The Cardinals offensive woes have contributed to a 1-5 week, as they have fallen four games out of first place with 17 games left in the FSL season.
July 9th: St. Lucie Mets 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2
Starter Ryan Sherriff (8-2) looked well on his way to picking up his ninth victory of the season, as he retired 10 of the first 12 batters he faced. However, his luck changed in the top of the fourth inning. Blake Forsythe's three-run home run gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. Sherriff struggled through the next two frames, finishing the night with 4 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits, yielding five runs, four earned in route to his second loss of the season. After scoring two runs in the top of the first inning, the Cardinals were silenced for the final eight innings.
July 10th: Bradenton Marauders 4 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0
In a heavy, rainy night, the Cardinals continued their poor showing at the plate, as they were shut out. Marauders starter Casey Sadler had it all working, hurling seven innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out four. The Cardinals could not get more than two runners past second base against the right-hander. Chris Corrigan was the hard-luck loser, hurling six innings, allowing two runs. It was his second consecutive outing during which the Cardinals offense did not score.
July 11th: Rained Out
July 12th: Bradenton Marauders 3 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0; Cardinals 3, Marauders 2
After rained forced a cancellation of their Saturday game, the Cardinals returned to the diamond for a doubleheader on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their bats did not get the message, as they were shut out for the second game in a row. The Marauders' Elicier Navarro stifled the Cardinals over a seven-inning, complete-game shutout. The left-hander allowed a total of four base runners, on three hits, while yielding one walk. He extended the Cardinals scoreless streak to 25 innings.
In the nightcap, the Cardinals got to work early, scoring their first run in four days in the bottom of the first inning, as Cody Stanley laced a single up the middle to score James Ramsey from second base to it at 1-1. The Cardinals added two more runs and rode the strong arm of Kyle Hald (3-2), who turned in one of his best starts of the season. The left-hander pitched six innings, scattering eight hits, giving up two runs, one earned, while striking out five. He picked up the victory, as the Cardinals broke the 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Starlin Rodriguez led off with a single. After a throwing error by the pitcher allowed both Rodriguez and Chris Edmondson to reach with out recording an out, Stanley drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly. Zack Russell closed it down in the seventh by setting down the side in order.
July 13th: Off Day
The Cardinals may have made their last stand, coming from six down in the top of the ninth inning to tie it up at 8-8 on Tuesday night. However, the tide quickly turned sour as the Mets escaped with a thrilling 9-8 victory. For the Cardinals season, which has had few ups, the loss may have ended any chance of them making the playoffs. Chris Edmondson delivered in the ninth inning with a grand slam, while Rainel Rosario added two hits. However, the air was sucked right out of an enthused dugout when Blake Forsythe delivered the game-winner for the Mets. Michael Wacha dazzled again in relief, hurling two innings, striking out five and facing the minimum.
July 15th: St. Lucie Mets 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
The dejected Cardinals returned to the diamond only to be shutout for the third time in five games. Mets starter Erik Goeddel was brilliant in his first start of the year against the Beach Birds. The right-hander tossed seven innings, recording eight strikeouts, while yielding two hits. Ryan Sherriff (8-3) suffered his second loss against the Mets, as he was victimized by the long ball. The left-hander gave up a pair of two-run home runs before exiting in the top of the fifth inning. Sherriff has dropped two of his three games against the Mets.
Record Watch Rewarded
Mike O'Neill has been on fire this season... He leads the FSL in hitting (.336), on base percentage (.439), walks (70) and is second in hits (127)... With 17 games left in the season, O'Neill is 14 hits away from breaking the Palm Beach Cardinals' all-time hit record set in 2006 by Juan Lucena...
Top Shelf Wacha
First Rounder Michael Wacha has lived up to the billing thus far... In eight innings since joining Palm Beach, the right-hander has not allowed a run, giving up one hit, while striking out 16... In his last appearance, Wacha struck out five of the six hitters he faced...
Get Em' Early
The Cardinals have been dreadful when opposing starters pitch more than six innings against them... In 41 such games, the Cardinals have posted a 9-32 record... When starters go six innings or less, the Cardinals are 46-33...
Starlin Rodriguez' season-high 18-game hitting streak was snapped on Wednesday night, as the second baseman went 0-for-3... During the streak, Rodriguez hit. 366 with two home runs and 14 RBI...
Travis Miller will be an asset from the right-hand side of the pen, while Patton will add another versatile player to the lineup every third day.
Roberto Reyes looked to be fine on Sunday as he played in two games for the injured Mike O'Neill, however on Tuesday he showed up with a strain in his quad. It should not be serious, but he will be out at least a week.
On the Horizon
The Cardinals finish their series with the St. Lucie Mets Thursday before returning home for a six-game homestand beginning Friday night. The Cardinals will face the Fort Myers Miracle for three before welcoming the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
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