Ask me anything right now but don’t ask me to describe the Cardinals’ offensive approach. The Boston Red Sox have reduced the National League’s most balanced lineup to aggressive panhandling.

Jon Lester is a quality pitcher. He is also lefthanded, the equivalent of Kryptonite to the locals. After Monday’s lockdown performance at Busch Stadium Lester has won four games this postseason, two in this five-game-old World Series. He is not Sandy Koufax, not even Andy Pettitte. But Lester on a good day — and Monday was an outstanding day — shut down this team.

Today there’s no after-the-fact Game 1 buzz about some mysterious green goo visible on Lester’s glove. It’s all about the October puddle of mush the Cardinals offense has become.

Through more than seven innings against Lester at muted Busch Stadium, the Cardinals managed four hits, a single run on Matt Holliday’s fourth home run of the postseason, one look of disbelief (Matt Carpenter) at plate umpire Bill Miller and one overhead bat slam (Yadier Molina) following a strikeout. It would be no big deal if it was just one night. But the Cardinals are getting pitched after apparently being impeccably scouted. They have scored fewer than three runs in eight of 16 postseason games. And now they’re one step from exiting this World Series.

The Cardinals now appear to be an offense caught “in between.”

Their attempts at narrowing pitchers to specific locations and selections is confounded by the Red Sox’ precision. They’re left with the uncomfortable choice of standing there and literally taking it or expanding the hitting zone.

“Anytime you feel like you’re getting dictated to by him, that’s not a very good spot,” Carpenter said. “There’s been times this postseason and in this series when that’s been the case. Part of that is being pitched and part of that is being in control of what you’re doing. It’s tough to swallow but you’ve got to tip your cap to him.”

Right now the Cardinals are doing more hat-tipping than a doorman at the Chase Park Plaza. Their 12 hits in a Game 3 win apparently represented nothing more than a deep tease. The last two games have found them scrounging to advance runners into scoring position and too often begging for pitch calls. This offense isn’t gaining traction. It’s spinning deeper into a rut. A team that vowed to take an up-the-middle, “Minute Maid Park approach” coming into the series is being exposed as pull-happy and pop-up prone.

Lester followed his 7  2/3 scoreless innings from Game 1 with a reasonable facsimile that bettered Wainwright on a night when Waino’ struck out 10 against one walk.

Lester needed a paltry 81 pitches to reach the eighth inning. The Cardinals saw 106 pitches all night. A team that thrives on plate discipline has been taken off its game.

“You try not to expand the zone. You try to be aggressive. But the last few games they’ve done a good job not leaving the ball over the plate,” said the Cardinals’ Allen Craig, who emerged from the walking wounded to make his first start of the Series at first base.

The Cardinals have 11 hits in 20 innings pitched by Red Sox lefthanders not named Craig Breslow. It would be nice to classify this as an outlier but the statistic reflects a season-long trend in which the Cardinals ranked 26th of 30 teams in on-base-plus-slugging percentage against lefthanded pitching.

Red Sox manager John Farrell lifted Lester after 7 2/3 innings when confronted by lefthanded pinch-hitter Matt Adams, who struck out as the potential tying run against closer Koji Uehara.

There currently exists no flow to the Cardinals’ lineup. A hitting metronome during the season, Carpenter continues to labor and Monday stacked four hitless at-bats atop a postseason that finds him hitting .187.

Credit manager Mike Matheny with at least trying to shake up a drab order.

Unfortunately, he got nothing in return for starting Shane Robinson in center field and pushing Craig from the trainer’s table to first base.

If there was silver-plated lining to Monday’s offensive snooze it came via third baseman David Freese’s two-hit night that interrupted a one-for-12 Series and an eight-for-49 October.

Wainwright will exit the postseason without a win in three National League championship series and World Series starts.

The Cardinals actually have done well to reach this point with such minimal offense. They’ve averaged 3.44 runs in the tournament, 2.6 runs in the World Series.

How bad was the Red Sox’ dominance within a two-run game?