If You Want To Destroy My Cardinals, Hold This Thread While They Walk Away

With a nod to Weezer, the Cards are holding this season together by a thread or two...and that sweater is quickly unraveling.

Is It Wong To Want A Second Baseman Who Can Hit?

Can't we just agree to throw Kolten Wong on the Brendan Ryan, Pete Kozma, Tyler Greene scrap heap of infielders who can field but can't hit? I'm not going to bore you with slash lines, league average second basemen and the all-redeeming WAR (aka the Jason Heyward 184-million dollar mistake stat). Wong is not hitting his weight and he only weighs a buck eighty-five. Let's face it, the Cards are going to have to pay to make this mistake go away unless they can find a team willing to take Wong for a bag of balls (gently or roughly used). What team is going to take on that $6.5 mil/$10.25 mil contract for the next two years? Jerry Dipoto needs to be on speed dial and the conversation needs to start like this: "Jerry, if you loved Mike Leake, have I got a deal for you!"

Our 4.5 Starting Pitchers Are Down To 3.5

Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha (Friday's fiasco aside) have all been terrific. Jack Flaherty (2.96) is on the cusp of joining this trio in the 2.50 ERA or less club. Luke Weaver is clearly the fat chick hanging out with the four hot girls in this crowd. At 5.26 IP/start, Weaver is just half a starter whose ERA is half a run (4.52 vs 3.96) worse than league average. Weaver is the 1985 Kurt Kepshire of this rotation. And we could overlook that just like we could overlook the fatty hanging out with the four hot chicks except on closer inspection, one of the hot chicks has something wrong; seriously wrong. Is that an adam's apple on that chick? Yeah, I'm looking at you Carlos Martinez. You are not right. I give him another start or two before the Cards finally put him on the DL. That 6.40 ERA in his last three starts is not a case of knocking off rust. It's a sign C-Mart is hurt. Of course, the Cardinals will be the last to recognize it and Matheny can cue up the "I can't fix them if they don't tell me they're broke" line. Hey Mike, if you want to know if someone is healthy, just ask anyone in the stands. Apparently, you're the only one in St. Louis who can't see a guy's arm dangling by a tendon.

No, Really, *This* Is The Year Matt Carpenter Mashes From The Three Hole

How many seasons now have we seen the Cards look at Matt Carpenter's slash line in the offseason and opine that he's an ideal number three hitter only to see him fail miserably there, get returned to the leadoff spot where he starts hitting again and everyone (and I mean everyone) swears *this* is the last year we try to bat Carp anywhere but leadoff. The guy is freaking 32 years old. Can we finally acknowledge he's not going to hit anywhere but leadoff? I don't know what's in his head that only allows his bat to work batting first but surely we can all agree that's the case. At this point, it's like saying I know your bat only works when you look at chicks but let's just give it one more try with dudes. It. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. For future reference, everyone reading this needs to commit to a pact to nut kick the next person who even intimates batting Carp anywhere but leadoff.

The Four Man Bullpen

The Cardinals have had four effective relievers out 14 (I'm not counting John Gant). 4 for 14 makes for a decent batting average, it's piss poor player development/general managing (take your pick). We all know Matheny's penchant for sticking with pitchers he counts on. This year's prime candidates for bullpen extreme overuse are: Jordan HIcks, Bud Norris, John Brebbia and Sam Tuivailala. How ineffective are the rest of the battered bullpen bunch? Just take a look at batting average against and keep in mind the league average is .242. Mayers-.263, Leone-.306, Bowman-.309, Lyons-.291, Cecil-.324, Sheriff-.333, Gregerson-.250, Holland-.339, Guilmet-.583 (not a typo). On the bright side, Gomber is just at .190 but his 6 walks in 7 innings is a sign of damage to come. The Cardinals have already gutted the Memphis franchise for pitchers the bottom of the barrel isn't quite scraped. Dakota Hudson 2.18 ERA/1.30 WHIP (58 K/74.1 IP), Daniel Poncedeleon 2.41 ERA/1.41 WHIP (71 K/59.2 IP) and Ryan Helsley 3.71 ERA/1.01 WHIP (34 K/26.2 IP).

Has The Season Finally Come Undone?

I don't want to raise the white flag before the All Star break but this team is falling apart...quickly. Falling apart like that '74 Vega you had once that aluminum block started overheating. The starting pitching that's been carrying the Cardinals is now a pitcher (Martinez) and a half (Weaver) short. We have half a bullpen (though not for a lack of trying). No one can get on in front of Ozuna now that he's finally heated up. We could pull people out of the stands to play second and right field and not lose any hitting. I think Lloyd Christmas sums it up best.

Looking forward to a post about all the positive signs the Cards are making a playoff push (sigh).