14 Games to Go

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Matt Carpenter celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch Saturday.

Cardinals are 3-2 so far this week, but the offense has been forebodingly quiet.

They were no-hit for six innings back-to-back in the first two games against the Brewers. They lost the third game (Joe Kelly’s first loss after 8 straight wins). They managed, because of a wild pitch in the 10th, to beat the Mariners Friday (but still lose Adam Wainwright’s shot at 20 wins), and they lost yesterday. 25 hits and 15 runs over 5 games is not impressive. Neither is a team .164 batting average over that stretch. Losing Allen Craig hurt, obviously, but his teammates have to pick up the slack.

Good news is that Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright appear to be back in form. Shelby Miller threw well against the Brewers last Tuesday (he’s on the mound today). Kelly lost, but, hey, he wasn’t going to win forever. He will likely bounce back this week against the Rockies, and he practically single-handedly kept us in the race for more than a month. Michael Wacha got cuffed around yesterday, after a brilliant performance against Pittsburgh to cap the sweep last weekend. He has two more starts; if he is solid, no worries.

But the offense has to re-start. We’re not going to have Allen Craig for awhile, perhaps (shudder) not even in the post-season. Matt Carpenter – who leads the league in hits, doubles, and runs scored and is 5th in batting average – is hitting very well of late, getting 6 of the team’s 25 hits this past week. He’s also been excellent defensively. Matt Holliday, who did break up the no-hitter Tuesday with a 2-run homer, is otherwise 3 for 15 this week and has been skunked by the Mariners so far. David Freese, who had been heating up, has only 2 hits for the week’s work. Carlos Beltran, ditto.

Key in the next two weeks to the end of the season – Pirates and Reds play each other six times. But the Redbirds, tied with Pittsburgh and only 2 1/2 in front of the Reds, can’t count on their losing. They’ll have to win.

Stating the obvious: need to get some hits and some runs, fellas.

Later,

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