Even though the St. Louis Cardinals lost their season-high third straight game — this time to the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1 — there were a few positives if you put on your glittery rose-colored glasses.
The Cardinals did score a run, which was something they hadn’t done in 16 innings. Yadier Molina had three hits, the only RBI and stole a base. The bullpen was terrific, pitching two scoreless innings allowing only one hit (by Randy Choate) and striking out two (by Trevor Rosenthal). And Adam Wainwright pitched very well for seven innings, giving up five hits and striking out six along with the two runs.
Of course, the continued lack of hitting, or timely hitting, by everyone but Yadi is the real story of the game.
And no pom-poms or sparkly glasses can hide that fact.
The Cardinals did have seven hits last night, one more than the Reds, and benefited from three walks by Mat Latos and one by Logan Ondrusek. But, of course, 10 of those 11 runners were left on base.
Here’s more on the harsh reality of late, courtesy of Derrick Goold:
- The Cardinals have scored four runs in three games and hit .188 as a team during that stretch.
- They entered Monday’s game as baseball’s best team with runners in scoring position, batting .335. That unrealistically high average has masked an overall lag in offense, and as it starts to settle the struggles are sharper and costlier.
- Overall averages have yet to rise. The only regular hitting better than .300 is Yadier Molina.
- Six regulars are hitting less than their career average.
- The Cardinals went two for 11 with runners in scoring position Monday, dropping to four for 24 (.167) in the past three games.
And then there’s this, also from Goold:
In the middle of the team’s offensive fade is Freese, who is hitless on the home stand and three times had a chance with a runner on base Monday and failed to advance any of them by 90 feet.
In the eighth, the Cardinals’ rally for a run first faltered when Freese followed back-to-back doubles with a groundout. It his was 16th consecutive at-bat without a hit, and again it cost the Cardinals their lead runner. Freese hasn’t put a ball out of the infield in 13 at-bats.
“I feel terrible,” said Freese, who is batting .163. “It’s obvious. It’s frustrating.”
Unfortunately, to quote poet Robert Frost (hey, it’s the last day of National Poetry Month), there is no way out but through. The only way for Freese, and all the Cardinals hitters, to come out this cold spell is by working to move forward.
And, for today at least, there won’t be any panicked talk about the bullpen. (Maybe.)
Plus there’s this terrific fact about Yadi’s stolen base last night from Chris Tunno of the Cardinals media relations staff:
Since the start of 2012, Yadier Molina has stolen 3rd base 6 times.More than, Bryce Harper (5), Andrew McCutchen (5), Jarrod Dyson (4).
— Chris Tunno (@TunesSTL) April 30, 2013
Yadier Molina, stolen base machine.
Game two of the series is tonight, with Jaime Garcia and Bronson Arroyo pitching. It starts at 7:15 p.m. Central Time on Fox Sports Midwest and MLB Network.
Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.