GAME 84: The Infamous Sixth
For whatever reason, the starting rotation has had continuous problems in the sixth innings of their starts over the last month. Tonight, Kyle McClellan hit the sixth inning wall, giving up five fast runs as the Cardinals dropped the second game against the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1.
BALLS IN THE DIRT: The Cardinals couldn’t seem to lay off the extremely low sliders all night, swinging at balls in the dirt like less-talented Willie McGees. Poor at bats like this doomed the Cardinals, who had ten hits and stranded all but one.
PUMA ROAR: I think it’s fair to say that Lance Berkman has returned from his mini-slump. He pounded another home run today, giving him a miraculous 21 home runs so far. Before the season began, I was hoping for 20 home runs from him all season, which I considered a benchmark for a “good” season from him. He’s passed that up, and is headed into rarely-used adjectives to describe what he’s done this year. Amazing.
FIRST FOR FREESE: It was strange to see David Freese manning first base, but he immediately got a chance to show off his quick reflexes with a great play on a sharp liner. The guy’s a stud and a gamer, and he makes such a difference on this team.
A RECORD: With a 4-4 night, Johnny Damon passed Ted Williams for most career hits. That’s hard to believe, and even harder to stomach. I’m not sure there is a bigger douche in baseball than Damon, whose house is cluttered with portraits of himself posing as Jesus and other mythical figures. It kinda makes me sick to put Damon’s name among the greatest hitters in the game. GROSS!
CONCLUSION: Not much to talk about. The team looked pretty lifeless and undisciplined tonight. However, the good news of the day regarding the return of Pujols after the All Star break should be encouraging. Soon, this lineup will be intact and ready for the second half – exciting stuff lies directly ahead!