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MLB St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals Start 11-Game Road Trip On Sour Note

St. Louis Cardinals

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals entered last Friday’s 11-game road trip on a hot streak and with the best record in MLB at 62-37.

However, it would not be unreasonable to compare the Atlanta Braves to janitors during their three-game series at Turner Field as they got the brooms out and swept the Cardinals under the rug. The Braves did not just sweep St. Louis, but they did it in dominating fashion, outscoring the Cardinals 11-3 over the three games.

There are no magic numbers or underlying problems as to why the Cardinals were swept. It was simply a lack of offense and great pitching on the part of the Braves.

St. Louis hitters managed to only get 14 hits over the weekend, while Atlanta more than doubled that with 29 hits. You do not have to follow baseball to know that a team probably is not going to win a series when the opponent puts up double the hits.

A big reason why the Cardinals could not get anything going offensively was because of the superb outings by starting pitchers Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Kris Medlen. Combined, the trio allowed just three runs and fanned 15 batters with one walk. They will hope that the return of Matt Holliday produces more scoring opportunities.

As badly as they started on the long road trip, the Cardinals must put the three-game sweep behind them. The next five games are at the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are just 1.5 games behind St. Louis with a 61-42 record. The Cardinals cannot afford to play the way they did against the Braves, or they will see their NL Central lead snatched away.

A repeat of the Atlanta series is unlikely, but nonetheless, St. Louis has get back up after being knocked down. This road trip will be a true test, and the five-game series against the Pirates could prove to be season-changing. Whether or not it is for the better is up to the Cardinals and their bats.

Bryan Heater is an AAC basketball and football writer for RantSports.com, as well as an MLB contributor. Follow him on Twitter, Friend him on Facebook or add him to your Google network.