SCardenfreude: One Cardinals Hitter Questions the Quality of the Team’s Gameplanning

Heading into their May 21 game against the Chicago Cubs, hosting a key series there in St. Louis, the Cardinals were flying high. They were already seven games over .500, and a sizable 3.5 games up in the NL Central. That didn’t lock anything in, obviously, but they were certainly looking like the contenders many thought they’d be in an otherwise muddled division.

But after their latest ugly loss, the Cardinals are now three games under .500, alone in fourth place, two games back of the Reds and six games back of the Cubs and Brewers. Since that Friday night loss to the Cubs (remember the blowout where the wheels totally came off and they gave up eight runs to the Cubs in the 8th inning?), the Cardinals have gone 11-21. It’s actually even worse than that, because five of those wins came over the next nine days. The Cardinals are 6-17 since May 30. Oof.

A lot of that has to do with injuries in the rotation, clearly, but it’s also been largely about an offensive funk that the Cardinals can’t seem to shake (been there, bruh). They’ve scored more than two runs just twice in the last two weeks, and that has led to some tumult in the clubhouse. Or at least as much tumult as you would ever expect to see out of the Cardinals.

After a team meeting to discuss the troubles at the plate, Tommy Edman spoke up publicly.

“One of the main parts is just in-game adjustments, knowing that if you don’t necessarily have the at-bat that you want in the first, the first time through the lineup, there is probably going to be a good chance to get a run-scoring opportunity later on,” Edman said of the Cardinals’ offensive issues, per the STL Post-Dispatch. “Staying engaged and being aware of how the team is pitching us and how the team is pitching each person individually.

“A little bit of that is preparation,” he continued. “The preparation that we talked about — I don’t think we’ve necessarily done the greatest job of kind of making the game plan for how guys are going to throw us day by day. And working on things pregame that are specifically tailored to prepare ourselves for that. I think that we’re going to implement a few more of those things into our program routine. Hopefully it helps.”

Ouch. How can you call out the coaching staff while trying to sound like you aren’t calling out the coaching staff?

It kinda reads like Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was caught a little off guard by the comments when asked for his reaction, but he definitely pushed back:

Is it just me, or is Shildt saying the issue isn’t the preparation from the coaching staff, but is the execution from his players? Either way, not the kind of thing you want to be out there having to discuss publicly. But definitely the kind of thing that percolates to the surface when you’ve won just six times in the last 23 tries.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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