CINCINNATI – A standard of excellence in hitting and fielding for many years at the hot corner, Nolan Arenado feels he hasn’t reached top form with nearly one-third of the St. Louis Cardinals’ season complete.

Arenado told media members after Monday, hitless with a key error in a loss to Cincinnati, that “I haven’t felt like me all year.” The 33-year-old third baseman blamed himself for recent struggles and dips in production, at least compared to previous All-Star seasons.

The stats seem on par with his remarks as well. Arenado’s season batting average peaked at .296 near the start of the month and now sits at .258. He’s only on pace for 10 home runs and 71 RBI, well below his usual 30-HR, 100-RBI marks.

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“It’s bad,” Arenado told’s John Denton and others on Monday. “The swing is not good, my swing is not good. I’ve been working on it and trying to figure this thing out, but my swing is not good.”

He continued, “I’m a guy that pulls the ball in the air and I haven’t done that all year. I don’t know what the answers are. I’ve got to continue to try to find it. I can see the difference of when I was good and when I’m not, but trying to apply it in games right now is really hard for me.”

Arenado, the 10-time Gold Glover, also takes pride in his defensive side of the game. His errors and fielding percentage aren’t dramatically worse than many of recent Gold Glove years, but he feels his mistakes have been costly, such as Monday. That’s when an error on a weakly-hit ground ball turned into a leadoff single, later paving the way for two decisive Reds runs.

“It’s disappointing,” Arenado told “My error didn’t help. Lance has been doing a great job. We’ve got to pick him up there and make those plays. It’s frustrating. … Not a very good game with those errors, especially mine.”

Despite Arenado’s struggles, the St. Louis Cardinals have built some momentum recently, winning 10 of their last 13 and inching closer to the .500 mark. Arenado says he’s closely watching highlights from his past surges in hopes to break out of bad habits, offensively and defensively.

Monday’s loss began a nine-game road trip for the Cardinals, who play the Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros before returning home on June 6. The Cardinals are 25-27, standing 5.5 games back of the Central Division lead and 1.5 back of a National League Wild Card spot.