1. Steven Matz is still in the bullpen. The Cardinals need starting pitching, and Matz is capable of doing better than Matthew Liberatore and Adam Wainwright. I know that Matz has been terribly disappointing as a starting pitcher since signing a four-year, $44 million deal with the Cardinals before the 2022 campaign.

But his left arm is lively, Matz is healthy, and has done very good work in pitching out of the bullpen since the Cardinals dumped him there after his May 24 start at Cincinnati.

In seven relief appearances since then, Matz has a 1.98 ERA in 13 and ⅔ innings. Over that time he’s posted a strikeout rate of 23.2 percent, limited his walks, yielded no home runs and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

How much confidence does Oli Marmol have in Matz? Apparently not much. I say that because all seven of the lefty’s relief gigs came in losing causes. Marmol never entrusted Matz to protect a lead. That tells us something. And it also explains, in part, why Marmol chose Liberatore to start Wednesday and plans to go with Jack Flaherty on Thursday.

We’ll probably see Matz enter Wednesday’s game in relief of Liberatore.

If Matz is such an asset in the bullpen, then why hasn’t Marmol brought him in when the Cardinals have a lead?

2. Dakota Hudson and Zack Thompson have been recalled from Triple A Memphis. To say the least, the Cardinals’ view of Hudson is curious. They demoted him to Memphis late last season after Marmol and president of baseball ops John Mozeliak got fed up with his low strikeout rate and high walk rate. But Hudson has a hideous 6.00 ERA in 48 innings at Memphis this season. He earned a promotion based on 2 and ⅔ scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday. The fact that Hudson is being even considered as a solution – and a potential member of the big-league rotation – tells us all we need to know about Mozeliak’s failure to put together a pitching staff that can compete in the majors.

2. I hope catcher Andrew Knizner feels better soon. I wonder if Marmol will give rookie catcher Ivan Herrera a look; the young man has been pummeling pitches at Memphis this season as evidenced by his .308 average, .432 OBP and .557 OPS. Herrera takes lots of walks and pounds a lot of doubles. He’s still only 23. His defense isn’t where the Cardinals want it to be – but then again this is a management team that gave catcher Willson Contreras $87.5 million in free agency.

3. At least Contreras is hitting. In his last 22 games he’s batted .270 with a .365 OBP, .514 slug, four homers, and six doubles. This includes a .389 average and 1.102 OPS since June 20. Keep it up.

4. The Cardinals bullpen is a problem. Yes, we knew that already. But I’ll put a number on it. The relievers had a 3.86 ERA during the first two months. But the bullpen has been brutal since the start of May, getting shredded for a 5.72 ERA that ranks 27th in the majors over that time. And the pen’s strikeout rate – which was 29.5% during the first month – has tapered off. The relievers have a 21.3%

5. The Cardinals’ 35-50 record through 85 games is the worst since their 1990 team had the same record (35-50) at this point of the season. And the 1978 Cardinals were 33-52 (.388) after the first 85 games. Right now the Cards’ .412 winning percentage is tied for the 10th worst start through 85 games in franchise history.

6. The Cardinals trail first-place Cincinnati by 11 and ½ games going into Wednesday’s proceedings at Miami. And the Cards are 10 and ½ behind second-place Milwaukee. The 11 and ½ game deficit is STL’s largest of the season. They’ve been over .500 only one day this season – after defeating Toronto in the third game of 2023. The Redbirds have continuously occupied fifth (and last) place in the NL Central since May 29.

7. The Cardinals have lost five of their last seven games and are 4-7 in their last 11. Accordingly FanGraphs gives St. Louis a 5.5% chance of winning the division and a 6.3% shot at qualifying for the postseason.

8. The Cardinals are 1-41 this season when trailing through seven innings. They are 2-41 when trailing after eight innings. And their 2-35 mark when behind after six innings is just as embarrassing. Woeful.

9. St. Louis pitchers have lost 10 games this season when taking a lead into the seventh inning. The latest meltdown game in the series-opening 5-4 loss at Miami.

10. Miami manager Skip Schumaker completely outmanaged Oli Marmol in Monday’s loss. Schumaker set a trap for Marmol in the bottom of the 7th – and Oli stepped right into it. As soon as Marmol brought in RH reliever Andre Pallante to face a LH batter, Schumaker inserted Yuli Gurriel as a pinch hitter to set up a right vs. right matchup with the Cardinals holding a 4-2 lead. Even though Pallante is a right-handed thrower, his numbers are much better against left-handed hitters. And this season Gurriel has been better against RHP than lefties. Sure enough, Gurriel lined a first-pitch, two-run double off Pallante to tie the game 4-4. Another RH batter, Nick Fortes, followed with an RBI single to give the Marlins a 5-4 lead and the victory. I’m not sure why Marmol is so confident about using Pallante against RH batters. They’re hitting .340 with a .892 OPS against them this season.

10a. That one episode explains so much. Both of these teams have played 25 games this season that ended with a one-run margin. And Schumaker and the Marlins are 20-5 in one-run games … compared to Marmol’s 8-17 mark in one-run outcomes. It’s easy to understand why.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie hosts a weekday sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

The “Seeing Red” podcast on the Cardinals, featuring Will Leitch and B. Miklasz is available at, the 590 the fan app or your preferred podcast platform. Follow @seeingredpod on Twitter for a direct link.

All stats used in my baseball columns are sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant, Fielding Bible, Baseball Prospectus or Bill James Online.


Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.