>The past week has been a difficult one for Cardinal nation….

Milwaukee, 5/15-5/18
The first game of the series got rained out with the Cardinals leading 2-0, and they never led again.  Technically, they didn’t lead at all in this series.  This was the epitome of poor baseball.  Now, I know that the Cards have been hurting with Ankiel and Ludwick out of the lineup, but they have to do better than this.  These were three of their five absolute worst losses that I have seen this season (the other two being Opening Day against the Pirates and a 2-1 loss against the Braves in which three batters were walked and 2 ended up scoring).  0-1 is a difficult loss to take, especially when your starter had been struggling in previous games and only gave up two hits in this one.  The 2-8 final in the second game is in large part due to 7 BB’s and 2 HBP’s by the starter, and three earned runs given up by a pitcher who only threw 16 pitches and didn’t get an out.  In the 4-8 loss, Rasmus got his washed out 2 run HR back, but the Cards were already down 7-0 in the 7th inning when he hit it.
Cardinals record: 0-3, (6-4-1 series)
Chicago, 5/19-5/21
The Cubbies followed the Brewers into town on Tuesday, hoping to continue the Cardinals’ losing streak.  What they found was a Cardinal team that still couldn’t score, but wouldn’t allow anyone else to score either.  Key numbers: 8-2.  No that isn’t the final score in Thursday night’s serie-sweep-completing victory.  It is the final tally of the entire series.  The Cards swept the Cubs by combining for and 8-2 score: 3-0, 2-1, and 3-1.  How ’bout another pair of numbers: 17-14.  The Cards managed to outhit the Cubs by 3.  Not a lot of offense, but the pitching stepped up in a big way in this series.
Cardinals record: 3-0 (7-4-1 series)

The next week’s worth of baseball includes the I-70 showdown as the upstart Royals come to town; followed by a trip to Milwaukee to get those three ugly losses from this week out of their minds.  Next update will probably be on for Thursday the 28th, since that is the next Cardinals’ off day.  With friends in town, though, it may get pushed back.