How much more frustration can Cardinals fans handle?

Another difficult start to the season has left fans deflated. How much more can they take?
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals are off to a 9-12 start. What started off as cautious optimism among the fans, management, and players has quickly turned into disappointment and frustration.

The offense is a poor replica of what it was supposed to be. Players at the heart of the order such as Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Gorman, and Jordan Walker aren't producing near the levels that were projected and hoped for them. Victor Scott II and Michael Siani are at-bats that opposing teams barely have to worry about. While Lars Nootbaar and Brendan Donovan are providing decent production, it's not to the levels that are necessary.

Essentially, only Willson Contreras, Masyn Winn, and Ivan Herrera are threats in the lineup, and when two of those players are both in the lineup, the backup catcher and designated hitter spots become problematic. Nolan Arenado has turned it around lately, but he's still searching for the power stroke he was once known for.

The pitching has been surprisingly adequate depending on the statistics that you prefer. The team ERA of 3.58 ranks 8th in baseball. However, when looking at the entire picture, the holes are evident. Outside of Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Steven Matz, the rotation has been tough to watch, and even some of Lance Lynn's starts have made fans sweat it out.

In the bullpen, Ryan Helsley, JoJo Romero, and Andrew Kittredge appear to be the three most reliable arms. Andre Pallante and Giovanny Gallegos haven't been able to replicate their successes from 2022. Zack Thompson has faltered since his transition back to the relief corps.

It seems that when the hitting shows up, the pitching disappears. When the pitchers are on, the bats go silent. The Cardinals already have a -17 run differential, and outside of a few games earlier in the season, the lack of a fight in the players is eerily reminiscent of the 2023 season.

Player acquisitions throughout the offseason showed a change in the clubhouse. Optimism and fight were promised with the additions of Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Matt Carpenter. What we have seen thus far out of the team is not indicative of what was pledged during the offseason.

Cardinal fans are starting to get frustrated and even fed up with the lack of results from management, the front office, the coaching staff, and even the players at times. Patience is running low.

It is justified for these fans to be frustrated given the last 365 days of performance. The last time the Cardinals were better than .500 (excluding April 6th of this year) was April 2nd of 2023. That is a dry spell that hasn't been experienced in the city in a very long time.

Calls for firings of the hitting coach, Turner Ward, and field manager, Oliver Marmol, are resurfacing. John Mozeliak has been booed by fans for the last year. The DeWitt family is receiving vitriol. There is a clear and evident lack of trust in the organization by their enthusiasts.

Hopefully, the pitching and offense can sync up to get the team back on track. It's a very long season in baseball, and a lot can change over the next 140 games. However, the start to the season has done nothing to build up hope among the loyal fans.