The Saint Louis Cardinals were seemingly the preseason favorites to win the NL Central. However, it has been a month to forget for the Cards as the team is currently four games under .500 with a 37-41 record. The team is also fourth in the division behind the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers

The Woes Continue for the Cardinals

Manager Mike Shildt said after the game that changes were going to be made to the team’s rotation. This mostly points to Carlos Martinez who has a 3-9 record, 6.78 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 73.0 innings pitched. The Cardinals had a terrible month of June, sporting a 7-17 record.

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After the four-game series against the Atlanta Braves, the Saint Louis Cardinals had an easy schedule up ahead against the Detroit Tigers on the road and the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. The Cardinals dropped both games against the Tigers. Things got even worse as the team dropped three out of four against the Pirates who own the worst record in the NL Central (29-47).

Max Kranick, who made his major league debut on Sunday, couldn’t have asked for a better start to his young career. Kranick pitched five perfect innings; however, a 64-minute rain delay forced him from the game. 

Kranick was an 11th round pick in 2016, and potentially many scouts wrong in the future for passing upon him in the earlier rounds. Later, he said,” Crazy feeling, incredible feeling,…“I’ll remember this day forever.” This season has already showcased seven no-hitters, and the MLB being stricter with foreign substance use.

The rookie never pitched above the High-A levels of the minors until this season and did well against a lineup that featured All-Stars Yadier Molina, Nolan Arenado, and  Paul Goldschmidt. Bryan Reynolds extended his hitting streak to twelve games, which leads the National League. 

The Cards were only able to put together two runs against Duane Underwood Jr. who pitched 3.0 innings, gave up a walk, and struck out three batters. David Bednar came the ninth to send the Cardinals home by just allowing one walk. What does this mean for the Cardinals, and what can they do to improve before, during, and after the trade deadline?

What Can the Cardinals Do to Get Back on Track

The Cardinals are nine games out of Wildcard contention, which seems impossible to get with how the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are built as a unit. Winning the division is their best bet, but they are still eight games out of first place.

If the Cardinals are trying to contend for the playoffs which is a tough task. The organization needs to focus on the starting rotation as it is easily the weakest position on the team. Some intriguing names could be Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson as both the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers may want to capitalize on their prized assets. Both teams are also nowhere near contention.

Even if the Cardinals do not make it to the playoffs, the team may be in a bit of a dilemma as Nolan Arenado can opt-out of his contract that has six years and approximately $179 million remaining. It is highly unlikely he does opt out, but Arenado most likely does not want to be involved like his days with the Colorado Rockies.

What do you think the Saint Louis Cardinals do as they face the Arizona Diamondbacks at home for a three-game series?

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