ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium on Friday having lost eight of their last 11 and without a series win in their last four played.
General manager John Mozeliak was not on the Cardinals' recent three-city swing through Houston, Oakland and Anaheim, instead spending much of the time on a preplanned trip to see several of the organization's Minor League affiliates. He did, however, keep a pulse on the club from afar, and on Friday, offered his thoughts on the team's recent dip in results.
"As you look at what has transpired over the last 10 days, no doubt the expectations are higher," Mozeliak said. "Our starting pitching hasn't been as good. Our bullpen has been really solid, and I think last night's game [in which Edward Mujica suffered his first blown save] is something that's going to happen over the course of the season.
"Obviously, we've had some opportunities that we haven't been able to seize or take advantage of. Clearly, starting now until the All-Star break, I would like to see us end the first half on a positive note."
Mozeliak emphasized that the issues exposed over the past two weeks do not stand out to him as glaring long-term problems. Asked if the recent stretch has helped clarify what the Cardinals' biggest priorities should be with the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, Mozleiak said: "It could be a signal, but I don't think it's screaming anything."
As for Mozeliak's desire to see an upswing in results leading into to the mid-season break, the Cardinals' schedule would seem favorable for such. Beginning with Friday's game against the Marlins, the Cards will finish the first half against three teams with a combined winning percentage of .391.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.