Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

A line-up that features a scorching hot Matt Holliday, the greatest player in the history of baseball, a budding superstar, a clutch-hitting catcher and hot shot rookie plays a game. Together. And can’t muster up a single run. Or maybe one. Sometimes.

If you’ve watched Cardinal baseball for even a little bit in 2010, then this scenario is not only happening, it’s a regular late-night visitor on FSN.

A guy like B.J. Rains, whose job it is to cover the day to day grind, will take a micro snapshot of a road trip to Toronto, see the Cardinals won 2 of 3 from a pretty decent Blue Jay team, and call me an asshole for bitching about winning the series.

He’s right about me being an asshole. Not so much about the Cardinals, in this pretend scenario.

Like I mentioned in this space before… the regular season is completely meaningless for this Cardinals team. These guys have all but begged Cincinnati to make a run, but the Reds are fading. There is NO chance that St. Louis doesn’t play in the playoffs in 2010. None.

So in order to spin this season forward, we have to look at the big picture here and see what could be a problem in a playoff series. Problem # 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5? Limp Fucking Bats.

The Cardinals have one of the most potent offenses in the major leagues. They have proven hitters all over the place. But far, far too many nights, the bats go ice cold. To the point where you wonder if they’ll ever score again.

The past 2 games, in which the Cardinals are 1-1, they’ve scored 1 run. ONE. Generally after a 3 to 4 game slump, they’ll score 11 or 12 runs for a couple of games before going back to clawing for 1 or 2 runs. Unfortunately, the playoffs aren’t aggregate scoring matches. They’re encapsulated 9 innings of play in which beating an opponent by 11 runs doesn’t mean dick the next day.

Also- and this may or may not be news to you- it’s hard to win playoff games with 0 runs.

Honestly, this team is better than getting shut out. When you get blanked with the line-up mentioned above and some other OK pieces, it’s a matter of not being disciplined enough to fight for one run at a time. Working counts. Never giving up. The Cardinals, far too many times, just chuck what they’re doing, go up hacking and damn the consequences.

Again- this team is going to end up with 90 wins and play in October.

But if they don’t figure out a way to score when scoring doesn’t come easy? Another collective nut shot to the city of St. Louis is more than likely.

athooks is on
Twitter and at CardsDiaspora.com.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:46 AM

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