May 3, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) walks out to the mound to take starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (35) out of the game in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Cardinals swing and miss in 6-3 loss to Pirates

After scoring twelve runs Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals struck out a collective 17 times Thursday afternoon helping the Pittsburgh Pirates salvage the series finale by a score of 6-3.

The Cardinals started the game off exactly how they wanted by getting to Pirates’ starter Erik Bedard for two runs on David Freese and Allen Craig RBI doubles. But Bedard settled down completely from there. He ended the game without allowing another run in his five innings of work. He struck out 11, including 7 straight at one point.

His counterpart Jake Westbrook (3-2) was doing well until the sixth inning. With a one run lead, Westbrook gave up a two-run homer to Pedro Alvarez giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. Alvarez went 6-for-11 in the series with 2 homers, 6 runs scored and 5 RBIs.

In the seventh,Westbrook allowed a one-out double to Jose Tabata and was removed from the game in favor of J.C. Romero. Tabata stole third base and Alex Presley drove him in with a RBI ground out. Westbrook ended the day with 6.1 innings pitched, four earned runs, on nine hits with one walk.

The Cardinals tried to stage a rally in the ninth. Allen Craig brought the Redbirds within 6-3 with a RBI double. That put runners at second and third with Matt Carpenter at the plate representing the tying run. Joel Hanrahan regained his composure and struck out Carpenter swinging.

  • Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina received a scheduled day off yesterday.
  • Lance Berkman will travel with the team to Houston, but he will not be activated today even though he is eligible.
  • The series beginning today against the Houston Astros marks the first time Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will face off against his former employers.

Kyle Lohse looks to join Lance Lynn as a five-game winner. He face Houston Astros right-handed starter Lucas Harrell.


For what it’s worth, those fans who are eagerly awaiting a Cardinals sweep of another team don’t EXPECT it to happen this weekend either. While it may look like the Astros are a pushover, they are playing decent baseball for a team many predicted to lose over 100 games.

The Cardinals do have the benefit of missing Wandy Rodriguez, but the Astros are coming into the series on a three-game winning streak and are winners of six out of their last ten games.

They have a slew of young, talented and inspired players led by J.D. Martinez and Jose Altuve. So far this season the team has not taken the field with the notion they’ll be walking off losers. In their 14 losses they have lost by a total of 31 runs. That is just over two runs per game. They’ve lost six games by one run. They have outscored opponents 118-104 during the course of the season.

Another factor in this desire to get sweeps is that the Cards are going to rest players at least once a series it seems. They will pick their games, but expect many of the starters to rest on day games following a night game especially when there are stretches of many consecutive games. Beltran and Molina did yesterday. I wouldn’t be shocked if Freese, Rafael Furcal and/or Matt Holliday sit on Sunday.

Look, the Cardinals have the ability to sweep anyone. This team could rattle off a major winning streak at some point this season and likely will. But, we don’t know who it is going to be against and when. The Astros are certainly not going to sit back and oblige the World Champs either.

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Tags: Alex Presley Allen Craig Brett Myers Cardinals Carlos Beltran David Freese Erik Bedard J.A. Happ J.C. Romero J.D. Martinez Jake Westbrook Jed Lowrie Joel Hanrahan Jordan Schafer Jose Altuve Jose Tabata Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Matt Carpenter Matt Holliday Pedro Alvarez Rafael Furcal St Louis Cardinals Wandy Rodriguez Yadier Molina

  • johnwvideo

    Your so correct when you say dont expect a sweep this weekend. I totally agree. There has been other stories out there saying this should be a sweep.  The Astros are no push overs  so far this season. They do have some real good young guns..
    The reason I say there will be no sweep is for tyhe exact reason why we did not sweep the Bucs. REST !!   ie Molina, Beltran and putting Greene in.. Its as if Matheny is saying “OK we won the series lets rest some guys”
    You said it with  “Another factor in this desire to get sweeps is that the Cards are going to rest players at least once a series it seems”
    Now the cardinals had  last  Thursday and Monday off, So Beltran and Molina already had 2 days off in 7, they did NOT need a 3rd day yesterday, I dont care if it was scheduled or not.. That was a total of 3 days off in 7.  These guys are getting paid to play not be babied.. Unless one shows signs of bad health, I am tired of the way Matheny is dealing with this rest issue.. With Beltran and Molina in yesterdays line up, those first 2 innings might have gone totally different.. And to put Green in to boot.
    UGGGGG, if this is the way its going to be all season, they will NEVER get a sweep..
    Like you said I do not doubt that Holliday , Freese and Frucal sit on Sunday.. YOU JUST DONT do that !!!!   He has to find a way to rest one at a time. not 2 or 3 of your top hitters out at the same time.
    The team is deep BUT NOT that deep.. Its showing already.. This may be an undoing for Matheny.
    I understand many of these guys are older and health is an issue, though when your paying a guy 14M to 16M   they do NOT rest every series especially if they show NO signs of issues..
    Wow did I need to get that out, This is the one issue I am having with Matheny !  Stop babying these guys and let them play ball…

  • Marilyncolor

     @johnwvideo I completely disagree.  It is early in the season.  The Cardinals are winning games in bunches, which is way more than they did this time last season.  The people who are getting rest are the ones that need it the most, the older veterans like Beltran, players with health issues, like Freese, and Molina who is playing the most physically taxing position in baseball and who, by the way, always plays more innings each year by far than any catcher in baseball as it is.  To play them every game without rest, especially early in the year, is just begging for injury.  And if the Cardinals get in the post season this year or get on a run like they did last year, those players will never rest.  I do not understand why Cardinal fans do not get this.  Not resting them would be incompetent managing in my opinion.

  • johnwvideo

     @Marilyncolor As for last season they where 16-11 at the end of April, one whole game better then this year 14-8,  2 up on the Reds..  This year 6 games over .500, last year  5 games over .500  at end of April..
    There are 7 days in a week., Matheny can find ways to rest players with out resting 2 or even 3  top hitters at the same time.. Thats the point !!!  
    What is there not to get !    They can get there rest,  just not all at the same time !!  Especially when you just had 2 days off in last 7…

  • johnwvideo

     @Marilyncolor Let me clarify last season they where 16-8, 5 games over 500,  2 up on the Reds,
    This year as of May 3 they are 16-9   7 games over .500,  3.5 over the Reds   BUT 3 days into May..
    Thats not way more then last season at this time.

  • johnwvideo

    Let me clarify last season> they where 16-11, 5 games over 500,  2 up on the Reds, by May 1st..
    This year as of May 3rd  they are 16-9   7 games over .500,  3.5 over the Reds   BUT 3 days into May..
    Thats not way more then last season at this time.

  • Marilyncolor

     @johnwvideo As I recall, they started off very poorly, like 1-7 or 2-7 and didn’t get over . 500 till much later in the month.  Not like this year when they started off.  Yet, the complaining about the rested players started the first week. And I recall only one day when more than 2 of the starters didn’t play and one of those was Berkman, who didn’t play not because of rest, but because he was hurt the day before.  I would hardly call resting 2 players out of 8 “all at once”.  Because of the position Molina plays, it makes sense to rest him when at all possible the day before an off day so that he can get two days off, because he plays about 20% more innings than any other catcher in baseball.  Players like Beltran, because of age and injury history should also be rested as much as possible.  What I think Cardinal fans can’t seem to grasp is that this game is BRUTAL on the body and the average fan seems to think it is like playing little league.  I don’t care how much they are paid, they are not paid to be beaten up into a pulp from overuse.  That is poor use of a very expensive investment.