Bad starting pitching, bad defense, bad bullpen, bad offense, bad baserunning, an overwhelmed manager and an underwhelming front office. They don’t get out to many leads, but they do let many leads slip away. And during Wednesday’s postgame show on Bally Sports Midwest, Al Hrabosky started talking about broadcasters jumping out of windows.

“I have one suggestion for the Cardinal broadcasters,” Hrabosky told the viewing audience. “Change your room, get down on the floor…don’t get up (in) those high buildings cause you might jump.”

(I feared Hungo might start singing the 1997 song “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind, the San Francisco-area band. But I digress.)

What the hell is going on here?

After Wednesday’s slopfest that ended in a 7-4 loss to the Giants, the Cardinals are 1-5 on the road trip and 9-16 for the season. Their .360 winning percentage is 27th overall and 14th in the National League, one spot above the Rockies.

The Cardinals have won only four more games than the Oakland A’s – the poor, burned-out husk of a team that’s the worst in the majors with their 5-20 mark of crumminess.

This afternoon the San Francisco Giants will go for a four-game sweep and a chance to dunk the Cardinals in the Bay for a final time.

As the Cardinals enter Thursday afternoon’s scrimmage, they reside in last place in the NL Central. The Reds are one game ahead of them. A gap of eight games separates the first-place Pirates and the cellar-squatting Cardinals. The Redbirds are seven games behind the second-place Brewers, and five games in arrears to the Cubs. If they drift anymore, the fellers will end up on in the jailhouse on Alcatraz island.

DECLINING DEFENSE. I have a bunch of stats but will limit it to a look at Defensive Efficiency. It’s a simple formula. Of all of the balls hit in play against your team, how many are converted into outs? Take a look at this trend for the Cardinals:

– The 2021 Cardinals converted 71.4 percent of batted balls in play into outs, which ranked second-best in the majors.

– The 2022 Cards converted 70.2 percent into outs, ranking 11th best overall.

– Through Wednesday, the 2023 Cardinals have turned 65.2% of batted balls in play into outs – which ranks 29th in the majors.

The Cardinals are one of the weaker baserunning teams in the majors so far, but I’ll get into that on Friday.

ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT: The last time a Cardinals team was this bad through the first 25 games occurred in 1973. That squad was 5-20 … and somehow finished 81-81 … the Cardinals are 4-8 on the road this season … the Redbirds rank 10th in the NL in runs per game (4.44) and are 12th in average runs allowed per game (4.88) … based on the underlying factors of runs scored and runs allowed, the Cardinals’ record should be 11-14. Yeah, and I should be Bruce Sprinsgteen.

ST. LOUIS OUTFIELD: On the same day the Cardinals optioned Jordan Walker to Triple A Memphis, STL’s starting outfielders Lars Nootbaar, Alec Burleson and Tyler O’Nell combined to go 0 for 9 with three walks.

– Since last homering on April 12, O’Neill is hitting .222 with a yucky .333 slugging percentage and a ballooning 32.5 strikeout rate.

– Burleson is batting .143 in his last nine games, and .136 in his last seven games.

– After going 3 for 4 and slamming a solo homer on Sunday in Seattle, Nootbaar went 1-11 with one walk and three strikeouts in the first three games at San Francisco.

O’Neill, Burleson and Nootbaar are in Thursday’s lineup. Walker was cleared out to give the three a chance to play on a full-time basis to find a comfortable rhythm at the plate. It’s time to get going. No more excuses.

Burleson is poor defensively, so there wouldn’t be much if any justification for using him extensively if he isn’t hitting. At least Dylan Carlson hasn’t hit much, but he’s a quality defender in centerfield.

NOLAN ARENADO? Paul Goldschmidt busted out of a slump with a four-hit, two-homer outburst on Wednesday night? But what’s up with Arenado? He’s 5 for 40 (.125) in last 10 games with one extra-base hit (double) and one RBI. Arenado has homered one time in his last 16 games and 63 at-bats.

This deep slump has dropped him to 19th among regular MLB third basemen in slugging (.354) and tied for 17th in homers (two.) Using park and league adjusted runs created (wRC+) Arenado is 17 percent below league average offensively for the season, and that puts him 21st among regular third basemen.

STARTING PITCHING: Steven Matz had another substandard start against the Giants on Wednesday night, lasting only four innings. He allowed two runs while giving up six hits and walking three – so it could have been worse. But that’s not the point. Matz has a 6.23 ERA this season, and a 5.90 ERA in 14 starts as a Cardinal since signing his four-year, $44 million contract before 2022.

Through Wednesday Matz, Miles Mikolas and Jake Woodford have combined for a 6.20 ERA in their 15 starts. Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery have combined for a 3.55 ERA in their 10 starts. The team’s overall starting-pitching ERA is 5.19.

BAD MOON RISING: I’m speaking of the bullpen. It was another painful night for the Cardinals relievers on Wednesday, with Jordan Hicks, Zack Thompson and Chros Stratton yielding seven hits, three walks and four earned runs in four innings. In the last nine games, the St. Louis bullpen has been socked for a 5.16 ERA. And that ERA is 4.66 since April 12.

TIP OF THE CAP TO … Genesis Cabrera. In his last six relief appearances, the lefty has allowed one run in 6.1 innings (1.42 ERA) and struck out 50% of his 22 batters faced during that time.

NICE RESTART FOR PAUL DEJONG: He’s only had 13 at-bats since being activated from the Injured List. But DeJong’s reordered swing and approach looks really good, and he’s six for 13 with three extra-base hits and two RBIs. Can he keep this up? That’s the question. But the proper thing to do is be positive about what we’ve seen so far.

STATE OF THE OFFENSE: Going into Thursday, the Cardinals averaged 3.3 runs per game in the first five games on a 10-game road trip. But they scored only seven runs in the first three games against the Giants. On the trip the Cardinals are batting .195 overall with runners in scoring position. But that’s been worse in San Francisco: 3 for 21 (.143) with RISP through Wednesday.

Thanks for reading …


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

Follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

Listen to the “Seeing Red” podcast on the Cardinals, featuring Will Leitch and Miklasz. It’s available on your preferred podcast platform. Or follow @seeingredpod on Twitter for a direct link.

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

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.