Matheny blames himself for team's slump
The Cardinals lost for the third time in four interleague games and for the ninth time in their last 13 games overall when they fell to the Chicago White Sox 6-1 Tuesday night.
The starting pitching was excellent with right-hander Adam Wainwright giving up only two runs, both in the second, which was marked by two Cardinals misplays in the field. But relievers Marc Rzepczynski, whose earned run average shot up to 5.48, and Mitchell Boggs each allowed a 400-foot-plus homer in the eighth inning, blowing the game open.
But the offense, which has scored just six runs in the last four games, made 11 hits work for only one run on Tuesday. The Cardinals have had just three hits in their last 21 at-bats with men in scoring position, one of which didn't score a run.
So, plenty of blame to go around. But manager Mike Matheny said it started with him.
"You can see a team (the White Sox) with a lot of confidence, just the way they walk onto the field and the way they play the game. And I think you're seeing a team on the other side -- not so much," said Matheny.
"Those are things, in my opinion, that start at the top. We've got to figure out how to get it back. Because we had it. And it's there. But right now ... we're not showing it.
"We can control the way we go about our business, expecting to win and not expecting things to happen and the wheels fall off."
Asked if a clubhouse meeting might help, Matheny said, "Been there, done that. We've had more meetings already this season than I want to have all year. We've each got to look at ourselves, and that attitude begins with me. I've got to do everything to make sure that these guys believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. If I'm not getting that across to them, I'm not doing my job. I've got to get it fixed."
The Cardinals do have seven players on the disabled list, many of them key ones. "I'd love to tell you that I think that's it," said Matheny. "But I don't. I really don't.
"I look at that lineup we threw out there tonight. There should be plenty of defense. And there should be plenty of offense. But if guys want to start looking for excuses, every team can find them."
RHP Adam Wainwright, who had been 1-for-26, got his second hit of the season. But he also suffered his seventh loss in 12 decisions despite giving up only two runs in seven innings, and he wasn't helped by his defense. Manager Mike Matheny said, "Adam certainly deserved better than the result. He could have left the game in the eighth without any runs pretty easy. Those things are pretty indicative of what's been happening this season. We make a mistake and it gets capitalized on." But Wainwright, dismissing defensive mistakes by 3B David Freese and 2B Tyler Greene, said, "I could have made better pitches there and got us out of that, for sure."
LHP Marc Rzepczynski surrendered his fifth home run in just 23 innings when White Sox LF Adan Dunn cracked a 436-foot shot off him in the eighth. Rzepzynski has given up multiple runs in three of his last six outings, and his earned run average has shot to 5.48 with an allotment of seven runs in his last 3 2/3 innings of pitching.
RHP Michael Wacha, the Cardinals' top pick in last week's draft of first-year players, will be in St. Louis on Wednesday to take the physical that should complete his signing process with the club. Wacha, who is expected to report to Class A Palm Beach, is expected to receive a bonus of $1.9 million.
LF Matt Holliday, back in the lineup after missing two games because of back spasms, batted third and had two hits. It was his 20th multi-hit game and seventh since May 27, a span in which he is hitting .356 (16-for-45).
RHP Chris Carpenter, out with a shoulder problem, is expected to throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since mid-March. Carpenter still isn't expected back until late July.
C Yadier Molina became the 30th Cardinals player to appear in 1,000 games, the magic number coming on Tuesday. The club's best hitter (among qualifiers) for average at .329, Molina batted second for only the second time in his career and first time since 2008.
1B Allen Craig continued his productive hitting. His run-scoring single in the sixth was his 27th RBI in only 23 games.
20-11 The Cardinals won 20 of their first 31 games. Now they have lost 20 of their last 31.
"We're a much better team than we're playing. We've just to wake up a little bit. We've got to execute better. We've got to pitch better. We've got to play better defense. We've got to hit better. We've just got to do everything better." -- RHP Adam Wainwright.