GAME 41: Sackless
SUMMARY: Do these guys want it or not?
The Cincinnati Reds came into this series ready to play, hungry to prove themselves and reclaim the division lead. The Cardinals looked prepared to give it back to them, too. How can this team look so lethargic, so beaten, so confused at this stage of the season?
Chris Carpenter completely coughed up a belt-high hairball all over this game, his most important start thus far this year. He centered a series of straight, 91 mph fastballs that the excellent Reds hitters couldn’t miss if they were suddenly struck blind by the finger of God.
Of course, Carpenter wasn’t helped by the Cardinals’ defense, which struggled mightily on the soaking wet field. Jon Jay had a two-base error that scored a run, and Pujols committed an error (his FIFTH error – let’s give him $35 million!) in the sixth that led to a run as well. So, naturally, Carpenter spent much of the afternoon glowering angrily at his defenders. I guess they were expected to catch the three 430 foot home runs Carpenter allowed. I’ve had enough of Carpenter’s attitude when he’s clearly a large part of the problem.
Actually, Carp wasn’t the only problem today. The Reds teed off on every pitcher the Cards pushed out there; they looked like Christians being thrown into the Coliseum’s lion den. Trever Miller continued his major league leading streak of never recording an out (good job, Trev!), and Mitchell Boggs reminded everyone why Mozeliak has been on the red phone in his office for three weeks straight trying to make a trade for a closer.
The “Big Three” had a lovely day, going 2-13 with 6 runners left on base. Many fans will complain: “But we almost came back and won it in the ninth!” While the Cards did manage two crucial doubles (from Nick Punto and Ryan Theriot, of all people) to score four runs, they had that chance only because Aroldis Chapman walked four straight batters. Take away that incompetence, and the Cards have one run and a man on second when Berkman struck out to end the inning. FLAT BASEBALL.
The Reds played like winners, and the Cards did not. The Reds deserved this series, and I’m glad they won it.
NO PAYBACK’S A BITCH: I don’t know if Reds reliever Cordero intentionally threw at Pujols in the ninth inning, but it looked awfully suspicious to me. Regardless, his stupidity almost (or perhaps did … we’re not sure yet) cost the Cards their prized slugger. How long is this team of pussies going to sit back and take this abusive behavior?? And whining about it from the dugout after the game isn’t what I’m talking about, either. Johnny Cueto, Cordero, and Brandon Phillips all deserve some payback for their ridiculously over-the-top behavior. Either come to the ballpark and crush these guys, or start throwing the baseball at their fucking face. Curling up in the fetal position or walking away like Pujols did after the game is embarrassing.
SOMETHING IN THE WATER? Another day, another injury to a key player. This time it was Colby Rasmus, who felt a pain in his midsection and was pulled from the game. These guys need to start eating more potassium or something; they have the muscle strength of an astronaut emerging from a 78 year cryosleep.
LAME AMERICAN BALLPARK: The only reason Great American Ballpark isn’t the worst stadium in baseball is due to the existence of Minute Maid, but it’s close. Not only does the design suck- random elements placed oddly around the field – but their fireworks are shitty as well. I’m sure Carpenter appreciated the entire field filling with firework smoke while he tried to pitch in the third inning after a home run. The place is a joke; perfect for the game’s dumbest fans.
TLR IN SPIRIT: Joe Pettini has done an excellent impersonation of TLR during his absence. I’ve hardly missed TLR so far because Pettini plays all of the standard TLR strategies so well. It’s harder to gauge how much his absence in the clubhouse has affected the team (because they’ve mostly played like shit), but the moves on the field are all regulation TLR.