The St. Louis Cardinals, who have been leaving too many runners on base to suit Manager Whitey Herzog, are starting to get some offensive help from George Hendrick and former National League batting champion Keith Hernandez. ''Even though our pitching has been better than I expected, we've been sputtering offensively for almost three months,'' Herzog said. ''The fact is we need both Keith and George to rip the ball for us if we're going to win our division.''
While almost no one was looking, Toronto has put together a very tough four-man pitching rotation in Dave Stieb, Louis Leal, Jim Clancy, and Jim Gott. The Blue Jays also have one of baseball's top double play combinations in second baseman Damaso Garcia and shortstop Alfredo Griffin.