Finding Some Cardinals Bright Spots

None of us as Cardinals fans enjoy what we’ve witnessed on this 0-4 road trip. Longest losing streak of the season — ugh. But how about a little perspective?

sunshineOf course it’s easy to panic and be all doom and gloom and think trades have to be made right this second since the trade deadline is tomorrow and things are terrible today.

And it was terrible to watch Allen Craig and Yadier Molina strike out five times between them last night, a season first. (They did strike out twice each on Opening Day in Arizona — which, after their second back-to-back Ks last night prompted me to see if they’d each struck out that many times in the same game before.)

But we know the team can, and has, played better.

And will again.

So here are some bright spots — in general and from last night in particular.

The Cardinals and the Pirates play 13 more times through Sept. 8 — including twice today. Much as we heard it over and over (and over and over and over) again from Danny Mac and Ricky last night, even if this is THE BIGGEST SERIES EVER IN THE HISTORY OF PNC PARK as they could not shut up about, the Cards return to PNC for Labor Day weekend and the Pirates play six times at Busch Stadium in August and September. Nothing will be decided during this series as far as the NL Central race goes, no matter how THE BIGGEST SERIES EVER ends.

The Cardinals still lead the NL Central.

The Cardinals still have the best record in baseball at 62-41, and are the only team in MLB with a winning percentage above .600. (It’s .602.)

Tony Cruz is batting .400 this season as a pinch-hitter after his triple in the 6th. It was his first triple of the season, second of his career.

Matt Holliday had two hits.

Shane Robinson’s RBI single in the 9th inning pushed his batting average for July to .400.

Rob Johnson is batting .500 after his 9th inning single.

Jake Westbrook didn’t allow a hit after the second inning.

Westbrook’s home ERA is still 1.28.

Marc Rzepczynski only faced three batters in the 6th inning, thanks to the double play by Matt Carpenter.

Fernando Salas retired Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez in order in the 8th — and even struck out Alvarez.

That was the second K of Alvarez for the game, as Westbrook also caught him looking in the 5th. And he only had one hit. (Yeah, I know what the hit was. But it was just one hit!)

And … well, that’s about all I can dig up. But, see, everything’s not completely terrible. Right?

Plus there’s a doubleheader today, and the Cards record in doubleheaders this season is 2-0.

See, another bright side!

Game one starts at 3:05 p.m Central Time with Lance Lynn and A.J. Burnett as the starters. Game two will be after that — time TBD, Pirates starter still TBA as of now — with Tyler Lyons returning to the majors for the game.

Also, just a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for entering our Game 6 DVD giveaway — find details about that here, and tweet your photo to @AMilesFastball. We’ve gotten some nice entries so far — like an autographed Joe Torre photo from his 1971 MVP season! But we’d love to get more.

Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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