GAME 140: Unworthy
Another bullpen devastation in extra innings – dropping the Cardinals to an astonishing 6-12 record after nine innings – capped a game of missed chances and wasted performances as the Cards lost a heartbreaker 3-2 to the Reds. In a three-game series that the Cards had to win, they dropped two of three to effectively end any hope of a comeback in this long-over pennant race.
JACKED SON: Since we acquired him in the Colby Rasmus trade, Edwin Jackson has been a shade below superb. He has a 4-2 record in seven starts with a 3.57 ERA. He’s averaged over seven innings a start, which is almost miraculous under TLR. In two of his three losses, he surrendered 3 or fewer runs. Tonight, after a hiccup in the first inning (a two-run homer to Edgar Renteria), Jackson was dominating. He struck out 8 in seven innings. The more I see him, the more I like him.
DUMBASS: TLR has the imagination of a potted plant, and his teams often reflect this. The second inning provided yet another piece of irrefutable proof that TLR is the worst manager in this game. TLR looked out from behind his sunglasses (exactly how dark are those things, anyway??) to see Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso standing on second and third with one out and Jackson at the plate. Over the course of a CENTURY baseball has established that a squeeze play in this spot will earn you an easy run on the pitcher’s near-automatic out. So, does TLR put a squeeze on? Of course not! TLR wouldn’t call a squeeze play on a turd stuck in his own rectum! So he allows Jackson to swing away, striking out and losing the chance at that easy run! Furcal then lined out to end the inning. LaGENIUS!
YAY FOR JAY: Jon Jay has really come alive recently at the plate and in the field. What was wrong with the guy? Gas? Anyway, Jay was one of the few offensive highlights today, ripping a home run to cut the Reds’ lead (should’ve tied the game, though … see above) and racing back to the fence Andy Van Slyke style to rob Drew Stubbs of extra bases in the fourth. He’s a good guy with a fair amount of talent, and I love seeing him do well.
AIN’T GONNA WORK: The Cardinals were a shocking 0-8 with runners in scoring position. That is almost too pathetic to believe.
BAD EVEN FOR TLR: LaGenius continued his life’s work of ruining baseball games in the eighth. Lance Berkman singled, so TLR thought this would be a good spot to make the inevitable “defensive replacement” move while also adding some speed on the bases, so he put in Corey Patterson to pinch-run. So far, so good. But then TLR leaves the speedy Patterson standing on first base waiting for a sign from heaven or something. And so Patterson stood on first base, hands on his hips, while Schumaker grounded into a fielder’s choice on a 2-1 count. Ever heard of a stolen base, Tony? How about a hit and run? WAKE UP, TONY!!! This lethargic team takes its cue from the cadaver on the top step, and missed opportunities like this one have killed this club all year.
CLOSERS DON’T TIE: Frustrated by the fact that the Cardinals hadn’t already lost the game after nine innings, TLR went to work. He brought Fernando Salas into a 2-2 game in the tenth inning, despite the fact that Salas has a hold rate of 0%. I think Salas has blown every tied game in which he has pitched in extra innings this year. IT DOESN’T WORK. However, stats like that only make TLR bristle and become indignant. “I’ll show them who’s boss,” hissed TLR as he made the move to bring in Salas. Any guesses about what happened next?
INFAMOUS EXTRAS: The Cardinals were a bewildering 6-11 in extra innings. Well, make that 6-12. With two outs, Salas gave up a single, a walk, and then a single to give up the winning run. Wow.
CHERRY ON TOP: Ol’ Abner Doubleday did it again! The Cards had their BIG THREE coming up in the bottom of the tenth! SCARY!!! The tension was palpable among the 281 fans still left watching this crap, and the Reds infielders were busy making bets on who would have the most put-outs. Pujols and Holliday of course grounded out when we really needed something. But the perfect ending was Corey Patterson, switched in two innings earlier, coming up to bat for Lance Berkman. Hahaha … Patterson insead of Berkman! The TLR genius comes full circle!! Patterson grounded out weakly (of course) to end the game. PERFECTION!!!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jackson for pitching so well and (once again) giving the Cardinals ample opportunity to win. Sadly, the rest of the team didn’t provide similar energy.
CONCLUSION: I just wish TLR would announce that he has Alzheimer’s or suffers lingering effects from a stroke or something … otherwise I cannot rationalize the man’s decision-making on days like this. I can’t help but wonder where we’d be in the standings if one of those shingles scabs could’ve managed the team for a week. As it stands, the Cardinals are essentially finished. The Milwaukee Brewers swept the Astros, doing exactly what they needed to do while the Cards dropped two of three to the ridiculous Reds. They show glimmers of hope, but they don’t want it and they don’t deserve it.