Jon Jay is finding himself stranded too often

For the third time in Friday night’s game, Jon Jay found himself on the basepaths. He had already doubled in the second and fourth innings, trying his best to give the struggling Cardinals offense a spark. But one batter later, for the third time in Friday night’s game, Jay found himself walking back to the dugout at the end of the sixth inning rather than crossing home plate.

It’s a frustrating time for the Cardinals’ outfielder to catch fire.

He already has three, three-hit games, five doubles, and 15 hits in the first nine days of August, but unfortunately for Jay, most of those hits have left him in the same spot he was stuck on Friday.

Stranded on the basepaths.

“We had a few chances (to score tonight),” manager Mike Matheny said. “We had a good start by Lance (Lynn). We had a few (chances), but we just couldn’t capitalize.”

Jay has heated up since the All-Star break, hitting .342, with seven doubles, and 25 hits. He came into Friday night’s game hitting only .163 against lefthanded pitchers and still managed to get three hits off of Cubs lefty Chris Rusin.

“Stuff is starting to work out,” Jay said following Friday night’s 3-0 loss. “(But) it’s not about individual results. It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t score runs.”

Before this month, Jay has struggled to maintain a hot streak all year. He has switched off from hot to cold in every month to start the season, hitting .213 in April, .284 in May, .231 in June and .284 in July.

Now, Jay has jumped right out of the gate since the All-Star break and has once again been terrific so far in August. In the same month last season, he hit .355 with 38 hits, 16 runs and 11 RBIs.

But not including the three runs he scored Aug. 1 against Pittsburgh, Jay has only crossed the plate five times since the break. In the first five games of their 10-game home stand, the Cardinals’ struggling offense have only managed to score eight runs, resulting in a 1-4 record.

“I think we have the kind of team and enough depth and experience that guys shouldn’t allow something like that to last very long,” Matheny said. “You’re going to have times when you’re just not going to be able to produce offensively. Hopefully your pitching keeps you in the game, which our pitching did (tonight). In general, our offense has been very consistent all season.

“We’ve got to get it done. Games like this, we’ve got to get it done. I think we’re all just kind of fed up with excuses. When it comes down to the bottom line, we’ve got to score runs, we’ve got to score more than them, we’ve got to keep runs from scoring.”

“We still have got plenty of games left, and we are a good team,” Jay said. “It’s just the way baseball goes. We’re going to keep pushing, and we’re going to be all right.”

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