GAME 27: Sucko De Mayo
The inexplicable curse of Bud Norris continues! Jaime Garcia imploded in the first inning, giving the Astros an early lead that they never relinquished as the Cardinals (16-11) lost three straight for the first time this season with a 8-2 flatline at Minute Maid Park.
DIE Bud Norris: Look, it’s pretty difficult to accept that ANY pitcher could have repeated success against the National League’s best offense over the last three years. But it really makes me sick to think that an average, stupid-looking doofus like Bud Norris continues to dominate the Cardinals. Is it voodoo? A joke from an uncaring God? TELL ME WHAT IT IS. Every time he pitches against us, I sit there with a slack-jawed look of disbelief as Norris tosses outside breaking balls for groundouts and strikeouts. Can someone please line a pitch back up the middle and into his eye socket?
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Here’s a radical idea – let’s platoon Jaime Garcia with someone who can actually pitch on the road. Or someone with no mental and emotional issues. Anything. I guess Garcia didn’t have enough clean towels in his hotel room, because he did the ol’ Garcia meltdown again tonight. Three straight walks in the first (he looked like a Mexican Rick Ankiel) brought Chris Johnson to the plate with the Cardinals clinging to a fresh one run lead. Ol’ Abner doesn’t need to crawl from his grave to tell you what happened next – Johnson crushed a grand slam to totally suck the life out of the Cardinals. Garcia blew tonight: five innings, three walks, four hits, and six earned runs. Thanks for living up to your potential, Jaime! We appreciate it!
GIVING IT AWAY: Matt Holliday and Daniel Descalso were two of the frustrating examples of a poor approaches against Bud Norris. Why swing at the first pitch? Why establish an outside strike zone by swinging at low-and-outside breaking pitches? These irritating early at-bats led to the umpire calling low and outside strikes later, particularly against Yadier Molina with the bases loaded in the sixth. Frustrating.
LITTLE WILLIE: The more I watch Jon Jay in center, the more he reminds me of Willie McGee. His goofy, winding path to catch a deep fly over his shoulder in the sixth reminded me of some of McGee’s goofy-but-effective plays from the eighties. Jay helped the impression with a hilarious, head-down lope back to his position. Awesome!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Furcal, who extended his game-opening hitting streak to six games in row. That is the longest lead off hitting streak since Lou Brock in 1972.
CONCLUSION: Boy, this one is a tough loss to swallow. Ick, just nasty.