GAME 137: Stinkin’ In The Rain
Kyle Lohse carried the Cardinals into the seventh, sparing the bullpen in an effort to gain his 15th win. However, seventh inning troubles (including a sloppy defensive play) conspired against his efforts. Thanks to Yadi’s late heroics, the game went into extra innings, where a Ryan Braun homer ended it as a 5-4 loss. I stayed up until two in the morning for THIS?
WET ONE: The game was delayed for over two hours by heavy rains in St. Louis. This forced Matt Holliday from the game, as he is still nursing a somewhat sore back. Unfortunately, Matt Carpenter, as good as he’s been, doesn’t provide the kind of pop that Holliday does. So, our offense was already working from behind at the start of the game.
NO FIFTEEN: Lohse pitched really well as he walked a 2-1 tightrope for most of the game. Unlike most starts in recent days, Lohse carried the game into the seventh before running into trouble. A second run (charged to Lohse) eventually scored, denying him his 15th win. Truthfully, if this team supported Lohse properly, the guy would be close to 20 wins already. He’s been terrific, and I feel bad for him.
KIDS LEAD THE WAY: Usually when Jon Jay hits, the team scores. Not tonight, however. Jay went 3-4 (he did score a run, though), but the team struggled to get the big hits. In addition to Jay’s big night, Jay buddies Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter also had big nights, both going 2-3. Unfortunately, the big bats left in the heart of the order went 0-8 with three strikeouts and seven runners left on base.
AGGRESSIVE RUNNING: I love seeing aggression on the bases! We saw the kids running hard tonight! Matt Carpenter stretched a run-scoring single into a double in the first inning. Later, Descalso took second on a wild pitch that barely got away from catcher Martin Maldonado. While neither play made a difference in the scoring, it makes a difference in the attitude of the team.
SLOW AND SLOPPY: How nerve-wracking was it to have Carlos Beltran and his shaky knees navigating the wet outfield tonight? Clearly, Beltran was also concerned, given how slowly he approached a liner into right by Travis Ishikawa that ended up skipping past him for a game-tying hit. Without Beltran’s bat doing any damage, his misplays in the outfield become that much larger and more annoying.
OUR HERO: With the Cards scrambling for runs in the eighth down 4-2, Carpenter walked. He was left standing there with two outs when Yadier Molina came to the plate. And Yadi didn’t miss. He lashed a line-drive homer over the left-field fence for a dramatic two-run homer to tie the game. His giddy smile said it all; he loves sticking it to those damned Brewers!! We love you, Yadi!!
BULLET TIME: Maldonado ripped a long drive off of Fernando Salas in the 11th inning. Maldonado stood there and watched it fly, thinking it was a home run. But the drive bounced off of the wall, causing Maldonado to sprint to second. Chambers alertly snagged the ball, spun, and fired a strike to second to nail Maldonado and end the threat. HUGE play!
THE YADI HUSTLE: With one out in the eleventh and two runners on, Molina (who was on second) stole third base. After a long game, where does our fearless leader get the energy and the insatiable drive to win at any costs?? Too bad he was left stranded there in a perfect opportunity to win the game.
LANCED: Lance Lynn‘s work in the 12th inning seemed pretty encouraging. As in, he didn’t give up any runs. His breaking ball was low, and his curve seemed tight. However, his stint in the 13th inning was much different – Lynn’s fastball was up higher in the inning, and Ryan Braun crushed one of them for the eventual game-winner. He still has some problems to work on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Yadi.
CONCLUSION: With the Dodgers and the Pirates both losing, this was a good game to win. Thank goodness a battle like this came after an off-day, when the team is relatively rested. However, Lynn clearly cannot be trusted in close games if at all possible. A frustrating loss.