ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 13: David Freese #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on April 13, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) By Jeff Curry
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese poses for a photograph during the team's photo day at spring training baseball, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) By Julio Cortez
(BaseballStL) -- The struggling bullpen needs to make room in the doghouse for the punchless offense of the St. Louis Cardinals.
On a day when the bullpen allowed only one hit and didn’t walk a single batter in two innings of work, the offense kept spiraling downward while looking for answers.
It isn’t one player. As a matter of fact, it’s been the entire team as a whole over the last three games.
Only three players (Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig) have registered multiple hits in a single game in the last three played. The team has managed to score only four runs on 18 hits during the span.
That’s right, four runs in three games. One run in the eighth inning on Monday snapped a 16-inning scoring drought. It’s been that bad.
“That’s baseball,” Molina, who had three of the team’s seven hits on Monday, said. “I think yesterday we swung the bat pretty good and we get four base hits. That’s baseball.”
Molina is the only the Cardinals player to have a batting average .300 or better after Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. His .312 average is .149 better than David Freese, who is currently mired in an 0-for-16 slump.
“He had a couple of opportunities. You can see his frustration when he came back in,” manager Mike Matheny said of Freese. “We’re going to have to just sit and keep figuring out how to help him get there.”
The team tried to help him Saturday by giving him the day off after finishing 0-for-4 in a 9-1 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates the night before.
It hasn't work for the career .290 hitter.
Freese, who began the season on the disabled list with back issues, again went 0-for-4 and failed to even hit the ball out of the infield.
“We have to get him to breathe a little bit and trust himself,” Matheny said. “This is just one of those times. You guys have all seen it, we’ve all seen it. It happens.”
Freese isn’t the only player slumping.
Daniel Descalso also has a 0-for-16 drought on his stat sheet. He has only one hit in his last 23 at-bats.
Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter each have only two hits in their last 12 plate appearances.
Jon Jay is 4-for-29 in his last 10 games. Shane Robinson is 2-for-18 and Ty Wigginton is 1-for-12.
Maybe as the temperature gets warmer so will the bats, but the Cardinals aren’t banking on that helping them.
“I don’t buy that,” Matheny said. “Today was nice. The weather was nice. We’re looking forward to a couple of days here with a little different weather, but no one is going to go that direction as the reason.”