Every team goes through its ups and downs throughout the six-month regular season. The St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently riding a seven-game skid heading into Saturday night’s inter-league contest with the Kansas City Royals, have been through struggles similar to the past week and a half before.
Twice the Cardinals suffered an eight-game losing streak en route to becoming World Champions in 2006. It’s obvious the Cardinals are in the worst slump of the season, but having been in identical situations before, this club will no doubt bounce back. All it takes is for one hitter and/or pitcher to get hot and then winning becomes not only contagious, but fun as well. Moods will sway and the clubhouse atmosphere will alter. Smiles will be seen throughout the clubhouse and guys will be enjoying themselves once more.
The current skid: Seven straight losses including being swept at the hands of division rival Milwaukee and National League East opponent Washington have plagued the Cardinals over the past week. Dropping the first of three to the Kansas City Royals of the American League Central divisiont prolonged the skid to a season-high seven games.
Over the drought:
1) The Cardinals have scored four or more runs just three times and are batting a dismal .193 (44 hits, 228 at-bats) over the span. They’ve been shutout twice; a 8-0 loss to the Brewers on June 10, and a 10-0 pounding dealt by the Nationals on Wednesday.
2) The starting pitching has been just as bad, if not worse. Only once over the last seven games has a Cardinals’ starter tossed more than six innings (Chris Carpenter, Friday night versus the Royals: 8 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 Ks, 1 BB). As a group, they’ve worked a combined 41 innings and have allowed 29 total runs, 26 of which were earned off 50 hits. The stat that jumps out is the eight home runs allowed by the starting staff.
3) From the offense to the starting pitching, and finally to the bullpen. The relievers have turned in better performances than of late for the Cardinals. Over the skid, the bullpen has worked a gruesome 17 1/3 innings, allowing 18 earned runs off 24 hits, all while surrendering five home runs. Opponents have teed off on the Cardinals’ bullpen.
-As the Cardinals fight their way through the tough times, it’ll be interesting to see how this team responds to more adversity. They’ve already been dealt a Christmas list worth of injuries and now a seven-game losing streak.