Matheny confident Cards will find groove with bats

Matheny confident Cards will find groove with bats

Matheny confident Cards will find groove with bats
MILWAUKEE -- Win or lose, the Cardinals have kept things interesting as of late.

Entering Wednesday, each of St. Louis' last eight games -- dating back to before the All-Star break -- had been decided by two runs or fewer. Five of those contests were one-run games, with the Cards going 3-5 in that stretch.

In the losses, the problem has largely been the offense, which has sputtered since the start of the second half of the season. St. Louis hadn't scored more than three runs in any of its last five games heading into Wednesday, going 8-for-45 with runners in scoring position since the break.

Manager Mike Matheny has been left frustrated with the recent offensive woes, but he said Wednesday that it could be worse.

"If we could put a finger on it and fix it, we would have done it a long time ago, after the first game," Matheny said. "But I think if you look at it another way, we're playing hard and in every game. It's just a matter of something happening."

St. Louis made something happen in its only win since the break on Monday, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Brewers. On Tuesday, the Cardinals had two similar chances in the seventh and ninth innings but couldn't come through.

Matheny said he can see that some of his hitters are "trying to do too much" to make things happen at the plate, especially in pressure situations. Allen Craig, who started in right field on Wednesday, shared the same feelings after he delivered the game-winning hit on Monday. But he said he's confident he and his teammates can turn a corner soon.

"I think sometimes, things just aren't going to go your way," Craig said. "You're not always going to drive that run in that's in scoring position. We're always going to be fighting to, and we're going to make adjustments to get it done."

Matheny also remained optimistic, saying that he's seen enough good from his team to believe its struggles can't last forever.

"There's plenty to be positive about," he said. "Unfortunately, just not a lot of wins, which that's what our job is; that's what we're here to do. We're here to win games."