Nolan Arenado is surging while the St. Louis Cardinals are plummeting and the All-Star third baseman doesn’t sound hopeful about a turnaround.
If this isn’t rock-bottom for the St. Louis Cardinals, then fans need to buckle the hell up.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Cards took a 5-3 lead into the top of the ninth inning against San Francisco before Giovanny Gallegos gave up a two-run, game-tying home run to Mike Yastrzemski that forced extra innings. The blown lead then culminated in the 10th inning when the Giants tallied three more runs and ended up with an 8-5 win.
That result meant the Cardinals were swept at Busch Stadium by the Giants, have now won just two of their last 10 games and have the fourth-worst record in baseball behind only the Nationals, Royals and A’s.
If there’s been a bright spot in this stretch, it’s been the turnaround from third baseman Nolan Arenado. In the month of June, he is slashing an unreal .400/.455/.825 with eight extra-base hits and nine RBI. He also has more home runs in the month (4) than he does strikeouts (3).
But even with his stellar play, the All-Star in St. Louis doesn’t sound like a hopeful teammate.
Quite the opposite actually.
Cardinals: Nolan Arenado joins fans in losing hope in the team
After the loss the Giants on Wednesday, Arenado unloaded subtly on the team, saying that the team has just been playing badly all season and not sounding optimistic anymore that things will improve.
“I don’t know if you’d call it a stretch anymore. It’s just bad baseball,” Arenado said, via Bally Sports Midwest. “We have been playing bad baseball for awhile now. Do I think we can play better baseball with the players we have in here? Sure. But that remains to be seen.”
Arenado: “I don’t know if you’d call it a stretch anymore. It’s just bad baseball. We have been playing bad baseball for awhile now. Do I think we can play better baseball with the players we have in here? Sure. But that remains to be seen.” #STLCards pic.twitter.com/9vnuTTXFX8
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) June 14, 2023
If that’s the sentiment being expressed by one of the leaders on the team, the Cardinals are in severe trouble — not that they weren’t already.
Now 15 games below .500 and nine games out of the NL Central lead, St. Louis’ playoff aspirations feel almost too far out of reach. And that could now result in a potential sell at the MLB Trade Deadline if this continues as the likes of Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Paul Goldschmidt, or one of a number of outfielders could be moved.
This isn’t what a single Cardinals fan expected coming into the season, even the most pessimistic of supporters. And now even Arenado is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the club.