The St. Louis Cardinals returned from the All-Star break in third place in the NL Central, 2.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they had an opportunity to quickly jump back ahead with their first nine games after the break against division teams.
Photo by Chris Reed
Unfortunately, the Cardinals won just two of the first seven of those games heading into play Saturday. They were unceremoniously swept by the Cincinnati Reds and lost two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers before beating the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Friday. That stretch dropped them five games behind the division-leading Reds.
It would be easy to sound the alarms and demand an overhaul at the trade deadline. People say the bullpen is terrible, Jon Jay can no longer hit and the team could use another starting pitcher. However, those problems need only minor solutions, not major changes.
It would be short-sighted to say the Cardinals are a bad team. This team still has as much talent on its roster as any team in the Nati...