The St. Louis Cardinals established the best record in Major League Baseball for much of the first half of the season because of their starting pitching rotation.
They’ve lost that designation and the lead in the National League Central Division for much the same reason.
The Cardinals starters collectively posted a remarkable 2.62 earned-run average through May 25, but that was almost certain not to last.
The rotation’s ERA in June is near 5.00, and it has just 10 quality starts as the team went 11-13 in a recent 24-game stretch to fall two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates at the beginning of the week.
Adam Wainwright had five of those quality starts and has kept the staff from completely crumbling with his 1.96 ERA in his last five starts.
Lance Lynn has been decent. He earned a win in three of his five starts in June and the team won four of those five, but his ERA also rose from 2.76 to 3.52 as Lynn allowed four or more runs three times.
Shelby Miller has gone through typical...