But the offense doesn't get a pass, as manager Tony La Russa likes to say. The Cardinals are batting only .207 with runners in scoring position since June 11. And the club has scored one run in three of its last four games.
With the pitching and the offense working against them, the Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10 home games. And so it is that they go on the road for six games, beginning Tuesday in Philadelphia and continuing this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Left-hander Mark Mulder, held back by two shoulder surgeries in the last two seasons, will be unwrapped from mothballs to start Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Phillies lead the National League in homers against left-handed pitching.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--3B Troy Glaus no doubt is delighted the Chicago Cubs have left town. He is 0-for-24 with 10 strikeouts against Chicago this season. "I just didn't get it done," said Glaus after his fourth straight hitless game on the homestand on Sunday.
--OF Brian Barton, a Rule V draft choice, wouldn't have been able to be sent to the minors normally. But, because he is on the disabled list with a bruised right wrist, he can be sent to Class AAA Memphis at some point for a maximum of 20 days on a medical rehabilitation option.
"I know I'm going to get some at-bats (in the minors) and come back ready," he said.
--C Yadier Molina's 13-game hitting streak is two shy of his career best.
--The Cardinals are on a run of facing seven straight left-handed starters, including three in Philadelphia and two more in Pittsburgh. They are 16-15 in games started by opposing left-handers.
--The Cardinals' 24-19 road record is the best in the National League.
BY THE NUMBERS: 300 -- Number of homers for 1B Albert Pujols after he hit his 18th on July 4. Pujols, at 28, was the fifth fastest in history to get to 300.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I definitely believe after what he said we should respect it and just ignore him." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on CF Jim Edmonds' return to Busch Stadium as a Chicago Cub. La Russa was disappointed in some things he thought Edmonds said as Edmonds tried to stress he was a Cub now, and not a Cardinal.