GAME 115: Not Enough
The Cardinals came in hoping to win the series in Philly and bring the Cardinals to a two game winning streak. After a not so strong start from Lance Lynn, the Cardinals offense kept them in a cat and mouse game. A bad outing from Marc Rzepczynski led to trouble for Mitchell Boggs, and tied the game again. Matheny leaned on Barret Browning too long, and he gave up the winning run as the Cardinals lost to the Phillies 8-7 to drop seven games beind the Reds.
First inning curse: Lance Lynn has struggled a lot during the first inning this season and today was no exception. He allowed three runs from the Phillies in the first and really deflated the momentum that the Cardinals had after scoring in the first inning. Lynn only lasted five innings after allowing four runs, walking two, striking out two, and committing an error.
Little Carp: Matt Carpenter is not a superstar nor will he ever be. But he is a great guy to have on your team, he is scrappy, versatile, and he can have the occasional great game. Today was one of those games, Carpenter went 4- 5 while driving in three runs. With his good day Carpenter raised his season average to .314. We know how good Carpenter has been off of the bench, mainly as a pinch hitter, but he provides the Cardinals with great depth at the corner infield positions.
MVP?: Carlos Beltran drove in his NL leading 83rd RBI with a double early on in the game. Carlos Beltran should definitely be in the talks for the MVP award this year, he is second in homers (28) behind only Ryan Braun, and he is first in RBI ahead of teammate Matt Holliday. He also has a decent amount of steals with 10. Though his average (.286) may not be that great when you look at other candidates his overall year has been pretty good. Just think of where we would be without Beltran this year.
Oh Jay can you see: I have finally gotten used to the idea of having Jon Jay being our leadoff man. He is a good hitter, who is having a hot month batting over .400 so far in August. He also has some speed, he ranks first on the team with his 13 stolen bases (only CS twice). Jay went 3-5 today coming through with what could have been the game winning two RBI double and also scoring two runs and walking once. With his great performance he raised his average to .312 on the season. If he can stay hot, the Cardinals will have a good front of the order having Jay-Craig-Holliday- Beltran, try naming a better 1-4 in the NL.
Cold Freese: David Freese was given an off day to help him mentally as he was in the midst of an 0-16 slump, he was called upon in the 8th to pinch hit with a runner on and he drew a walk. We really need Freese to start hitting again, when he is hot the team is hot. Freese is one of the best RBI men on this team, it would be nice to have him hot when Holliday and Beltran are as well, they could be the next MV3.
Zep-blow: Marc Rzepczynski came into the bottom of the 8th and immediately walked the first two batters which caused Matheny to bring in Mitchell Boggs. Boggs got a huge strike out, then a fly out, but left one in the zone for Erik Kratz who crushed a game tying home run. You cannot as a left handed reliever come in and walk the first two batters, I don’t blame Boggs on this one.
RIDE THE ROOKIE: Matheny loves Barret Browning. If you read Browning’s Twitter feed, it’s easy to see why – Browning is a Bible-thumper just like Matheny and his cadre of Christian soldiers in the clubhouse. Still, that’s no reason to leave the rookie reliever in to face EIGHT Phillies in the tenth and eleventh innings, especially when the kid has a 6.75 ERA in August and has given up 2 earned runs in his last four innings (including a homer). He just hasn’t looked good or dependable. And so it was that Browning gave up a double, then a fielder’s choice, then a stolen base, before giving up a grounder that scored the winning run. Meanwhile, Brian Fuentes warmed up repeatedly all weekend, and never saw an inning of work – he must worship the Devil or something.
RANDOM THOUGHT: The Phillies committed THREE ERRORS and ran themselves out of innings constantly, and we STILL lost this damned game. It’s incomprehensible.
Goat: We haven’t done this in a while, but it was clear the goat of this game was Marc Rzepczynski, the Cardinals had the game won, his bad outing led to a game tying homer which defeated the Cardinals momentum. The Cardinals had the game all but won, until his rough outing.
Conclusion: This game should have been won by the Cardinals, a tough outing from the bullpen wiped away the late game heroics from Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter. It was a tough game from the beginning with a bad outing from Lance Lynn, and after some cat and mouse from the offense the team ultimately lost in extra innings. With the Reds and Pirates both winning today the Cardinals really lost a crucial game now losing some ground in the Central and wild card. The Cardinals should have swept the Phillies but some bad relief outings and mistakes cost the Cardinals two games and the series.