The offense is awful. Cards have fewest HRs in NL


On Sunday at Busch Stadium, as the kids from Carman Trails Elementary sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” throngs of fans left the old ballgame.

The Brewers had just broken a scoreless tie with two runs, and the Cardinals sure as heck weren’t going to score any.

And among the St. Louis fans who stayed, some actually booed when the Cardinals made their final out.

Shut out by the Brewers on Sunday.

Swept by the Brewers this weekend.

In the first division series of the season.

With run totals of one, five and zero.

All while Kyle Gibson pitched his butt off on Friday — and Sonny Gray pitched his butt off on Sunday.

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Twenty-two games into this pivotal season, the Cardinals’ production on offense has been both inexplicable and unacceptable. These guys are underachieving in the most maddening ways and in the most important times — like, with runners in scoring position.

To me, that’s the most glaring stat of the season thus far. After going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position in Sunday’s 2-0 loss, the Cardinals (9-13) are flirting with the infamous “Mendoza Line.” See, St. Louis has a .201 batting average with runners in scoring position. That’s the lowest in the National League. And only the Twins and White Sox, who have a combined 10 wins, have lower RISP averages.

This lack of situational execution is on Cardinals coaches, too. Hitting coach Turner Ward and his department must do better to unlock this offense’s potential. Because yes, as of now anyway, I’m going to say this team still has the offensive potential to compete in this division. Heck, I thought that five guys could hit 20 or more homers (Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Willson Contreras and Jordan Walker).

That leads us to the next extremely glaring stat of the season: The Cardinals have 13 home runs, the fewest in the NL. Only the White Sox, who have three wins (three wins!) have fewer homers — and they’re only two behind.

And former Cardinals Tyler O’Neill and Marcell Ozuna have a 15 combined homers, two more than their old club.

“If we make better contact, if we make more contact, good things are going to happen,” said Cardinals catcher Contreras, one of the few fellows with good offensive stats thus far. “When somebody’s not doing good and you try to do too much, that’s a trap. So it’s important to keep it short and quick to the ball and make good contact. What I have in my mind right now is to just make contact and see what happens. I’m not trying to hit homers to be the big guy — I’m trying to get on base for my teammates and make something happen for my team.”

The last time a Cardinal homered was on Friday — not this past Friday but the Friday before that, in Arizona, when Arenado and Lars Nootbaar went deep. To be fair, Nootbaar did hit a ball Sunday that went over the wall, but Milwaukee center fielder Blake Perkins committed larceny, robbing Noot of a three-run homer.

“Right now, I just don’t think that anybody’s exactly where they want to be offensively,” Nootbaar said after the 2-0 loss, in which the Cards had only six hits. “You want to hit home runs, but when you’re not feeling well, they’re tough to come by. Unfortunately, today I felt like I got one taken away from me. And hitting is contagious. And so you want to feel that good swing and — boom — you start to roll with that. Right now, I just don’t think we’re putting enough together — as individuals and as a team — to really feel that.

“But I’ve got confidence in everybody in this clubhouse that we’ll be able to turn it around. We’ve got Hall of Famers in this clubhouse. Ain’t no doubt in my mind that we’ll turn it around. And as young guys too, we’ll start to carry our own load and not have to worry about them (doing it).”

Well, likely Hall of Famers Arenado and Goldschmidt each have hit just one home run.

They combined for five left on base on Sunday, when Goldschmidt was moved down to the fifth spot in the lineup.

And Arenado, who has improved his hitting stroke of late, had an awful at-bat in the fifth inning — popping up with two outs and two runners in scoring position.

Goldschmidt, meanwhile, doesn’t have an extra-base hit since opening day.

“It’s obvious that I haven’t played good at all,” Goldschmidt said Sunday. “You can’t make up for that. So it’s just focusing on the next day and trying to help us win. I’m trying to do everything I can to play better. Any adjustments that can be made? Yeah, I’m definitely trying to do that to the best of my ability. I haven’t done it. You know, that’s disappointing. It’s probably cost us some games so far. So I hate that.

“But I can’t go back and change that. So (I) just try to keep making adjustments. Try to work tomorrow, have good at-bats.”

St. Louis is waiting, perhaps more impatiently than ever before, for these good at-bats.


Not even Sonny Gray can overcome the Cardinals’ offensive woes in ‘unfair’ loss to Brewers


Cardinals shut out by Brewers 2-0, lose 4th straight despite Sonny Gray's strong start


What Victor Scott II’s option to minors means for rookie, center field job: Cardinals Extra

The Cardinals’ Willson Conteras speaks with media on Sunday, April 21, 2024, after a sweep by Milwaukee. Video by Ethan Erickson

Ethan Erickson





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