With a sputtering offense, the St. Louis Cardinals are still in the hunt in the NL Central. The Chicago Cubs have been losing as many games as the Cardinals; no one seems to want to win the division.
In their second meeting of interleague play, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Cardinals 7-2 on Friday night.
Call it anemic, call it lackluster, call it sputtering. The Cardinals offense still continues to struggle, despite slugger Albert Pujols being inserted back into the lineup.
The problem isn't with getting hits. The problem is that the Redbirds get 'em on, get 'em over, but don't get 'em in.
For the second straight night, the Cardinals had double-digit runners left on base as they aimlessly try to find a way to manufacture runs against second-tier pitching.
This week's Redbird Killer was Gil Meche, who pitched a very solid outing with seven innings while only giving up one run on six hits. Though a very solid pitcher, Meche isn't what I would call a dominating one. The Cardinals just cannot find ways of keeping leads and sustaining offense to take advantage of a weakening NL Central.
The Cardinals bullpen was not to blame for the offensive explosion by the Royals, as starter Joel Pineiro gave up seven earned on 10 hits. Despite pitching nearly eight innings, Pineiro didn't have any offensive support.
The offense for the Cardinals came from one man, Troy Glaus. An all but forgotten third basemn, the powerful slugger did manage a 3-for-4 night with a home run and two RBI. A very respectable game, but it was in a losing effort.
The Royals offense was led by their own third basemn Alex Gordon. Hitting 2-for-3 with a home run and 4 RBI, the young infielder dashed any hopes of the Cardinals making a comeback.
The Royals continue to have the Cardinals number as they have now lost four straight to their interstate rivals. The Redbirds find themselves in a mid-season slump right before the All-Star break. Fortunately for them, they're not the only ones in the division struggling to put together victories.