Coming off a 5-1 week during which they had a five-game winning streak, the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League East Division were in first place, looking to pad their lead.
Instead, they headed in the 180 degree direction, losing seven straight and counting.
It began as the Cardinals scored
just six runs over four games at
Day by Day
The week began on Wednesday with a solid start by Brandon Dickson that went for naught. Tied 1-1 with two outs in the eighth inning, the Reds pushed across two runs to take the lead. Rain ended the game at that point as Dickson took the complete-game loss.
On Thursday, starter Brad Furnish
and Blake King were touched up for nine earned runs, and down seven tallies
after four innings, the Cardinals did not score again. Friday brought a
continuation of the lack of offense as
Sunday brought a new town and a
new opponent, the Dunedin Blue Jays, but the same result, another loss. The Jays
padded their league-best second-half record at the Cardinals' expense.
Game two against
The Cardinals seventh game in seven days on Tuesday was also their seventh consecutive loss. The Jays got out ahead quickly, scoring four runs in the first two innings against Brad Furnish. They chased the starter with two more runs in the fifth. The offense was again MIA, with just four hits and no runs. They lost, 8-0.
Where they stand
The Cardinals are 14-16 in the
second-half standings in the FSL East, in fourth place, 3.5 games behind the
Outfielder Charlie Kingrey
continues to swing a hot bat as he has hit in seven of his last ten games. Last
week, he went 8-for-25 (.320) with two home runs and three RBI. Kingrey is
batting .303 since joining
Outfielder Daryl Jones went 7-for-21 (.333) on the week, raising his season average to .317.
Third baseman Brian Cartie went 6-for-20 (.300) during this period.
Since converting from catching to pitching, Casey Mulligan has quietly posted a stellar 0.82 ERA after pitching one scoreless frame Tuesday night.
With a losing streak like this one, I could probably feature almost the entire team.
First baseman Brandon Buckman came off the DL Friday for his first action since late June. He went 3 for his first 20 (.150), all singles, as he unsuccessfully tries to shake the rust off.
In four July starts, Brad Furnish has yielded 19 runs in 20.1 innings for an ERA of 9.63.
Brandon Dickson has given up 12 runs in his last 11.2 innings, both losses. The opposing hitters have been all over the bases, collecting 19 hits and four walks.
Since his promotion from Quad Cities, Blake King has a 7.84 ERA in seven games. In a continuing pattern, he has fanned 16, but walked 11 in 10.1 FSL innings.
Catcher Nick Derba can't buy a hit. Since his last safety two weeks ago on July 9, he has gone 0-for-24, dropping his batting average down to .122 on the season.
Leadoff man Tyler Henley went 5-for-30 (.167) this week.
Who's on the Move
After being promoted all the way
up to Triple-A Memphis, lefty Tyler Norrick was returned to
On the Mend
Right-handed starter David Kopp continues his rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, having allowed two runs over 3.2 innings in two games.
Pitcher Gary Daley, Jr. continues to struggle mightily in his rehab assignment with the GCL Cardinals. The 22-year-old yielded seven runs in just 1/3 inning over two outings last week. In ten GCL games, his ERA is 27.00.
Jones is third in average (.317), second in on-base percentage (.399), seventh in slugging (.463) and tied for tenth in stolen bases (17).
Tony Cruz is sixth in RBIs (58) though he has been out of the lineup since last Tuesday the 16th.
Brandon Dickson's season ERA is up from 2.95 to 3.62 over the last week, but is still tenth-lowest.
Dickson and Brad Furnish are among those tied for eighth in wins with seven.
Closer Francisco Samuel is in a
three-way tie for second in the league with his 19 saves despite spending the
week as the Maytag repairman.
Team stats and rankings
The hitters' batting average fell to .255, now fifth in the 12-team league, while their slugging mark dropped all the way from second to sixth at .374. They still have the third-fewest strikeouts in the FSL but dipped to fourth in runs scored.
The pitchers' ERA grew from 3.55 to 3.77 and went from fourth-best in the league to seventh. Their 41 saves are still tops. In the good and bad news department, the staff maintained their FSL lead in both strikeouts and walks issued.
The Cardinals try to break their
skid as they finish the series at
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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