St. Louis Cardinals
Before the 2017 season even began, the Cardinals were looking to upgrade their offense. To do that, they signed 2016 World Series champion Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million deal. Despite his hefty contract, Fowler has not preformed at his 2016 level. In 65 games, Fowler is slashing .253/.343/.498 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI. While he has tied his home run total from last season, Fowler’s batting average and OBP are lower than last year’s numbers.
Despite Fowler’s solid numbers the Cardinals’ offense has fallen on rough times in 2017. Currently, they rank 25th in runs, 16th in batting average, and 20th in slugging percentage.
Part of the problem has been Matt Carpenter. Carpenter is hitting a modest .247 with 57 strikeouts in 227 at-bats.
Despite some rough-looking numbers, the Cardinals’ hitters have started to come around of late, even if the win column doesn’t show it. In their last seven games, the Cardinals are 2-5. In that same time, both Fowler and Carpenter are hitting over .350, while Yadier Molina is hitting .292.
The Cardinals offense seems to be turning a corner, but the starting pitching has been terrible of late.
Recent starting pitching issues could sink the Cardinals
Over their last seven games, the Cardinals offense is averaging 6.6 runs per game. However, Cardinals’ pitching is allowing just over 6.7 runs per game in the same time frame.
The majority of the problem for the Cardinals over the last week has been the starting pitching. Aside from Carlos Martinez, Cardinals’ starters over the last seven days have an ERA just under 9.00. Overall, in the last week, Cardinals’ pitching has a 5.75 ERA and has allowed 46 earned runs and 16 home runs in 72 innings pitched.
Just as the offense was starting to get it together, the starting staff entered a rough stretch. If the Cardinals hope to make a push toward the postseason, they will need their starting staff to hold together.
Their performances in the last seven games have no doubt been the floor for the Cardinals pitching, and it should only get better from here.