May 11, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) hits a two run triple in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
(The Cardinal Nation Show) -- The Cardinals, who still lead the National League in batting average (.273) and on-base percentage (.336) and are second in runs scored (336), have encountered an offensive brownout over the last 12 games.
Those games all have been interleague games against the American League Central, and the Cardinals have won but five and have scored three or runs or fewer in 10 of them. In one of the games they scored three runs, but it took them 15 innings and five hours to do it.
In seven of those games, including Thursday's 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Detroit Tigers, the Cardinals have tallied two runs or fewer.
Could it be the relative unfamiliarity with American League pitchers?
"That's an answer, not an excuse," said hitting coach Mark McGwire. "We're not staying in our strike zone. We're not working the count to get a good pitch to hit with men in scoring position. We're giving away a lot of runs out there because we're going out of our zone."
The Cardinals were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position Thursday, including two misses by designated hitter Allen Craig, who jammed his left wrist diving for a ball the night before and then went 0-for-5 Thursday.
Craig, who said his wrist was "all right," flied out in the fifth and popped up in the 10th, both times with two outs and two on, after Carlos Beltran was walked intentionally ahead of him.