The Team: St. Louis Cardinals
In the seven games since the Phillies left St. Louis, the Cardinals have been unable to capitalize on the momentum. On the heels of their sweep, St. Louis went on to go 2-5, losing three of four to the Milwaukee Brewers and two of three to the Baltimore Orioles. They come to Philly third in the Central and six games under .500 at 31-37.
A team that was seemingly struggling offensively has seemed to turn it around since the Phillies left town. While it is not a juggernaut at this point, it is far from their most pressing issue. They have scored more than five runs in four of their last seven games.
While my previous roadblock pick, Jedd Gyorko (4 for his last 24), has cooled off, others have heated up. Matt Carpenter has ten hits in his last 22 at-bats, Dexter Fowler collected 11 hits in his last 24 at-bats, and Kolten Wong’s return was to the tune of 4-10.
It is the starting pitching that has taken a major step back over the course of the last couple of months. Carlos Martinez has continued to be a horse. He has reached what some believe to be his max potential, and that is quite scary. However, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Mike Leake have all taken major steps back. The Phillies will be lined up against Leake, Wacha, and Martinez this week.
As I said, Martinez has continued his dominance throughout the season. The other two have struggled mightily in recent starts. Wacha has allowed six earned runs in two of his last five starts. In another one of those, he only went three innings. Leake’s demise is not as severe. He has allowed still more than three earned runs in three of his last four starts.
The Phils hope to strike some luck against the two this week.