Another day, another loss. The streak is now at eight games in a row. The Cardinals are 14 games below the .500 mark, as they own a 10-24 record. And yet, after every game, we’re left questioning how much longer it’ll take for things to change.
I won’t harp too much on the idea of making Willson Contreras the full-time DH and sometimes an outfielder instead of catcher, despite Andrew Knizner’s continued poor play. All I’ll say is I don’t understand it.
Adam Wainwright got the start today after missing a month due to a groin injury. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t necessarily bad either. He looked pretty good in the first four innings. Things unraveled a bit in the fifth when the Tigers bounced back for three runs to tie the game, negating the momentum gained from Dylan Carlson’s three-run homer. I think it would have been wise for Oli Marmol to pull him after the fifth.
Giovanny Gallegos was good in the ninth inning, but the wheels fell off in the tenth when Akil Baddoo hit a ground-rule double that got past Alec Burleson to put the Tigers in front 6-5, where they would stay.
But without further ado, let’s dive into some takeaways from yet another gut-punch loss.
Carlson Stays Hot While Arenado Shows Some Power.
Despite everything that has gone wrong in recent weeks, I must say that I’m very encouraged to see Carlson rediscovering his stroke. He got things going with a three-run shot in the bottom of the second. That put the Cardinals up 3-0. It was his only hit of the game, but he sure made it count. He’s now hitting .234 on the season.
Carlson is still just 5 for his last 25, which is a concern, but he really seems to be making some strides, and we can only hope that he’s on his way to rediscovering his 2021 form.
It was also nice to see Nolan Arenado hit a bomb today. It was a nice pick-me-up moment after Wainwright’s tough fifth inning, and it was good to see the Cardinals respond to that quickly. It was his third homer of the season and first since April 12 in Colorado.
Missed Opportunities Aplenty
It’s hard to put this out of my mind. The Cardinals stranded 21 runners today. 21! With this offense, that should never happen. Unfortunately, baseball doesn’t follow a script.
The most glaring situation was in the bottom of the ninth when Lars Nootbaar was on second and Paul Goldschmidt had a chance to drive in the winning run. The reigning walked, but Willson Contreras was subsequently retired. Nolan Arenado then popped out, setting the stage for the Tigers tenth-inning rally.
The Cardinals threatened in the bottom half, but came up empty.
While he may not have been dominant today, I’m still glad to see Adam Wainwright back in action. Did it help matters today? No, not really. But for a while, it seemed like having him back gave the team a bit of a jolt.
As I previously mentioned, he was mostly good. But things unraveled a bit in the fifth and he allowed another run in the sixth. He did strike out five batters however, and the velocity on his fastball was close to 90 MPH, so that’s a step in the right direction.
The Cardinals will send Steven Matz to the mound tomorrow hoping to avoid a ninth straight loss.