It's not hyperbole to say the Cardinals season may be over after Contreras injury

The St. Louis Cardinals fell to 15-21 on the season and lost star Willson Contreras to injury, reinforcing the view among fans that the season is over.
May 7, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (40) is
May 7, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (40) is / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It's only May 8th, so there is plenty of time for the St. Louis Cardinals to turn things around, but for a team that was already reeling, I can't think of a worse sequence of events to happen to this club than what occurred on Tuesday evening. If you're of the opinion that the Cardinals' season is over, I don't think I can really argue against that anymore.

The Cardinals are now 15-21 after losing 7-5 to the New York Mets, but in all honesty, it's how they lost game two of the series that really calls into question whether or not this club can pull itself out of their rut.

First, Willson Contreras fractured his forearm on a swing from Mets' designated hitter J.D. Martinez. While Contreras was charged with a catcher's interference and was lined up close to the plate, Martinez was clearly set up behind the batter's box, making the injury possible in the first place. It's noteworthy that Martinez has a history of lining up behind the box and drawing catcher's interference calls.

Second, the Cardinals went up 3-0 in the first inning, prior to Contreras' injury, and then proceeded to cave in on the mound, allowing the Mets to storm all the way back to a 7-5 victory. Alec Burleson and Lars Nootbaar both provided solo home runs in the later innings of the game, but the Cardinals failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals' anemic offense remains the story of the season, and Contreras was far and away their best hitter this year. Before the injury, Contreras had a .949 OPS and was among the best hitters in all of baseball despite being surrounded by an ice-cold offense.

The offense is baffling to say the least, and it feels like the same conversation every day. The lineup has the talent to be one of the best units in baseball, and yet continues to put up the worst numbers in the National League. I refuse to believe they will remain this bad as an offense all year long, but I also have no idea when things will actually turn around offensively.

So far, the Cardinals' pitching has helped them not completely crater as a team. With how bad this offense had, if the pitching did not rebound this year, they may be closer to 9-27 than the dissapointing 15-21 record they have thus far. Even so, outside of Sonny Gray, it's hard to have complete faith in this rotation. Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn have been great additions to the club thus far, but if they can't keep up their performance, this rotation will go from average to bleak. The bullpen has been fantastic at the back end, but the constant use of Ryan Helsley, JoJo Romero, and Andrew Kittredge may wear thin soon.

If you listen to the way Oli Marmol has talked the past two nights in his postgame press conferences, you can hear the disappointment in his voice. I know many feel like he needs to be relieved of his duties as manager, but I honestly don't know what else he can do to get a lifeless offense going.

I have been steadfast in my belief that this Cardinals team will turn things around this season and still have plenty of time to get themselves into playoff contention. Last night was the first night that gave me genuine pause, and if I had to lean a direction on how this season would go right now, I would give a slight lean toward the Cardinals missing the playoffs once again. Even if they get the offense going, it's getting increasingly more difficult to see how it all comes together.

Am I ready to say the season is over? Not yet. But for anyone who feels that way, I can't blame you, and I don't really have a good response other than what fans have grown weary of hearing from John Mozeliak...

"All I ask is for a little bit of patience."

Patience has worn thin for fans. All that matters going forward is performance.