In my last week in review post I mentioned it had been a bad week for the Birds. Well, it hasn’t gotten any better. If it wasn’t bad enough that the Cardinals won only 1 game this week, the team ended the week getting no hit on Friday night, shutout but with hits on Saturday, and losing 6-1 on Sunday, scoring 1 run in 26 innings of play. The NL’s best offense going into the weekend looked lost and forlorn while the Cardinals’ pitching staff continued to struggle. What ails the team those of us in Cardinal Nation do not know, but one has to wonder whether the rash of injuries to key players has taken its toll. In addition to the loss of their contribution on the field, key players such as Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman bring needed leadership to the clubhouse. Added to the clubhouse woes was the recent injury of Skip Schumaker, a noted clubhouse guy, much liked by his teammates. Whether the absence of these players is playing a role in the recent slump can only be speculated upon, but whatever the source of the team’s struggles, we all must hope that things will start to look up soon. Now, on to the recaps, if you have the stomach for them.
Monday May 28, 2012—Cardinals 8 Braves 2
This was the lone win this week for the Redbirds. With Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson on the mound, the Cardinals got on the board in the 3rd starting with a single to center by Matt Holliday, followed by a walk to Carlos Beltran. Matt Adams then singles on a little dribbler to first base, loading the bases for Yadier Molina. With Molina at the plate, a passed ball scores Holliday. After Beltran is picked off of third base due to a missed sign, and Adams advances to third, Molina hits a single to center, scoring Adams. Daniel Descalso then hits a 2 run homer to right. Cardinals 4 Braves 0 after three. In the 4th the Birds put two more runs on the board. Rafael Furcal hits a solo home run to right field. Skip Schumaker walks, Matt Holliday walks, and Matt Adams hits a single to left scoring Schumaker. The Braves score two runs in the bottom of the 4th on two singles and a double, but fail to score again. The Redbirds add to their lead in the 6th when both Furcal and Shumaker get on the bases with singles, and Matt Adams brings them both home on a double to right field. Final score after 9, Birds 8 Braves 2. Lance Lynn gets his 8th win of the season.
Tuesday May 29, 2012—Cardinals 4 Braves 5
Perhaps it was an omen of the day to come, but Cardinal starting pitcher Jake Westbrook gives up a homerun in the 1st inning to Braves lead off guy Michael Bourn. The Braves score three more runs in the 3rd when Westbrook gives up another long ball, this one a 3 run shot to Dan Uggla. It was definitely uggla for the Redbirds. The Cardinals fight back in the 4th, putting 2 runs on the board, starting with a walk to Matt Holliday, followed by a single to left by Carlos Beltran. Yadier Molina then singles to center, scoring Holliday. A ground out by Matt Adams sends Beltran to third, and another ground out by Tyler Greene sends him home. The Braves tack on another run in the 5th, and the Cardinals answer with one more in the 6th on a Yadier Molina long one to left field. The Cardinals bring it to within one run in the 7th, scoring on three straight singles by Holliday, Beltran and Molina, but the Birds are unable to score anymore and the game ends in a 5-4 loss.
Wednesday May 30, 2012—Cardinals 7 Braves 10
This game is a testament to the idea that when you score 7 runs and still can’t win, you know you have a problem. Perhaps, uh, pitching? Starter Kyle Lohse did not have his best stuff, not even his average stuff, really. To be fair though, half the runs scored by the Braves came off the bullpen. An iffy little defensive ploy called “the shift” didn’t help matters either. The Braves scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Two home runs by Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman were the culprit there. And I thought we lost “Long Ball Lohse” in Spring Training. The Braves scored two more in the 3rd, though not off the long ball this time. Two singles, a double and a walk accomplished that. The Cardinals squeezed out a run in the 4th on two singles by Rafael Furcal and Matt Holliday. Then the Birds tied the game in the 6th by scoring 4 runs. Adron Chambers, pinch hitting for Lohse, singled to right, but was out on a force out ground out by Rafael Furcal. Skip Schumaker singles to left, moving Furcal to second. Matt Holliday then singles to center, scoring Furcal. A walk to Matt Adams loads the bases. Tyler Greene then singles to left, scoring Schumaker and Holliday. Daniel Descalso singles to center, scoring Adams, and the game is tied. Unfortunately, in the bottom of the inning, Marc Rzepczynski is unable to shut down the Braves, giving up a single and a double to score a run. Rzep gets the next two outs, one at the plate, but then walks Martin Prado. With Brian McCann up to bat and the “shift” in place, McCann hits a routine grounder to the shortstop, except, wait….the shortstop wasn’t there because he was like, where the second baseman was supposed to be, and the second baseman was where someone usually isn’t, and……well, you get the drift. Two more runs scored. Relief Pitcher 1, Massive Hole on the Left Side You Could Run a Cruise Ship Through, 2. But, the Birds don’t give up, and in the 8th score two more runs. Yadier Molina singles to left, Tyler Greene reaches on an error, Daniel Descalso walks, and Shane Robinson scores Molina on a sac fly. Carlos Beltran then plates Greene on an infield single. Unfortunately, we have another bullpen fail in the bottom of the 8th when closer Jason Motte walks three, one intentionally, and two runs score, first on a sac fly, and then on a single to right field. The Cardinals fail to rally in the 9th and lose by the score of 10-7. Marc Rzepczynski and The Shift get the loss.
Friday June 1, 2012—Cardinals 0 Mets 8
A day which will live in infamy. Johann Santana on the mound for the Mets. The Cardinals get no hits. Well, they get one, but the third base umpire put a stop to that. In the 6th, Carlos Beltran hits a screamer down the third base line, sending chalk flying up in front of third base umpire Adrian Johnson, who apparently can’t see the color white. On the replay that everyone but the umpire and Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano and Andrea Bocelli live in concert could see, was a fair ball. That dent in the chalk made by the ball was a dead giveaway. Anyhoo, the umpire called it foul, and the game went on. Santana pitched brilliantly, got his no-hitter and the Cardinals only got on base via the five walks Santana gave up, but failed to score because of the no hits. In the meantime, the Cardinals pitching staff, led by Adam Wainwright, proceeded to give up 8 runs to the Mets, which would have probably won the game for them anyway, because the Cardinals never got to the Mets Bullpen Which is Actually Worse Than the Cardinals. Waino looked very good for the first three innings, but then….well never mind.
Saturday June 2, 2o12—Cardinals 0 Mets 5
We got hits. Seven of them. No runs though. Mets got five runs. We lost. Do you really want me to say more?
Sunday June 3, 2012—Cardinals 1 Mets 6
We got a run. One of them. In the 8th inning. David Freese got a single. Adron Chambers got an RBI single. Cardinals pitching gave up 6 runs to the Mets. I’m done.