The Cardinals have 11 of their next 14 games at home, beginning with Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader with Kansas City, created by Tuesday’s game being canceled because of foreboding weather. Since they are 14-9 at home and 10-14 on the road, that should augur well, in addition to the fact that five of the 11 games will be contested against last-place teams in Kansas City and Cincinnati.
The rotation’s ERA is 3.45 at home, which is laudable. It is 5.81 on the road, which is horrible and that failing has the attention of John Mozeliak, the club’s president of baseball operations.
“The month of May certainly has been frustrating at times when look at the simple view of wins and losses (5-13),” said Mozeliak after Tuesday’s game was bagged.
“A lot of times when a team is struggling, it’s usually the inconsistencies. Sometimes you pitch well and don’t hit well. Sometimes you hit well and don’t pitch well. Overall we have to be more consistent in our play.
“In terms of the rotation on the road, it’s definitely struggled, there’s no denying that. Clearly, we need to do a better job.”
Even counting its relative success at home, none of the starting pitchers has an ERA under 4.00. None has one over 5.00 either but anything over 4 generally isn’t considered good.
Asked if changes were on the horizon, Mozeliak said, “I don’t think you rule anything out or speak in absolutes. But you do want and you do need to start seeing some improvement.”
There are options at Memphis in righthander Daniel Ponce de Leon, who was up for one impressive start; lefthander Austin Gomber, who had pitched well before encountering a minor biceps problem; righthander Jake Woodford, who probably has been the best Memphis pitcher but who isn’t on the 40-man roster yet, and hard-throwing lefthander Genesis Cabrera, who has been better lately.
“Internally we’ve had discussions,” said Mozeliak. “We’re certainly not oblivious to what’s happened with the rotation but we’re going to be home for a few days and hope that some of these pitchers pitch well and build some confidence.”
Mozeliak said that moving John Gant, outstanding in relief, to the rotation, had been discussed. “But I don’t feel at this point, it would be an immediate answer,” he said.
Alex Reyes, he said, will need two or three starts at least in the minors after recovering from a broken left hand. And Carlos Martinez, who had had a shoulder strain, will remain in the bullpen.
“What we saw out of him this past weekend (in Texas) we’ve had some positive feedback from," said Mozeliak. "He feels good. But starting to put too much on his plate might not make the most sense physically.”
Michael Wacha will pitch the 12:15 game Wednesday for the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright the 6:45 makeup game. Ticket holders for Tuesday's cancelled game can use those for Wednesday night's contest.