Here are your 2024 Cardinals …

Monday night: win 5-3 on a walk-off homer.

Tuesday night: doze off in a 14-1 loss.

The opportunity to churn needed momentum was created Monday and blown to smithereens on Tuesday. After producing their most delightful win of the season on Monday, the Cardinals were trashed in their most depressing loss on Tuesday.

The home team had a Busch bash on Monday, with homers by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Gorman setting off fireworks. But 24 hours later, the Cardinals were bashed at Busch.

The defeat left manager Oli Marmol praising starting pitcher Steven Matz for throwing well while getting savaged by the Diamondbacks. You know who throws well? Batting practice pitchers. That was Matz. He was bullied for seven earned runs while getting only 13 outs. Matz was terrible, and Marmol must have been dizzy in the aftershock of a 13-run loss. Watching this team will scramble your gray matter.

The Cardinals have split the first two games of the series against visiting Arizona. But that split – and how it went down – has left their fans with another splitting headache.

It wasn’t just Matz. After Willson Contreras lined a solo home run with one out in the first for a 1-0 lead, the Cardinals went 5 for 30 (.167) with eight strikeouts for the remainder of the dreary evening. Four of the five hits were singles. The Redbirds went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals were handled very easily by Arizona lefty starter Tommy Henry, who came into Tuesday’s proceeding with a 5.87 ERA on the season. Arizona could have started 60-year old lefty Randy Johnson and it wouldn’t have mattered. The Cardinals offense went into hibernation mode.

Lefty Jordan Montgomery starts for the Diamondbacks in today’s 12:15 game at Busch Stadium. He had a 3.21 ERA as a Cardinal in his 20 starts at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are hitting .185 against left-handed pitching this season. That ranks 29th among the 30 MLB offenses.

WHERE THE BOYS ARE: Tuesday’s loss was the fifth in the last six games for the Cardinals … Their .417 winning percentage through Wednesday ranked 13th in the National League, above only Colorado (.250) and Miami (.240) … the Cardinals have lost 105 of 186 games since the start of 2023 for a .435 winning percentage … since starting out with a 5-4 record in their first nine games of 2024, the Cardinals are 5-10 and have been outscored 76-44 … the Cardinals are 4-7 at Busch Stadium this season and have been outscored 58-35 … the Cards have been routed in three games at home this season: losing 10-3 to Miami, 12-5 to Milwaukee, and 14-1 to Arizona. Sad.

STATE OF THE OFFENSE: Feeble. After Tuesday’s beatdown, the Cardinals scored three or fewer runs in 13 of their last 16 games and in eight of their last 10 games. The Cardinals have scored no more than three runs in 16 of their 24 games this season and are 4–12 in those instances. The Cardinals rank 14th among the 15 NL teams in runs per game (3.42), batting average (.218), onbase percentage (.301), slugging (.336) and OPS (.637). And the Cards have the NL’s worst batting average (.195) with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals have been awfully quiet at home through their first 11 games at Busch, averaging 3.18 runs and batting just .195 with a .639 OPS. And they’re hitting only .165 with runners in scoring position in games at Busch Stadium

RUN PREVENTION TAKES A BEATING: Before Arizona’s 14-run detonation, the Cardinals ranked 10th in the majors in runs allowed per game. But Tuesday’s damage pushed the Cardinals to 23rd in the majors with their average of 4.67 runs allowed per game.

$100 MILLION FOR BAD PITCHING: The Cardinals signed free-agent starting pitcher Steven Matz to a four-year, $44 million deal before the 2022 season. During 2023 spring training, the front office honored Miles Mikolas with a three-year contract extension worth $55.7 million. Add the two transactions together, and the Cardinals have invested just under $100 million in Matz and Mikolas. Both pitchers are failing to deliver on the expensive expenditure.

Matz: In his first two seasons with St. Louis, injuries limited Matz to an average of 76.5 innings and 13.5 starts. He pitched well in his first two outings, only to come off the rails. In his last three starts the lefty has pitched a total of 14 innings and his capitulation included 21 hits, 16 runs (13 earned), six walks and two homers. In the three shaky performances Matz has an 8.35 ERA, and aggressive opponents have strafed him for a .344 batting average, .397 onbase percentage, a .508 slugging percentage and .905 OPS. He hasn’t been the same since making a fielding error in the fifth inning at Arizona on April 12. Beginning with that frame, Matz has gotten bashed for 16 runs (13 earned) in 10 innings. That’s an 11.70 ERA. And his subsequent starts at Oakland and Tuesday at Busch Stadium can be described in many terms, but I’ll go with “soft.”

Mikolas: In his last two starts he’s been lit up for 10 earned runs in 9 and ⅓ innings (9.64 ERA), getting clobbered for 21 hits, six walks and three home runs. In the two horrendous showings opponents busted Mikolas for a .333 average, .372 OBP, .667 slug and 1.039 OPS. Since agreeing to the contract extension Mikolas has a 4.98 ERA in 40 starts – including a 5.94 ERA in his last 19 starts going back to last season.

With Cardinals wheezing to a disappointing 10-14 start to the new season, Mikolas and Matz have an 8.77 ERA in their last five starts combined. Opponents have scored 26 runs (three unearned) in 23 and ⅓ combined innings.


Paul Goldschmidt went 0-4 Tuesday and struck out three times. His current 30 percent strikeout rate would be the highest of his career in a season. For context, Goldy had a 21.7 percent strikeout rate in his 2022 MVP season. He’s hitting .186 with a .286 OBP and .256 slug in 100 plate appearances in 2024.

Brendan Donovan had a hit Tuesday but is 4 for 41 (.098) in his last 10 games. Donovan has an awful .192 onbase percentage in his last 10 games and has not scored a run.

Nolan Gorman had a single and a double on Tuesday. In the first two games of the current series against Arizona he’s 3 for 5 with a homer, double and two RBIs.

Brandon Crawford was 0 for 2 after being subbed into Tuesday’s game. This season he’s 1 for 13 (.077) with six strikeouts. This isn’t working out.

Five Cardinals are hitting .219 or worse at Busch Stadium this season: Victor Scott II (.045), Jordan Walker (.083), Brendan Donovan (.135), Paul Goldschmidt (.154) and Lars Nootbaar (.219)

Going into Wednesday, Walker, Donovan, Goldschmidt and Nootbaar are a combined 17 for 119 at Busch for a .143 batting average. Oh, my.

In his last seven games Jordan Walker is 1 for 14 with five strikeouts. He was optioned to Triple A Memphis before Wednesday’s game. What a disappointing player.

This is all you need to know about the Cardinals offense: the highest OPS by a Cardinal at Busch Stadium this season belongs to Michael Siani, who has a .962 OPS in 18 plate appearances. It’s a mini sample, but Siani has a .308 average, .500 onbase percentage and .462 slug at home.

Zack Thompson was shelled for seven runs Tuesday night and has a 13.50 ERA in three relief appearances. Including his two starts, Thompson has a 9,53 ERA in 17 innings this season. He shouldn’t be here. That’s why the Cardinals sent him to Triple A Memphis on Wednesday morning.

Going into Wednesday, Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson collectively have a 3.17 ERA in 12 starts. Matz, Mikolas and Thompson collectively have a 6.19 in 12 starts. Gibson goes against J. Montgomery this afternoon.

Tuesday’s blowout left the Cardinals with a minus 30 run differential through their first 24 games. That’s third worst in the National League.

How great are the Diamondbacks against LH pitching this season? Through Tuesday, vs. lefties, they led the majors in batting average (.318), homers (12), doubles (28), RBIs (113), onbase percentage (.373) and OPS (.871) and were second in slugging percentage (.499).

Thanks for reading …


A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie hosts an opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. Friday. Stream it live or access the show podcast on or through the 590 The Fan St. Louis app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz and on Threads @miklaszb

For weekly Cards talk, listen to the “Seeing Red” podcast with Will Leitch and Miklasz via or through your preferred podcast platform. Follow @seeingredpod on Twitter for a direct link.

Stats used in my baseball columns are sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, StatHead, Baseball Savant, Baseball Prospectus, Sports Info Solutions, Spotrac and Cot’s Contracts unless otherwise noted.

Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 36 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. A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, 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.