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The Dream is Over – Now the Nightmare Begins

By Mark Ashby Vaughan

Any flickering hope that the Cardinals would pull themselves together and right the ship is all but officially extinguished.

If the Reds play sub-.500 ball the rest of the way at 14-15 over their remaining 29 games they will finish with an overall record of 92-70. For the Cards to catch the Reds they will have to go 23-7 over their final 30 games. That isn’t going to happen. Not with this team which has shown a complete inability to deliver in the clutch all year long.

Oh, and did I mention that the Reds just brought up reliever Aroldis Chapman who throws a 100+ MPH fastball.

And forget about catching the Giants for the wild-card spot. If the Giants go 15-14 the remainder of the season they will finish at 90-72. The Cardinals will have to play at a 22-8 clip the rest of the way to pass the Giants. That isn’t going to happen either.

Keep in mind that the team hasn't had a winning record in September since 2005.

The Cardinals have massive holes in their lineup. They have a second baseman hitting .267 with just 14 doubles and 5 stolen bases – and he’s the lead-off hitter. Their shortstop is hitting .219 with 17 doubles and a measly 27 RBIs. Felipe Lopez is hitting .239 and Pedro Feliz checks in at .231. That’s half of the normal eight hitters in a NL lineup. You cannot have that much dead weight and still score runs. Especially when the hits are primarily comprised of singles instead of more significant doubles and home runs.

That, my friends, is a recipe for a lackluster offense. So, unless the team plans on making big changes this upcoming offseason, get used to an anemic offensive club in 2011 as well.

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