Heading into today’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals had a modest two game losing streak, their longest of the season. It stayed that way after Lance Lynn tossed eight innings of one-run ball and David Freese‘s three RBI in the Cards 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs salvaging one game out of the series.
Lynn increased his record to 4-0 with the performance. He allowed six hits, two walks and struck out seven in the 110 pitch outing. The run he allowed was on a homer to Bryan LaHair in the fourth inning.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a RBI single by Matt Carpenter which drove in Daniel Descalso. The Cubs tied the score in the fourth on LaHair’s home run. The score stayed that way until the top of the sixth.
Rafael Furcal singled to start the inning and moved to second on a ground out. After a line out by Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran doubled scoring Furcal. Freese was next up and launched a home run to left center field making the score 4-1. The Redbirds tacked on a run in the eighth inning on a Freese double, again driving in Beltran.
MATHENY LIKES HUMAN ELEMENT
According to MLB.com reporter Cash Kruth, Mike Matheny doesn’t want to expand replay any further even though it would have helped the Cardinals in both poor calls by umpires in Tuesday night’s game. He feels that the human element is an important part of the game and the umpires are going to make mistakes.
WAINWRIGHT BEGINNING TO FEEL IT
Adam Wainwright looked closer to the pitcher everyone remembers from 2010. He may not be all the way back yet but he took a step in the right direction Tuesday night and he’s feeling better about himself. From Kruth:
“Along the way I think there’ll be more little things like that as I go this year pitching that I’ll remember,” Wainwright said. “The way I used to do things, or the way I do things now, based on the way I used to do them. There was some things I remembered about the past tonight.”
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, the Cardinals are probably happy to be getting back to Busch Stadium. When the road trip began, I mentioned that they couldn’t let off the gas. They had won series against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds twice and they should be able to continue the trend when facing off against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs, teams mired in rebuilding mode.
While it is not easy going into anyone’s home park and win the series, the Cardinals have to feel like they let at least one of the games against the Cubs get away. Does one game make a difference? Even with the hot start the Cardinals got off to, they are only three games up on the Brewers and 2.5 on the Reds after yesterday’s games.
What’s more, the Brewers are coming into St. Louis on Friday and are playing better ball than they were in the first series between the teams. The Cardinals (12-7) would love to finish April with at least 14 wins, but it is not going to be that easy. If the Redbirds win only one game, the Brewers will be two back and the Reds could actually be tied by winning their remaining four April games.
I’m not sure it will feel like they made the most out of the 9-3 start should that scenario pan out. But, should they win two of three they’ll have a four game lead over the Brewers and minimally a one game lead over the Reds, again only if they win their next four. Even then it may not feel like they accomplished something special in April as it seemed they would seven games ago. The Cards can’t worry about the Reds now and can only control their own destiny by beating the Brewers. To answer the question, one game does make a difference.