It was a terrible week for the Good Guys. Yep, our beloved Redbirds really stank up the joint. The starting pitching has been faltering, as has the bullpen. The much vaunted defense at times looked like the Keystone Cops. The offense has dipped and World Series MVP David Freese is in a slump, suffering at best from a BABIP (.184 in May) that would send a gambler into rehab, and at worst from what appears to many to be no clue what he is doing with his bat. A week for Freese which was topped off with 4 strikeouts in all 4 of his at bats in the final game of the series against the Dodgers on Sunday. To add insult to injury, literally, Cardinals have been dropping like bloop hits on to the Disabled List, the latest being Lance Berkman with a knee injury suffered on a play at first in Saturday’s game. When it rains it pours, and one can only hope the skid will be halted this week when the Birds return home to play a series against the Padres starting tonight. In the meantime, the ugly recap follows.
Monday May 14, 2012—Cardinals 4 Cubs 6
This game remained scoreless for the first 4 innings and then in the top of the 5th the Cubs put up a 4 spot on a 3 run homer by Bryan LaHair followed by a double by Ian Stewart and a single by Geovany Soto that scored Stewart. The Birds answered with 4 runs of their own to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th. Jon Jay bunts an infield hit which was followed by a single to left by Matt Holliday sending Jay to 3rd. Jay scores the first run on a single by Lance Berkman. David Freese draws a walk, and Yadier Molina hits a double to center, scoring Holliday and Berkman, but Freese is thrown out at the plate. Molina ends up at third on the throw and then scores on a single by Skip Schumaker. The Cubs take the lead in the 8th, scoring 1 run off of reliever Mitchell Boggs and another run in the 9th to win the game 6-4. Boggs takes the loss.
Tuesday May 15, 2012—Cardinals 7 Cubs 6
The Cardinals get the first of only two wins this week and this one was a battle. Starter Kyle Lohse gave up 3 runs in the first inning to the Northsiders on four singles and a double. The Redbirds get on the board in the bottom of the 1st when Skip Schumaker singles to center, Matt Holliday singles to right, Allen Craig doubles to right, scoring Schumaker, and Matt Holliday scores on a ground out by David Freese. The Cardinals tie the game in the second on a double to right by Tyler Greene, a sac bunt by Kyle Lohse and a ground out RBI by Rafael Furcal. The Birds take the lead in the 5th when Matt Holliday hits a solo home run to left center field. The Cubbies tie the game again when new Cardinal nemesis Bryan LaHair hits a solo shot to dead center. The Cubs regain the lead in the 7th, scoring 1 run on a double and a single. The Cardinals tie the game again in the bottom of the 7th on two walks and a RBI single by Allen Craig. The Redbirds regain the lead again in the 8th with a solo home run by Matt Carpenter. The Cubs tie the game for the third time in the 9th on a solo home run to right by Alfonso Soriano. The Cardinals win the game in walkoff fashion in the bottom of the 9th on a single by Matt Holliday, a ground out by David Freese putting Holliday into scoring position, and a winning RBI single by Yadier Molina. Jason Motte, who blew the save in the 9th, gets the win.
Wednesday May 16, 2012—Cardinals 4 Giants 1
The Cardinals are in San Francisco for a quick two game series. Jaime Garcia is on the mound and has his best road performance yet this season. The Birds get on the board quickly in the 1st when Rafael Furcal singles up the middle and Tyler Greene follows with a double to left field. With Furcal on third and Greene on second, Allen Craig hits a sharp ground ball to the shortstop and Greene gets into a rundown which allows Furcal to score. 1-0 Cardinals. After four scoreless innings on both sides, the Giants tie the game in the bottom of the 6th. In the top of the 7th, the Cardinals get the lead back when David Freese hits a solo home run to left field. The Redbirds add two more runs in the top of the 8th on a single to right by Jaime Garcia, a double to right by Rafael Furcal, and a two run double to left by Skip Schumaker, pinch hitting for Tyler Greene. 4-1 Redbirds is the final score, Garcia gets the win and Jason Motte gets the save.
Thursday May 17, 2012—Cardinals 5 Giants 7
The Cardinals put 2 on the board in the 1st against Giants starter Matt Cain when Skip Schumaker lines a single to center field, Matt Carpenter singles to center, and Matt Holliday scores Schumaker on a sacrifice fly to center. Lance Berkman then hits a line drive double to left sending Carpenter to third and David Freese brings Carpenter home on another sac fly to right. 2-0 Cardinals. The Giants answer in the bottom of the 1st by putting up 1 run of their own. The Giants score two more in the second on a fielding error by Lance Berkman, a walk, a wild pitch and a single that scores two. The Cardinals get the lead back in the third on a single by Matt Carpenter and a two run home run by Matt Holliday to left center field. The Cardinals maintain their lead until the bottom of the 6th, when the Giants score two runs on a single, double, sac fly and a throwing error by David Freese. The Giants add to their lead in the 7th, scoring two more runs against Cardinals relievers Kyle McClellan and Mitchell Boggs, who had to come into the game after McClellan had to leave the game due to an injury to his elbow. The Cardinals manage to score another run in the 8th when Yadier Molina hits a solo home run to center field, but it wasn’t enough and the Giants take the game 7-5. The Cardinals commit 3 errors in this game and Adam Wainwright suffers his 5th loss of the season.
Friday May 18, 2012—Cardinals 5 Dodgers 6
This was one ugly series by the Cardinals. The Dodgers score 3 runs in the 2nd on a single, two doubles and a triple against starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who didn’t have his best stuff for the second straight start. But the Cardinals come back in the 3rd and take the lead, scoring 4 runs when Tyler Greene bunts a single, moves to second when Shane Robinson reaches on a dropped third strike, moves to third on a sac bunt by Lance Lynn and scores on a sac fly by Rafael Furcal. After Dodgers manager Don Mattingly get ejected over arguing a check swing call on Matt Carpenter, Carpenter singles to right scoring Robinson, and Matt Holliday hits a 2 run homer to left field. The Dodgers tie the game up in the bottom of that inning and take the lead in the 7th when a botched double play on a throwing error by Rafael Furcal extends the inning and the Dodgers manage to get a run across after a walk and a single follows the error. The Cardinals tie the game in the 9th on a pinch hit home run by Lance Berkman against flame throwing Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, but the home run heroics were wasted in the bottom of the 9th when Cardinals reliever Fernando Salas committed the ultimate pitching sin of walking in the winning run. Dodgers win the game 6-5.
Saturday May 19, 2012—Cardinals 0 Dodgers 6
The Redbirds follow up the previous day’s heartbreaking walk off loss by getting shut out by last year’s Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Cardinal starter Jake Westbrook actually pitched pretty well, holding the Dodgers scoreless until the 4th, when he gave up a walk and a ground rule double and then the Cardinal defense stepped in and helped the Dodgers score two runs on a fielding error by Matt Carpenter at first base. Carpenter had replaced Lance Berkman after Berkman suffered a knee injury reaching to catch a wide throw from Rafael Furcal. The game got away from the Birds in the 7th when Justin Sellers hits a solo home run for the Dodgers and pitcher Kershaw follows it with a double, eliminating Jake Westbrook from the game. Reliever Eduardo Sanchez comes in and the Dodgers score 3 more runs on two singles, a walk and a wild pitch. The Cardinals were never really in this game offensively and the final score reflects that. Jake Westbrook suffers his third loss of the season.
Sunday May 20, 2012—Cardinals 5 Dodgers 6
It looked for seven innings like the Cardinals might avoid the sweep, but it was not to be. This game featured the major league debut of Cardinals prospect Matt Adams, called up from Memphis to replace the injured Lance Berkman. With Kyle Lohse on the mound, the Dodgers got on the board first in the 1st, scoring 1 run on 3 straight singles. In the 2nd, Adams gets his first major league hit in his first at bat, a first pitch swinging grounder to center field, but the Cardinals fail to score in that inning. The Dodgers put up another run in the 4th, making it 2-0. In the 5th, Daniel Descalso and Rafael Furcal reach base on a single and an error and then score on a triple to right field by Skip Schumaker. Schumaker scores the third run of the inning when Carlos Beltran grounds into a force play. In the 6th, the Birds makes the score 5-2 when Yadier Molina reaches on an error and Matt Adams gets his second hit of the game, sending Molina to 3rd where he was called out on a close but botched call by the third base umpire. Daniel Descalso singles to left, Kyle Lohse hits a sac bunt and Rafael Furcal hits an RBI single to left, scoring Adams and Descalso. The Dodgers add another run in that inning, making the score 5-3. The Dodgers take the win away from the Cardinals in the bottom of the 7th when reliever Marc Rzepczynski throws a changeup in the middle of the plate and pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke, son of former Cardinal Andy Van Slyke, sends the pitch to the left field bleachers for a 3 run home run. The Birds never recover, and the Dodgers complete the sweep, sending the Cardinals back to St. Louis with a 4 game losing streak.