It’s been no secret the strength of the St. Louis Cardinals this year is the starting pitching. However, after watching this four game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals are on a slippery slope. After losing three of these four games, the Cardinals have fallen into a second place tie with Cincinnati, now 6.5 games behind Milwaukee.
The offense went silent against Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw over the weekend. The two ace starters combined for 23 of the club’s 26 strikeouts in the last two games as the Cardinals managed one run on ten hits in the last two games. In those two losses, Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, Allen Craig and Yadier Molina went a combined 3 for 21 with six strikeouts.
“We’re not clicking, producing, whatever verb you want to throw with it to describe us not being able to throw many hits together,” manager Mike Matheny said. “You cannot, again, deny that not many guys are throwing a lot of hits together against these guys. There is no reason to start standing on a chair and start screaming at people. But I know our guys are frustrated, no matter who we face, walking out of here with zeros. We don’t think we’re that kind of team that is going to get shut out very often.
On Sunday, Kershaw struck out 13 in seven innings of five-hit ball, and extended his career-best scoreless streak to 28 innings since throwing his first no-hitter June 18 against Colorado. He went 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA in June, giving up four runs in 44 innings and striking out 61. Kershaw never allowed a runner to reach third base while getting at least one strikeout in each inning.
Even the Cardinals, who have had their success against Kershaw can’t hit him right now. The two-time Cy Young winner entered the game just 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA against the Cardinals.
Milwaukee 51 33 .607
Cincinnati 43 38 .531…6.5 Games Back
St. Louis 44 39 .530…6.5 GB
Pittsburgh 42 40 .512…8.0 GB
Chi Cubs 34 46 .425…15.0 GB