Cardinal bats stay quiet in San Diego but magic number shrinks again as Brewers lose another

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina catches his helmet after it fell off during his fifth-inning...
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina catches his helmet after it fell off during his fifth-inning at-bat in the team's baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)(Gregory Bull | AP)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 12:37 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Cardinals have had a lineup predicated on big swings throughout the season, but their recent woes at the plate aren’t over just yet.

The downturn offensively continued into the first game of the road trip Tuesday night as the bats were silent for the third straight game in a 5-0 loss to the Padres. St. Louis has scored just one run over its past 29 innings—and that one was technically provided free-of-charge by Rob Manfred in the 11th inning on Saturday.

Though the Cardinals aren’t at a point of panic over the recent slump, manager Oliver Marmol acknowledged the reality of the struggles following Tuesday’s loss in San Diego.

“We’re just not putting together quality at-bats,” Marmol said in a postgame interview on Bally Sports Midwest. “We’ve gotten to this position where we’ve built a cushion because we’ve slugged our way there. Our offense has done a really nice job to do that. And now we’re going through a point where we’re going to have to battle through it. Is it ideal? No. Will we come out of it? Yes.”

The Cardinals mustered just five hits—two of which belonged to Albert Pujols as his base hits obviously stayed in the yard, his home run total stuck on 698 for another day. The Redbirds failed to support Adam Wainwright in another grueling start for the veteran right-hander.

“It’s gonna happen, in a long season you’re gonna have times where things aren’t clicking,” Wainwright said of the offense on the Bally Sports Midwest postgame show. “Better to happen now than in October.”

Wainright gritted through six innings but allowed four earned runs on six hits and a home run. It marked his fourth straight start that fell short of the quality start category.

“For not being sharp, he did well,” Marmol noted of Wainwright’s performance. “He got to those two-strike counts, but just couldn’t finish anybody off.”

St. Louis didn’t get the start it desired for the eight-game road trip that will take the team through San Diego, Los Angeles and Milwaukee—but the Cardinals did get some help from the Brewers in whittling down the magic number to clinch the NL Central.

The Brewers fell to the Mets for the second straight night to remain 8.5 games back of the Cardinals in the division standings. At 78-70, Milwaukee is running out of calendar to mount a charge toward St. Louis. The magic number for a Cardinals’ clincher is down to six.