GAME 54: High Five
The Cardinals held on to win the rubber game 4-3 against the Colorado Rockies, their fifth straight series victory despite crippling injuries to key players.
Kyle Lohse has been something of a miracle this season. While not his strongest start of the season, Lohse gave the Cards a quality performance to notch his seventh win. The Rockies never really touched Lohse through his six innings of work, while Lohse managed to strike out six with less than perfect stuff. One of the big pitching variables entering the season, Lohse has quietly turned into our most valuable pitcher.
The offense mainly consisted of two home runs, including Rasmus’ first in a stretch that rivaled Pujols’ dry spell. The bats were dangerously quiet after the fourth, which allowed the Rockies to peck away at the score and come close to tying things in the ninth. Fortunately Fernando Salas was able to get a ground ball with the tying run at third to end the game, although even that was in doubt since it was hit to Ryan Theriot. He made the play (thank you, Lord) and ended the game on a high note.
NO SKIP ZONE: So Schumaker is back from rehab, right? Then where is he in this lineup?? For a second straight game Allen Craig started at second base while Schumaker … um … licked Tony’s shoes? While I’m not sure that I want Schumaker – baseball’s worst second baseman – in the lineup or in the field, it would be nice to have some stability of expectations. This constant fiddle-faddling disrupts the team.
DIRTY SANCHEZ: Apparently Eduardo Sanchez is allergic to late innings. If he comes into the game in the sixth, Sanchez emasculates hitters like he’s the world’s most precise sex change surgeon. But if you put him into late and tight situations, Sanchez seizes up. The walks are killing the kid, and they almost cost the team dearly today. Only a strikeout and a double play saved a bases-loaded jam from escalating into disaster. FOCUS, EDUARDO!
FERNANDO SUAVE: I love Fernando Salas. He faced down the meat of the Rockies lineup in the ninth and preserved the win despite having some trouble. This is different from Franklin in that (a) Salas actually stopped them from winning, and (b) Salas never seems like he could fail at any given moment. He always seems in control. And I generally like that in my closer.