GAME 38: Unworthy Of A Champion
The Cardinals (22-16) played their sloppiest game of the year (hopefully the entire year), failing spectacularly on almost every possible front as they dropped the second of a two-game set 7-5 to the San Francisco Giants.
WAINDEADWRONG: And the troubles for Adam Wainwright continue. Another miserable performance from our staff ace – just 5.2 innings, six hits, five runs, and four walks against one strikeout. Four walks in five innings would be unacceptable any time, but it’s especially egregious when facing one of the worst offenses in the National League. Wainwright is approaching the point where these hiccups cannot be blamed on the surgery any longer. If he’s not hurt, then I hope he has an answer for these kinds of performances.
OUT IN FRONT: The Cardinals jumped out in front by lacing several hits together. Skip Schumaker and Matt Carpenter both singled, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Holliday, a double by Lance Berkman, and another sacrifice fly by David Freese. It was especially nice to see Berk driving the ball … it feels like it’s been forever since he did that!
DEATH BY ERRROR: Prior to the last week or so, the Cardinals had one of the best fielding percentages in baseball. That came crashing down today. The Cardinals committed three errors, which led to three unearned runs. The porous defense doomed Wainwright, who was forced to throw extra pitches in three innings. Most frustrating was Matt Carpenter’s error in the first; he already has three errors this year in a substitutional role in the outfield!! Even worse, his error deflated the team following their big first inning. Aggravating!!
ON HOLLIDAY: Matt Holliday crushed a long two-run home run in the third inning to give the Cards a temporary lead. It was his eighth of the year, and second in recent days. Even better, his swing on that home run looked better than he’s shown all season. I’m predicting a huge couple of weeks ahead from him.
K-HACK: Watching Kyle McClellan pitch this season is like watching Albert Einstein work at Quik Trip – he should be so much better than that. McClellan has great stuff, but he just doesn’t seem to get results. His final act with the team may have played out in the seventh, when he apparently hurt his elbow trying to throw a curve after giving up two runs on two walks and two hits in 0.1 innings. I actually hope he needs to go on the disabled list so we can stop pitching him. Unfortunately Mozeliak didn’t trade McClellan when he was still healthy.
MISSED CHANCES: How did the Cardinals end up 0-7 with runners in scoring position?
FIREBALL: Thank goodness for Eduardo Sanchez! Our little Sanchezinator came out unleashing fire and brimstone, reaching 96 mph repeatedly and looking like a Venezuelan Clint Eastwood on the mound. Although he surrendered a walk – the NINTH given to the Giants today – the Giants never had a chance at his stuff. SIT DOWN, GIANTS!
MAY FLOWER: Yadier Molina hit his first home run of May in the eighth, which shocks me. It pulled the Cardinals to within two runs, and could’ve been a more important hit if David Freese hadn’t struck out on a terrible pitch prior to Yadi’s bomb.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matt Holliday drove in three runs and didn’t join in the error parade, so he gets it.
CONCLUSION: There are games when certain things go wrong, and losses happen all of the time. However, this was a terrible game on all fronts. Horrible pitching, unfocused defense, and unproductive at-bats led to a forgettable and embarrassing game. Now the Cardinals face the red-hot Dodgers … I hope they plan to improve quickly over this shameful performance.