The Bottom Line: After another dismal performance on offense, Shelby Miller and the Cards fell to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, 6-0, earlier today. Miller conceded all six runs, including a three-run homer to Andre Ethier, in five innings of work, while Kershaw struck out 13 batters to lead the Dodgers to their 12th win in 16 games. The loss dropped the Cards (44-39) to a third-place tie with the Reds in the NL Central, and they are now 3-4 on this 10-game road trip.
Offense sputters again: The red-hot Kershaw silenced the Cards’ bats with a tremendous performance, as he recorded 13 strikeouts and threw seven shutout innings to increase his career-best scoreless streak to 28 innings. The lone bright spot of the day for the Cards was Matt Carpenter, who hit 3 for 4. While it may be excusable for the Cards to struggle against the best pitcher in baseball right now, it’s inexcusable to be shutout twice in this four-game series. The Cards had a successful offensive series in Colorado, but they only mustered four runs on 24 hits in this entire series in LA, further proving the offense’s inconsistency this season.
Miller: With another lackluster performance on the mound, Miller (7-7, 4.10 ERA) may need to be examined for a possible back injury. In today’s game, Miller tossed 5 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks. Additionally, Miller left Tuesday’s start against the Rockies after just 2.2 innings because of back tightness. It’s safe to say that he has struggled in his past three starts, specifically with his control, as he has issued 11 walks and 13 earned runs in just 14.1 innings of work. While it could just be a slump, the number of free passes Miller has given up suggests that something must be bothering him, so don’t be surprised if he becomes the next Cardinals starter to land on the DL.
What’s Next: After a much-needed day off on Monday, the Cards travel to the bay area to face the slumping San Francisco Giants. The Giants (46-36) have blown a 9.5 game division lead over the Dodgers after losing 15 of their past 19 games. The Cards will be looking to salvage at least a .500 win percentage on this 10-game road trip if they can earn a series win.