The Cardinals' pitching problem

St. Louis' rotation has been adequate, but the bullpen has been a burden

Updated: July 15, 2012, 11:33 PM ET
By Wendy Thurm | FanGraphs
Adam WainwrightDilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesThe Cardinals have a healthy Adam Wainwright this season, but he can't help the bullpen.

The St. Louis Cardinals headed into the All-Star break with the most productive offense in the National League. The Cardinals scored 426 runs in their first 86 games, an average of 4.95 per game. Their opponents scored only 356 runs, or 4.14 per game. A recipe for success, right? Well, those numbers don't tell the whole story.

The Cardinals were 46-40 in the first half, four wins fewer than their expected record of 50-36, based on total runs scored and runs allowed. Even with Chris Carpenter out for the season and Jaime Garcia on the disabled list since June 6, the Cardinals' rotation more than carried its weight. The starters compiled a 38-26 record with a 3.68/3.50 ERA/FIP and 2.81 K/BB ratio.

The bullpen, on the other hand, did not pitch well overall, and the 'pen could keep the Cardinals from making another October run.