Right-hander Lance Lynn for the St. Louis Cardinals summed up his team’s problems when he said St. Louis must pitch better, scored more runs, and play better defense.
The logic cannot be argued with, what has got St. Louis off to its worst start to a season in six seasons has not been that complex, but is growing. Lapses on defense, anemic hitting and poor pitching have resulted in three series’ lost and an overall record of 3-6.
Many pundits called the Cardinals just a mediocre team this season but no one predicted them to underperform.
St. Louis spoke all spring about how good the climate was in the clubhouse, but that for the time being has been lost due to the team’s poor start.
Of course, the start of the season has been tough on the Cardinals as they opened playing against two of the National League’s best teams. A slow start is not all that bad for previous Cardinals’ teams. The last time St. Louis started the season 3-6, it won a World Series title the same season.
One of the biggest issues that needs work is starting pitching. Carlos Martinez started off the season with a bang with 10 strikeouts opening night versus the Chicago Cubs.
But his second time out was nowhere near as good against Cincinnati and the other four Cardinals starters did the same until Mike Leake pitched well on Wednesday against Washington.
Until Leake’s performance ended a poor run by starters for St. Louis the staff had given up 30 hits that produced 20 runs to Washington.
Relief pitching has not performed well with Seung-Hwan Oh giving up two homers and two doubles already while Trevor Rosenthal has started poor after coming off the disabled list.
Dexter Fowler was supposed to give the Cardinals speed on the bases as he is one of baseball’s best leadoff hitters. Things have not yet started to gel for Fowler and his new teammates, but that will likely happen going forward.
Defensively, the team last year was hurt with injuries causing players to be shifted from their normal positions. This year to make the batting order stronger Matt Adams has been put in left field but he has looked weak there and his bat has yet to come alive.
Overall, after just nine games to start the season, it appears the Cardinals will be competitive but far from being a contender in the National League Central and likely will not even contend for a wildcard spot.