"To me, it reminds me of typical bad stretches," Mozeliak said. "When you're pitching, you're not hitting. When you're hitting, you're not pitching. When you have to make a play, you don't make a play. Little things become cumulative, and at the end, it's not a good outcome. In my time as general manager, we've gone through times like this. They're not always defined exactly the same, but they have similar characteristics. When you're in a rut, you have to find a way to get out."
Over the last 10 games, the Cardinals have seen their National League Central lead shaved from six games to just 2 1/2 over the Pirates, against whom the Cardinals still face once more in the regular season. The Cardinals' lead over Pittsburgh hasn't been this thin since the All-Star break. The Cubs loom 5 1/2 games back.
Baseball Prospectus, which calculates a team's probability of winning the division, listed the Cardinals as having a 92.7 percent chance of taking the NL Central on Sept. 1. Since then, that percentage had dipped to 71.7. The Cardinals have held sole possession of the division's top spot since April 17.
"To me, whenever it happens, it's frustrating," Mozeliak said. "It becomes more headline [worthy] later because the clock is ticking, right? The calendar is moving. You always feel you have a chance to recover when it happens in April or May."
Mozeliak has overseen an organization that has advanced to the NL Championship Series each of the last four seasons and played in the World Series twice during that stretch. That experience, he hopes, will help them navigate through this most recent adversity.
"The majority of the players on this team have been through so many things that I imagine they're not even thinking about it until you guys ask questions about it," Mozeliak said. "I feel like they've seen so much on the wild side, and they've had success. That's what they're going to gravitate toward."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.