It was just another day at the ballpark for the St. Louis Cardinals, or at least another game without much offensive firepower. The Cardinals managed just seven hits to the Cubs' 16, and lost the finale of the series 7-1 at Busch Stadium.

It's starting to get frustrating in Cardinal country, as the offense has mustered up just one run in three of its last four games. Starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer was average at-best, serving up three runs in just five innings of work. The Cardinals bullpen, however, was absolutely atrocious. Three relievers combined to give up four runs over the last four innings, putting the game out of reach after Ryan Ludwick's sixth inning solo shot to cut to lead down to 3-1.

The Redbirds offense, which had been struggling as of late, proved no different today, going 7-for-34 (.205 BA). The Cubs offense, on the other hand, was spectacular today, hitting at over a .400 clip.

Cubs starter Sean Marshall did his best Todd Wellemeyer early-season impression, hurling six innings while surrendering just one run, the home run to Ludwick. The bullpen simply fell apart in the late innings, at last committing an error to throw the game six runs out of reach.

It doesn't get a whole lot easier from here for the Cardinals, either. They go from facing the best team in the NL to the third best, the Philadelphia Phillies, who comfortably hold first place in the NL East. Comeback starter Mark Mulder is slated to face J.A. Happ in Wednesday night's game. The first and third games will be hard-fought, as the Phillies top two dogs take the mound in ace lefty Cole Hamels and effective veteran Jamie Moyer.

It would have been awfully nice to see the Cardinals in their resilient stage once more, especially against the Cubbies. It has happened numerous times this year, after losing the first game of the series, the Cards come back to win the remaining two. That was simply not the case on this Sunday afternoon.

The closest the Cards have gotten seems to be 2.5 games, and with the lead now stretched to 3.5, the Redbirds need to find a way to get things done in Philadelphia to avoid falling further behind. But it all starts with a productive offense.

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