May 2: Pirates (10-13) @ Cardinals (15-8)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

With several news items taking precedent yesterday, I needed to delay this “April in review” bit for a day. My apologies. I’m sure most of you have already seen many of the stats that reaffirm how good a month the Cardinals had. I won’t rehash those. Instead, I’ll contend that the month actually should have been better.

This is not an attempt to be a Debbie downer on what certainly was a terrific start to the season. But it is worth pointing out the opportunities the Cardinals missed that could have allowed them to really separate themselves from the rest of the division.

Let’s take a look at the eight April losses:

  • April 7: lost 6-0 to the Brewers
  • April 11: lost 4-3 to the Reds
  • April 13: lost 9-5 to the Cubs
  • April 19: lost 6-3 to the Reds
  • April 21: lost 2-0 to the Pirates
  • April 23: lost 3-2 to the Cubs
  • April 24: lost 3-2 to the Cubs
  • April 29: lost 3-2 to the Brewers

The three games in bold were losses that never were in the Cardinals’ hands. So we’ll move past those.

The April 11, 23 and 24 were all last at-bat defeats in games that St. Louis led. The other two — April 21 and 29 — were lost as much from missed opportunities as by anything the other team did.

That April 21 loss to the Pirates began with the Cardinals loading the bases with no outs in the first and not scoring. The club went hitless with runners in scoring position that day. The April 29 defeat was peppered with mistakes — from Jaime Garcia not scoring from third on a flyball to more deficiencies with runners in scoring position to a botched double steal costing the team a chance to tie the game in the ninth.

If you wanted to put a positive spin on all this, let it be this: The Cardinals lead the NL Central by 3.5 games heading into Wednesday despite not finishing off several potential wins. That means this team has the potential to be even more dominant than they have been.

Just some food for thought as we prepare for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh.

And if you want more pregame reading and missed it Monday, here is an in-depth look at Lance Lynn’s path to all this 2012 success.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Rafael Furcal (SS)
  2. Jon Jay (CF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  5. David Freese (3B)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. Matt Carpenter (1B)
  8. Daniel Descalso (2B)
  9. Lance Lynn (RHP)

PIRATES LINEUP:

  1. Alex Presley (LF)
  2. Nate McLouth (CF)
  3. Jose Tabata (RF)
  4. Neil Walker (2B)
  5. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  6. Garrett Jones (1B)
  7. Clint Barmes (SS)
  8. Rod Barajas (C)
  9. A.J. Burnett (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

6 Comments

Great analysis. You are a great read.

The easy thing to do is look at the close ones and wonder what if they had not gotten away from us. The more interesting thing is to look at how poorly Adam Wainwright pitched in April, and to wonder how many we might have won had someone else been pitching.

I think you will find Adam lost all three of the blowouts onhis way to a monster &+ ERA. I love Adam, but he should be rehabbing in Memphis.

Waino is the staff ace and has no business rehabbing in Memphis. Despite his results, who would be a better option? His rehab is essentially over with anyway. If his turn in the rotation is our worst one through, statistically speaking, how bad off are we?

U took the words right out of my mouth, Jen!

U r on the ball (no pun intended)!

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