Matheny looking to see more contact

Matheny looking to see more contact

HOUSTON -- The Cardinals had struck out 60 times in their last six games before Thursday. Manager Mike Matheny said his players know that they need to be making better contact.

"That's a long walk back, when you leave the plate back to the dugout and realize that if you put the ball in play, good things can happen," Matheny said. "You put pressure on the defense. They know that. It's not something that needs to be pounded, but it is also something that's addressed."

Hitting coach Mark McGwire and assistant hitting coach John Mabry have talked with the hitters about the problem, but it's clear that the Cardinals aren't stressing out over a bad stretch at the plate.

"I think we go back to the approach we had earlier in the season when we were really patient for mistakes and not missing many that came in the zone," Matheny said. "You can't expect us to keep with that all season with execution, but certainly with mindset."

The Cardinals struck out 15 times on Wednesday, but Matheny said that was more a product of a wide strike zone.

"You get put in a tough spot sometimes," Matheny said.