CHICAGO Two steps forward and one step back. It's been that kind of season for the puzzling St. Louis Cardinals.
Armed with one of the best offensives in the league and a pitching staff that has the lowest ERA in the major leagues in July, the Cardinals somehow find themselves a season-worst 7.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central.
And Sunday's 4-2 walk-off loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field served as a perfect microcosm of their recent struggles: Adam Wainwright allowed just two runs in six innings but the offense couldn't provide a clutch hit and the bullpen faltered late.
The Cardinals arrived in the Windy City with six wins in their past seven games and momentum that appeared to have them going in the right direction. But after winning Friday's series opener 9-6, the Cardinals lost 3-2 on Saturday and fell in another heartbreaker Sunday to drop the series and slow their gaining optimism.
"You can't be playing well, come in here and lose to the Cub...