The Cardinals have outclassed the Pirates in recent years. In fact, St. Louis has won nine straight games against the Pirates, dating back to last season, including a two-game series sweep in Pittsburgh in April.
That is why it has to be considered a good sign that SS Jack Wilson and CF Tike Redman are starting to heat up.
"We're not a powerhouse offensively, and we really need everyone contributing to be successful, especially against a quality team like the Cardinals," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Wilson and Redman haven't made many contributions this season. Wilson is hitting .196 after posting a .308 batting average with 201 hits last season. Redman's average is only .217, and he has started less than half the Pirates' games after retaining his starting center fielder's job in spring training.
However, Redman had a streak of six straight hits over the weekend against Colorado, and he made his first start of the season against a left-handed starter on Sunday. Wilson had a pair of three-hit games last week. He also has gone 33 straight games without an error.
"It gets tough, especially when you're not even playing a lot," Redman said. "You feel like you're not doing anything at all to help the team. It's easy to get a little down."
"I've felt like I've been dragging the team down all year, and it's been frustrating after what happened last year," Wilson said. "It's tough day after day to go out there and do nothing to help the cause."
The two have taken different approaches in snapping out of their slumps. Redman has worked harder while Wilson has scaled back on his preparation.
"I've been in the (indoor batting) cage a lot, just working and working to try to stay sharp," Redman said. "I've felt pretty good about my swing for the past two weeks, but it wasn't carrying over into games until recently."
"I tried everything then finally I just threw up my hands up and said, 'The heck with it,'" Wilson said. "I quit taking extra batting practice and watching videotape. I think it cleared my mind."
Pirates Start 3-Game Series
Pirates Dugout Top Stories
Bucs DFA Jeff Locke, sign Lisalverto BonillaLeft-handed pitcher Jeff Locke has been designated for assignment, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Tuesday evening. In a corresponding move, the club has signed free agent…
Pirates DugoutWednesday at 8:54 AM
Braves sign utility-man Sean RodriguezThe Atlanta Braves have reached agreement with free-agent infielder Sean Rodriguez on a two-year deal worth more than $11 million.
Josh Bell looking forward to next seasonJosh Bell cemented himself as a regular in the Pirates' lineup from late August onward, finishing the second half of the season with a .351 on-base percentage. Bell in 128 at bats…
Mercer likes Pirates futurePirates shortstop Jordy Mercer missed the last few games of the season with right forearm discomfort. Mercer wound up batting .256 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI. Despite the Pirates…
Pirates Prospect Interview: Nick KinghamRight-hander Nick Kingham was closing in on a spot in the major leagues before having Tommy John surgery last May. The 24-year old got 10 rehab starts under his belt since the…