It's finally here! The end of May...And a much-needed day off.
As much as I hate not having a Cardinals game on, we have to breathe a sigh of relief and look toward the next month hoping it's better than the last.
Perhaps we were spoiled by the stellar April numbers put up by our team, but excuse me for saying...May has sucked. Series losses and sweeps make it feel as if we're a lot more than just 1.5 games back from the threathening Reds.
So, how do we fix it?
1. Get healthy. I know it's easier said than done. But our players are dropping to the DL like flies which (of course) is not working out for us. We're lucky enough to have some power off of our bench, but Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers will not be able to cut it much longer. Even the likes of Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker, who have been a couple of our most consistent hitters this year when able to play, would help ease the pain of losing some of our more key players. Which reminds me of Chris Carpenter and brings me to...
2. Fix the bullpen. The last couple weeks have been a bit of a revolving door, starting with J.C. Romero's departure and Salas being sent down, the latter of which was a move I had been waiting to see for quite some time. Estrada has been effective, but now Dickson and Ficks are being exchanged for Maikel Cleto in Memphis with another player to be added tomorrow. A good arm, hopefully? We could use another lefty - Rzepczynski's getting lonely. One thing's for sure, the Cardinal relievers have become sort of a "who's who" of the Redbird's farm system.
Here's my proposal: We need to either gain a dynamic starter and send Westbrook back to the bullpen, or go out in search of some better middle relief. I'm not quite sure yet if that spot in the rotation could be filled with Carpenter's triumphant return, or if the Cardinals will be buyers in the near future. But one way or another this does seem like an issue that might take some messing around with the roster, which has clearly already begun.
3. Keep up morale. Sure this is an unmeasurable factor in the game, but this team has proved in the past that they play well when they feel good. Remember "Happy Flight?" The power of positive thinking definitely aided in some way, shape, or form the the Cards' amazing run last September. Many of our May losses were consecutive. While we were thankfully no where near the level of the Cubs, who dropped 12 in a row, we did have two 4 loss stretches. And the constant hits to our lineup cannot have helped quell any formation of a defeatist attitude.
4. Play worse teams. Ok, ok...I'm only kidding about this one. But you can't deny that would help. It's widely recognized that our April schedule was probably a bit easier than May.
Anyway...I have every ounce of confidence that the Cardinals will indeed bounce back. We are still at the top of the power rankings and our roster will only get better from here. Fear not, Cardinal Nation! June is upon us.
Follow me on twitter @kelseyshea11 and let me know what you think!