In the week since the All-Star Break, the Cards went a disappointing 3-4 and fell to three games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. The Cards started the week by taking two of three from the Dodgers at Busch, but then they lost two home games to the streaking Rays, and now they are playing in the rubber match against the last place Cubs. The Cards went through a season-high four-game skid during this stretch, but they are just a half game behind the Braves for the final Wild Card spot.
Shelby Miller: Following a quality start against the Cubs on Saturday, Shelby Miller indicated that he is possibly turning the corner after going through a rough pitching stretch where he went 0-3 and raised his 3.42 ERA to 4.29. Miller lasted 5.2 innings against the Cubs and only gave up three hits and two runs in a no decision on Saturday. Furthermore, he issued zero walks in that start, which is the first time he has done that since at least May.
Matt Holliday: With three homers and seven RBI’s since the All-Star Break, Matt Holliday is showing signs of returning to his vintage form. Holliday only had six dingers before the break, and although his batting average is still just .266, it seems like he’s ready to lead the Cards to the postseason.
Matt Adams: Although his batting average dipped to .320, Matt Adams demonstrated that he is the catalyst of the Cardinals offense. Since the All-Star Break, Adams has clubbed his 12th home run of the year and driven in six runs to up his season total to 47.
Adam Wainwright: While it may be odd to see him on this list, Adam Wainwright’s start on Tuesday left much to be desired. Facing a Rays team that was on fire at the plate, Waino could not cool them as he tossed just 4.2 innings, allowed six runs (four earned), and inexplicably walked four batters in taking the loss. Waino still has an impressive 12-5 record and 2.02 ERA, but let’s hope he gets back on track this coming week.
Tony Cruz: His batting average fell from a subpar .235 to an even worse .220 during a 2-for-17 week in which he drove in no runs. Cruz performed so poorly this week at the catcher’s position that the Cards ended up signing veteran AJ Pierzynski, who recorded three hits as the starting catcher for the Cards yesterday. It’s safe to say that Cruz has not come close to filling the void left behind by Yadier Molina, so you can’t blame the front office for picking up a veteran catcher like Pierzynski who has a much better bat.
Sam Freeman: The once dominant relief pitcher has gone through some relatively tough times this week as he conceded three hits, three walks, and two earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched. In an appearance against the Cubs on Friday, Freeman walked a batter and then hit another one with a pitch before being taken out, so it’s apparent that control was a problem for him. The scarcely used lefty pitcher saw his ERA jump from 1.42 to 2.11 as a result of this bad week.