A tale of two teams

In listening to the post game press conference it is obvious something is off with this team. And Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sees it to. “You could see one team with a lot of confidence and the way they walk onto the field and the way they play the game, and I think you’re seeing a team on the other field that’s not so much,” he said following  the Cardinals’ 6-1 loss.

In today’s world, most major league teams don’t have the depth to withstand a constant rash of injuries, and the Cardinals are finding out they are no exception. With seven of their projected 25-man roster on the disabled list, the Cardinals have gone 11-19 in the last month and 6-12 in their last 18 games.

Winning just two of their last 10 series — against weaklings San Diego and Houston – they have dropped to third place in the National League Central after leading the division for much of the early part of the season.  The confidence and swagger the Cardinals showed the first month of the season is noticeably missing. And they know it.

Offensively, the team’s on-base percentage was .356 when the Cardinals were 20-11. Since they’ve gone 11-19, it has dropped to .317. A bit of this is because of the falloff of shortstop Rafael Furcal, who might have been their best player in the first month. Furcal is 0 for his last 11 and 7 for his last 46.

In the same press conference Matheny offered this nugget as well, “We have to figure out how to get it back, because we had it and it’s there and it’s in us, but right now we’re not doing it,” “We’re not showing it. Obviously wins create that confidence and that breeds more.”

Two of the Cardinals’ starting pitchers, Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse, have a combined 15-3 record, with Lynn at 9-2. The rest of the rotation is 12-16. And that means an inconsistent bullpen is 4-11.

Some help is on the way. Matt Carpenter and Skip Schumaker both are expected to go on rehab assignments soon as they recover from oblique and hamstring ailments, respectively. Help they desperately need.

They’ve scored just six total runs in their past four games – the same number the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates scored Tuesday night against Baltimore.

Perhaps the best news the Cardinals have received in recent weeks, they still play in the National League Central. So despite the poor play and the concerning amount of losses piling up in recent weeks, the Cardinals find themselves just three games behind the division-leading Reds with more than half the season yet to play.

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