Cards' Offense Uncharacteristically Quiet to Begin Season
ST. LOUIS - One of the most prolific offenses in Major League Baseball during 2013 has struggled mightily during the first month of the 2014 season.
The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals ranked among the top five teams in baseball in runs, hits, doubles and batting average. Entering the game on April 29 against the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2014 Cardinals fail to rank in the top 10 in any major offensive category.
St. Louis has just two players batting over .300 in the month of April: All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, and first baseman Matt Adams. The new additions to this year's squad seem to be the ones struggling the most. New shortstop Jhonny Peralta has belted six home runs and drove in 12 runs, but along with newcomer Peter Bourjos and 2013 All-Star Allen Craig, has failed to hit above the Mendoza Line during April.
Rookie second baseman Kolten Wong has also stumbled out of the gate for St. Louis. Wong won the starting second base job after a sensational Spring Training where he hit .375 in 18 games. It has been a different story for the highly touted Cardinal prospect in the 2014 regular season. Wong was recently demoted to AAA Memphis after hitting just .225 in 20 MLB games for the Cardinals.
Although the team has been struggling to score runs, the Cardinals' pitchers have kept them competitive with a 14-13 record.
The starting rotation has a combined average ERA of 2.48 entering April 29, and 2013 NL Cy Young Award runner-up Adam Wainwright has been nothing short of dominant. The right-hander is 5-1 and has only given up six runs in 45 innings pitched.
At the rate the Cardinals' offense is producing, pitching dominance may be necessary to keep the club's head above water.