We’re pushing the panic button today in St. Louis because the Cardinals blew a 9-3 lead in the ninth inning and lost to Colorado last night at Coors Field. Good reason to panic, to be sure. For the first time this season, the Cardinals lost a game that they led after seven innings. The offense stepped up, but the pitching failed them.
But here’s perhaps the most jarring Cardinal statistic. Since last September 11, with their playoff sweep at the hands of the Dodgers included, the Cardinals are 52-55. Something has happened to this club, and they haven’t been able to shake what is now a four month run of mediocre baseball.
Since last September 11, the Cardinals have averaged a little over 4.3 runs per game. In the first 141 games last season, they averaged nearly 4.6. Add to that the fact that the Redbirds lead the National League in baserunners lost, and simply play sloppy baseball, there’s a lot to be concerned about.
The fact of the matter is this-many of us, me included-likely simply overestimated this club. They aren’t great offensively, although they aren’t terrible. They aren’t very sharp defensively, and are stunningly inept fundamentally for a Tony LaRussa team.
Some teams are good, some teams are bad, and some teams are in between. We’re halfway through the season. It seems clear that this group is simply mediocre.