It is dubious if the Cardinals make the wild card. Where did it go wrong?
It seems when Matt Carpenter blew out an oblique and Al Diaz fractured a thumb on a when hit by a pitch from Marlins hurler Andrew Cashner, it changed the fortunes of the Cardinals and not in a good way.
In fact, Bernie Miklasz of ESPN 101.1-FM believes those two injuries killed the offense for good.
“If you remember in the first half of the season what those guys did for this team offensively, it was really quite profound,” Miklasz said. “And to go for much of the second half without them and even when they return they haven’t been the same, well, of course the offense is going to suffer. That’s doubly so because you have Matt Carpenter as the leadoff hitter and you have Diaz as the No. 2 when they were peaking before these injuries. When you have guys at the top of the lineup providing instant offense like that, everything flows from there.”
Hard to argue with what Miklasz said. The offense, with those two out of the lineup, was never the same. Even when that duo returned, they were a shell of their former selves.