At the conclusion of May the Cardinals were 30-24 and in first place in the National League Central. Things were going well for El Birdos. They were, as they say, flying high, but maybe a little too high, too close to the sun, for when the calendar turned to June things became deeply unpleasant.
Though the trouble started a little before June, didn’t it? It could probably be traced back to that first series against the Cubs back on May 21. The Cardinals dropped two of three, then went to Chicago and dropped two of three to the White Sox, then won three of four against the Diamondbacks before dropping two of three to the Dodgers. The only series they have won since then was a sweep against the Miami Marlins. That includes series losses to the Reds, the Braves, and the Tigers, teams earlier in the year it seems like they should have defeated (respectfully).
So what happened?
Well, there was the injury to Jack Flaherty on May 31, that was huge. Harrison Bader has been on the Injured List since May 24. Kwang Hyun Kim missed a start between June 4 and June 15 due to injury. Paul DeJong missed a month due to injury and returned two weeks ago, but has struggled. Something inexplicable is happening to Carlos Martínez. Every pitcher is walking an obscene amount of batters...
[takes deep breath]
To try to turn this around, I have conducted a cleansing spell to cast this bad energy out of here.
Bring about two-quarts of water to a boil
Take one heap of ugly thoughts, fears, doubts, regrets and dump it into the cauldron (or Dutch oven, if you are in a pinch)
Cry over the cauldron, really try to get those tears into the brew
Zest one lemon into the water, make sure it is old and bitter like your thoughts
Let that boil for several minutes while thinking about every single thing or person that has ever done you wrong, stew on it, if you will, scream towards it, whatever helps
Toss in a bundle of sage and let those thoughts turn into everything that has gone right and everything that will go right, feel the renewed hope course through you
Turn off the heat on the cauldron and let it cool
Then dump that ish down the drain, you won’t need that anymore
So maybe this won’t help the Cardinals, but at least I feel better. The Cardinals will probably have to help themselves, at least according to some pointed comments from Tommy Edman, changes might be coming.
Tommy Edman: "I don't think we've necessarily done the greatest job of making a gameplan for how guys are gonna throw us day by day and working on things pregame. ... I think we're going to start to implement a few more of those things."#STLFLY pic.twitter.com/YYmuMqE0hC— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) June 25, 2021
Tommy Edman says the #stlcards had a clubhouse meeting today to address the frustration that’s been surrounding the recent results — engagement, awareness, how opposing pitching is attacking them. Also said they haven’t gameplanned or done pregame work as well as they should.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) June 25, 2021
(later)…"we just got away from being committed to, you know, all aspects of the game. And, I'll take responsibility for that. But we're back on track.” #stlcards— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) June 25, 2021
“We’ve got some things in motion” internally, with pitchers currently on the roster.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) June 25, 2021
Maybe this is unclear because it’s a direct quote, but if you speak Shildt — there will be a change to the rotation. That is coming next turn through.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) June 25, 2021