After six games, five of them without cleanup man Matt Holliday, who is recovering from an appendectomy, the Cardinals have scored only 15 runs, ranking them last in the National League at 2.5 per game.
All these items are "not conducive to winning baseball," as Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog used to say.
While manager Tony La Russa lashed out at questions concerning the offense after Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, veteran outfielder Lance Berkman spoke in more measured tones.
Berkman said he could see the fans wondering, "Is that going to be a trend?" But he then said, "As a veteran you just have to look at the track record and say we have the personnel.
"We're not off to a good start. I think it's just plain and simple. We're not clicking right now. It's going to click. It just hasn't yet."
Berkman said the Cardinals "need some breaks. You've got to have something good happen to ease the tension that builds."
La Russa already sought a way to do that by storming out of his post-game press conference on Wednesday.
OF Allen Craig has been a bright spot in a dreary first week. Craig, mostly filling in for LF Matt Holliday, leads the team not only in runs batted in at four but in stolen bases at two.
Attendance for the recent
three-game series with
1B Albert Pujols, who has said April is his toughest month, is batting .182 with one home run and three runs batted in for the first week. He has one hit with men in scoring position.
LH reliever Brian Tallet has been something of a surprise, given that he finished camp with a groin injury. Tallet has retired all eight hitters he has faced.
LF Matt Holliday, if he
is medically cleared after undergoing an appendectomy, is expected to be able to
pinch hit during the Cardinals; series in
BY THE NUMBERS: .297 - Cardinals' slugging percentage, last in the National League.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nobody is up there just flailing away, but we're just not getting it done." - OF Lance Berkman, on the Cardinals' first-week offensive problems.
LF Matt Holliday
(appendectomy) underwent the procedure April 1. He played catch and ran sprints
April 5, and the next day he hit indoors for the first time since the surgery.
He was be re-examined on April 7 before the team headed to
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.
INF Nick Punto (hernia surgery in February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He hopes to return in late April.