Summer is hot and steamy here in the Midwest. Midwest residents who are also Cardinals fans know that as the temperature gets hotter, so do the Cards’ bats. Unfortunately, the bats are not heating up along with the weather this season. Even though there are a few games where the Cards scored more than 3 runs, those games are few and far between. When the Cards’ hitters don’t do their part and score runs, the pitchers have had to carry the load and pitch extraordinarily well in order to win games. This is not fair to the poor pitchers – they deserve more run support. It’s a miracle that the Cards have the best record in baseball. Poor Jaime Garcia – every time he loses, he gets no run support.
So why are the Cards’ bats cold as ice? That has been a hot topic (pun intended) on Twitter and other social media lately. Are opposing pitchers really all that good? Some of them are, to be sure, but that isn’t the solution to the problem. There’s more to the problem than that.
Matt Carpenter was hitting very well before his break for exhaustion, but he hasn’t been hitting very well after that break. Has his demotion in the batting order affected him? Matt Holliday was out for about a month due to a quad tear. The team really missed his bat while he was gone. Other players have not hit up to their potential as well. This scoring only 2 – 3 runs a game may work all right during the regular season, but if the Cards are going to have any chance in the playoffs, they must score more runs than that per game.
So what’s it going to take for the Cards to start hitting better? Fans and sportswriters are calling for an acquisition of a power hitting first baseman. Mark Reynolds is a good player, but as mentioned in my last post, he is not an everyday player. The players most talked about as possible acquisition candidates are Adam Lind of the Brewers and Chris Davis of the Orioles. Davis would be a rental since he is a free agent in 2016, which would work if it were guaranteed that Matt Adams will be back in the lineup next season. There is the possibility of Lind staying beyond 2016, which would work if the team decides that Adams is not the answer at first base. What either the Brewers or the Orioles would want in exchange for either player is the key to any deal.
Maybe the Cards should look internally. How is the poor offense being addressed by the manager and coaches? Now I admit it’s been a little hot in St. Louis the last few days for extended batting practice, but hopefully, the hitting coaches are reviewing videos of the players’ at-bats to see if there is a glitch with their batting stance or with the way they are holding the bat. Are the players watching videos of opposing pitchers to find their weaknesses?
Or – dare I say it? – is it time for a new hitting coach? I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this. Maybe it’s time to shake things up, like the Allen Craig and Joe Kelly trade last season. Maybe that’s what it will take to get things going.
Thanks as always for reading my ramblings! See you next time!