GAME 97: Drowned In Pond Scum
The Cardinals scratched and clawed for runs all night, only to drop the game 6-5 in extra innings against the Mets.
PUJOLS BUBBLE WRAP: Tony LaRussa didn’t want the precious, life-giving swing of Albert Pujols to be rattled while facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, which is bizarre considering that, to my eyes, Albert’s swing has seemed rattle since the first game of the season. But whatever. Meanwhile, profoundly-slumping Colby Rasmus had to hit against the knuckler – keep twisting the knife, Tony!
RBI SINGLE: When Lance Berkman drove in a a run in the third with a nice single, it was the first time since June 20th that Berkman drove in a run with something other than a home run. Really?? That’s a shocking stat. It’s also a bit concerning.
NO HOLD: Kyle McClellan was given a two run lead after the Cardinals had their biggest inning in weeks. All he had to do was hold that flimsy lead. And, of course, he didn’t. K-Mac fumbled in the fifth, grooving a nice fat fastball to Carlos Beltran for a game-tying two run homer. His ERA is 4.34 and he thinks that he should stay in the rotation?? Pitch better, Kyle, before you start making demands.
HOLD YOUR BREATH: Any moment now you can expect David Freese to fall down and shatter into a million shards of glass. It almost happened in the fifth, when Freese almost fell into a nine-foot pit while trying to snag Beltran’s foul pop fly. The guy terrifies me.
PURE PLAYER: Matt Holliday had a banner night, going 3-3 and taking an aggressive extra base on a fly out. Is there anything this guy doesn’t do? Best of all – he leads by example. He’s just a terrific baseball player with his head constantly in the game.
LAIRD! When portly back-up catcher Gerald Laird waddled to the plate in the eighth inning and a runner on third with two outs, nobody in the stadium was thinking BUNT. But BUNT is exactly what Laird unexpectedly did, laying down a perfect dribbler near the third base line. The Mets were caught with their pants down, and while they scrambled to field the ball, Laird chugged safely to first base. IN-CREDIBLE!! One of the best plays of the year!
WALKING WOUNDED: Lance Lynn looked mostly bad in his two inning stint, walking 1,538 batters. His arm kept flying out, causing the baseball to sail away to lefthanders for a ball. Thanks to the walks, Lynn was forced to dodge trouble the entire time. Can anyone in this bullpen shut down the opposition in a close game? It’s baffling. Lynn set it up perfectly for Jason Motte to come in an give up an immediate hit for the tying run. PERFECT.
WALKOFF: The Cards endured their NINTH walkoff loss when Fernando Salas gave up a home run to Angel Pagan in the tenth. Lemme ask this: why does TLR continue to pitch Salas (otherwise known as the CLOSER) in the ninth and tenth innings of a TIE GAME? It makes no sense whatsoever.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Laird. That was just an unbelievably fun and gutsy move that should’ve inspired the team. But it didn’t.
CONCLUSION: Even when we score a decent number of runs, the pitchers don’t hold the lead. The Cards just ain’t right these days, folks.