Where is the offense? To the St. Louis Cardinals, it had apparently died when their slugger, Albert Pujols, was placed on the disabled list earlier this month.
Despite a solid pitching performance by Brad Thompson, the Cardinals lost to the Royals 4-1 on Thursday. As a result, the Kansas City Royals swept the Cardinals in their first series of interleague play.
For the sixth time in their last seven games, the Cardinals were unable to score more than three runs. Zack Greinke, a noteworthy prospect, shut down the Cardinals. Along with their bullpen, the Royals limited the Redbirds to just two hits.
It was the first time since the first week of April 2007 that the Cardinals were swept at home and the first time this year they were swept in a series. Not much promise for their fallen leader Albert Pujols to cheer for while he recovers from a strained calf.
Filling in for Anthony Reyes, who was filling in for Todd Wellemeyer, Brad Thompson kept the Cardinals within reach by pitching five innings while only giving up two runs on five hits.
Jason Isringhausen and Randy Flores both kept the Royals at bay, but it was reliever Chris Perez that let the game slip away. He allowed two runs on two hits while walking another two batters.
Recently called up because of bullpen woes, the young reliever did not show his true stuff as he helped contribute to the series sweep to their cross-state rivals.
The only offense the Cardinals managed was a solo home run by Rick Ankiel who has all but disappeared from the radar of big league pitchers.
The Cardinals now travel to Boston to take on the defending champions. The match-ups include facing Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester, two formidable pitchers.
The Redbirds better bring their "A" game to Fenway or they will face yet another sweep.