GAME 50: Suckbrook
Jake Westbrook once again failed to give the team a quality start, constantly putting the team behind with long home runs and ridiculous walks. Give credit to the offense for never giving up! The Cardinals (27-23 ) dropped the second game of a four game series 5-4 to the Braves.
MEDIOCRE: I guess being a bland, passionless, not-very-good fifth starter is a quality, but not one I particularly enjoy having on my staff. Westbrook looked like he had no idea what was going on as the Braves crushed home runs off of his junk and the Cardinals prepared another $242,500 check for nothing. Apparently, only actual pitchers with real stuff can get away with “fastballs” around the belt to professional baseball players – amazing, eh?? The gut-wrenching part is the knowledge that we will be looking at this same bullshit in May of 2013, too.
ENDLESS HEROICS: I never get tired of Yadier Molina; he is a god. He is tireless, enthusiastic, and extremely talented. But one thing that has definitely changed about Molina over the years is his ability to carry a ballclub. He showed that newfound ability once more with a tremendous four hit night that included a home run in the eighth. Theres’ nobody better!!!
HEART OF THE ORDER: I have no idea how the Cardinals only scored four runs when Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran went 4-7. Add in Molina, and the 3-4-5 guys in the lineup went 8-11 with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored. That’s a lot of production, but the rest of the lineup did little to support it.
THE WATCH: When Carlos Beltran stole third in the eighth, he raised his career SB total to 299. One more, and he becomes jus the eighth player in major league history to have 300 homers and 300 steals. Remarkable.
VICIOUS VICTOR: Victor Marte hasn’t been solid lately, but boy did he have his stuff tonight! Two shutout innings in relief of Shitbrook with three strikeouts, Marte was brutal and efficient. He’s a big piece of the bullpen puzzle, and it’s great to see him blowing that nasty fastball past people once more.
WALK AWAY: The Cardinals found themselves down 5-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth and Holliday at the plate. Atlanta reliever Craig Kimbrel got a 3-1 count on Holliday, who often looks unsure of the strike zone. Then, Kimbrel threw a high strike, and Holliday tossed his bat as if he walked, and the umpire called it a strike. This is probably the 1,538th time that Holliday has assumed a walk before the umpire called it. All that does is cause the umpire to show the player up by calling it; the umpire would’ve called that a strike if Kimbrel has rolled the ball up there. No umpire likes to be shown up by a player. Holliday needs to stop doing this, or else it’s going to be a very long season of strikeouts, bat-slamming, and helmet tossing for our big left fielder.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Westbrook? Just kidding … Molina, of course.
CONCLUSION: This was a winnable game, especially against a team on the ropes like the Braves. Unfortunately, yet another starter failing to provide yet another decent start sunk this game early. Dispiriting loss.