St. Louis Cardinals: The Week That Was

Eric Hobbs@@E_HobbsCorrespondent IJune 8, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 31:  St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa speaks to the umpires during their game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on May 31, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Rather than simply recap the past week of Cardinals baseball, I've decided to make this weekly column more about my opinions and thoughts for the week.

I'll begin by throwing Todd Wellemeyer under the bus. He was great last season until late August. Since then, he has been mediocre on his best days and downright horrible on his bad ones. He has done nothing but walk people, give up cheap runs, and make it obvious to Cards GM John Mozeliak that they need one more pitcher.

Therein lies the problem. The Cards need for offense could be greater than their need for someone to replace Wellemeyer. Albert Pujols is being Albert Pujols, but aside from him only Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker have been consistent offensively.

I hate to say it because of how awesome a story it is, but Rick Ankiel is becoming a liability. Despite his stellar defense, he will be flirting with the Mendoza line if he isn't careful.

During a game against the Colorado Rockies this week, I looked over at my mother, who was watching the game with me, and I promised her Ankiel would strike out or pop the ball up. After a mighty but fruitless whiff, Ankiel walked back to the dugout with yet another strikeout.

Ryan Ludwick joins Ankiel in the underachieving outfielders department. Though I really like the way he plays the game Ludwick began to slump even a few weeks before his injury. His average is now below .250, which simply cannot happen when protecting Pujols.

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As the dog days of summer approach and the division race tightens up, games where an 0-6 pitcher with an ERA over five (Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies) comes into your ballpark and takes you to school will prove to be back-breakers.

It would be unfair if I did not praise Chris Carpenter. There is something to be said when you pitch masterfully and your ERA balloons to 0.71. That is insanity, and yet we are not that surprised to see it. He may keep this team in the playoff race by himself.

At this point, I seriously would consider taking Ankiel out of the lineup, then featuring an outfield of Colby Rasmus, Ludwick, and Schumaker.

Combine that with an infield of Pujols, Joe Thurston, Tyler Greene, and Brian Barden to go along with Yadier Molina ,and you have a shakeup that hopefully can wake up this offense.

Something must be done, because putting up such minuscule numbers will get these players nothing but an earlier tee time in October.