The Cardinals are absolutely brutal right now. Pitching? Awful. Defense? Rams-ish. Offense? Adron Chambers leads the team in RBIs for June. With one.
Injuries have ravaged the Cardinals. Matt Holliday, David Freese, Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran have all had extended time on the DL along with Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse on the pitching side.
What was that? 6 players will All-Star potential haven't gone on the DL? You don't say...
No, I'm pretty sure that pretty much every team in the NL would love to have any of those guys in the middle of their lineup. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have all of them and continue to suck at the teat of mediocrity for the 7th straight week. Jon Jay and Skip Shumaker are nice role players. Guys that can make an impact when they're going. But they're not the guys the Cardinals counted on to carry the team in March heading into the season, so it's weak sauce to use them as the scapegoats when the team in flailing in June.
Lance Berkman was a big loss. And so was Allen Craig. The the latter is coming back soon, leaving Berkamn and Carpenter as the only 'big ticket' players the Cardinals have on the DL. And by 'big ticket' I mean guys that are going to have a VORP of 2+. Further, Chris Carpenter wasn't helping the team when they were rolling at the beginning of the year. So we can't really act as if his absense now is some sort of a burden that carries extra weight now that the tables have turned.
Name me 3 Pirates. Go ahead, type them down below in the comments. Without using Google.
You couldn't do it. And neither could I. Because the Pirates have neither the names nor the talent that the Cardinals are running out on the field every night. Still, the Pirates are ahead of the Cardinals in the standings.
The injury factor is a narrative that the Cardinals are more than happy to let permeate 2012. After all, it's not OUR fault we can't win anymore. And the more you buy into the story line, the less responsible everyone is for the season that is quickly coming unhinged.
Here's an idea, though. Let us put some onus on the players that are healthy here. Because if this is what we can expect for the balance of year from our middle line-up and front-line pitching, then there are much bigger issues in play than hamstrings and shoulder blades.