the Cardinals' have constructed this rotation has left them with very little room to improve it this season. They already moved Matz to the bullpen, which was a big statement in itself, but we all know they won't do something like that to Wainwright. Montgomery should be better than he is, and Flaherty was just on a run of really good starts before blowing up against the Giants.