This offense. Oh man, this offense.

Is there anything more 2014 Braves than the bottom of the sixth inning tonight? Freddie Freeman started the inning with a double, but the immediate chatter around the ballpark was “how are we going to strand him?” Per usual convention Freeman actually got to third on a Chris Johnson single, but since that single was sandwiched between a popout, a lineout, and a fielder’s choice, the threat ended harmlessly.

The Braves did manage one run on back-to-back doubles in the third, but every other Atlanta baserunner was left hanging. Then again, there were only eight total. The Cardinals also stranded seven baserunners, but by virtue of having 13 hits and two walks, they were bound to scratch a few runs out.

Mike Minor wasn’t sharp in his second start back from the DL. Had he been able to retire his counterpart Adam Wainwright early in the game it might have been closer; Wainwright led off the third with a double and then scored, then kept what could have been an uneventful fourth alive with a two-out single. The latter hit led to a three-run, two-out rally by the Cardinals that effectively put the game away at 5-1. The Braves are scoring at the pace of a soccer team, just not Crystal Palace.

But you’d expect Minor to have some hiccups has he works his way back from being injured. At some point, the offense has to pick up the team for a few games, and that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming right now. The starting pitching has been superhuman to keep the team in games to this point, but that’s not really sustainable across a season. During the current 8-games-of-9 slide, the Braves are averaging 1.8 runs per game.

It’s not as simple as removing Dan Uggla from the lineup, which is a thing that happened tonight. That’s what you call a “necessary but not sufficient” condition. A lot of streaky power hitters are cold at the same time, and that’s a recipe for some quick half-innings. Such is the tiger you ride when built around streaky power hitters, I suppose. Cross your fingers and play some Phil Collins that they get back on a hot streak soon.