On this off-day, Alfred E. Neumann is making a return appearance. The Cardinals’ last homestand was atrocious. They only won 2 of the last 10 games. I attended two games last week and the Cards lost both of them. That was not a good return on my investment. In fact, the Cards haven’t looked good since the rain-delayed game in Washington on April 28. They were swept in Chicago (how embarrassing!), and only won 1 game of each of the last 2 series. The Cards are now tied with Pittsburgh for 4th place in the National League Central division. What is wrong with the Cardinals? I have some thoughts and questions.
Jose Martinez. Don’t get me wrong; I love the guy. He has personality plus. He truly enjoys playing the game; however, he can’t play the field. Batters from opposing teams know to hit to Jose because he can’t catch a ball hit to him unless it happens to land in his glove. He certainly can hit, though. Jose would make a great designated hitter for an American League team. He plays better in the outfield when Harrison Bader is there to back him up, which leads to my next question –
Why isn’t Harrison Bader playing? There is the usual “Dexter Fowler is making more money and Jose Martinez can really hit” excuse. Although right field is not Dexter’s natural position, he plays a lot better there than Jose does. When I saw the lineup for yesterday’s game, I almost flipped out. Yairo Munoz was playing center field? Why? I understand giving Dexter a day off, but why wasn’t Harrison playing? The excuse given for yesterday’s game was that Harrison had a stiff neck. Don’t the Cardinals have a chiropractor on staff that could adjust Harrison’s neck? What about all the other times Harrison could have played since his return from the IL? Is Harrison in someone’s doghouse for some reason? He’s not hitting well when he’s being brought in in late innings, but that’s because he hasn’t been hitting in game situations. He needs to get his timing back. The Cards also sorely miss Harrison’s stellar defense in center field.
Where has the offense gone? The Cards may have scored 17 runs in the May 9 game, but they should have saved some runs for the next night. In fact, every time the Cards win games by such large margins, they don’t score well, if at all, in the next game. Marcell Ozuna, Jose Martinez, and Paul DeJong are the only players hitting with some regularity. Matt Carpenter claims the only place he can hit is leadoff, but he’s not hitting well at all. It’s time to place Matt further down the lineup and find a new leadoff batter. It could even be time to shake up the lineup, perhaps start it with DeJong-Ozuna-Goldschmidt.
The bullpen looks shaky. I shiver every time Tyler Webb is brought into a game. He does not have what it takes to be a bullpen pitcher. I think he will be sent down to AAA when Carlos Martinez completes his rehab assignment. John Brebbia showed he was human yesterday. And poor Jordan Hicks doesn’t get to pitch much because the Cards are not winning games he can save. Andrew Miller has more bad pitching outings than good, which is disappointing.
It’s still fairly early in the season and perhaps this is just a minor slump. Hopefully, this off-day will give the team a day to rest and recuperate. Perhaps watching tonight’s Blues game will relax the guys. I’m looking forward to watching some winning Cardinals baseball starting tomorrow night.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!