Was Monday's loss a blip or a reality check for the Cardinals?

The Cardinals lost a tough one in Cincinnati on Monday, though they have been playing a lot better. Was it just a blip on the radar screen, or will it serve as a reality check?
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Monday's loss may only be a blip

Now let's tackle the other side of the issue.

While Monday's loss was certainly deflating, there are factors that need to be taken into account before fans freak out. Yes, the Cardinals absolutely should have won the game, but let's dive into some of those factors.

Firstly, all win streaks must come to an end. The Cardinals' recent stretch of play has been very encouraging, to say the least, and all teams, no matter how good or bad, are going to have games like the Cardinals did on Monday where a lot of things go wrong, and it can happen against any team.

Fortunately, the pitchers were able to do their job and keep them in the game. Lance Lynn turned in a quality start, and the bullpen was outstanding. If they can keep that up and the Cardinals bounce back from Monday's disappointment, they should be just fine.

Furthermore, Sunday night's game was delayed almost three hours. The Cardinals didn't leave St. Louis until late, and when they finally arrived at the hotel in Cincinnati, it was 4:15 A.M. Eastern Time. The team had lost an hour and had an afternoon game, so a little rust was to be expected.

Even after Monday's loss, the Cardinals can still get back to .500 by winning the next two games to take the series. That way, they can keep their momentum alive as they head to Philadelphia for the weekend.

Hopefully, a little extra rest after last night's game will get everybody back on track as the Cardinals try to even the series tonight.