Over the Past 2 games as well as the past few series, we have seen what was once a strength of the Cardinals turn into a liability in the form of the bullpen.
Last night’s loss was a waste. Adam Wainwright had one of his most effective starts to date. He went seven scoreless. Something that he hasn’t done since late 2014. He was efficient, worked of jams, and did what he could even when his stuff was not his sharpest. That is what an ace does. They figure out a way, no matter the circumstances, to keep their team in the game and give them best chance of pulling out a W. The bullpen made sure that Wainwright’s effort was for naught.
They went on to give up 4 ER over the course of 3 IP. Kevin Siegrist gave up a 2-run jack to a slumping George Springer. This is one of the Cardinals top-2 relievers so his lack of command last night was a bit concerning. But the real concern is what happened in the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal, again, walked himself in trouble and proceeded to give up 2 runs while only being able to record 1 out. This melt down cost the Cardinals the game and could have possibly taken the wind out of their sails that they have tried so desperately to acquire.
— Cards Nation (@CardsNation13) June 11, 2016
Now, I know what you are saying, everyone has a bad game. You are right. But when you start to have to think about getting rid of a and turning game into games, you have a problem on your hands.
Over the past 15 games before the Houston series, the Cardinals were 11-4. The Starting pitching had an ERA around 3 and the offense was bashing all types of pitching, not just the bad kind. All of teh cylinders were firing. Well, all except the bullpen. Earned runs were given up. Saves were blown. Walks were allowed.
This lack of staying power is more than likely due to the fact that manager Mike Matheny leaned heavily on his bullpen when the starting pitching was not performing. But you can wear out these pitchers if you use them too heavily and that is the fine line that a major league manager must walk.
However, there is good news. Since the starting pitching is on the up and up, the bullpen should get some much needed rest. Also the few off days we have until the all-star break will help with any fatigue that the relievers are feeling. Another solution could be to call up some of the young arms in the minors or make a trade to bolster the pen like the Cardinals do every year.