This past week featured a 4 game series against the Giants at home and then a 3 game series against the Phillies on the road. Mixed results again this week as the Birds split the series with the Giants and lost the Phillies series with a brutal extra inning loss on Sunday. Lack of offense played a part as well as some shaky starting pitching and the same bullpen issues that have plagued the team all season—inability to win close games and extra inning games. Same song, different verse. Recaps follow
Monday August 6, 2012—Cardinals 8 Giants 2
Jake Westbrook on the bump. The Giants get on the board in the 1st when lead off hitter Angel Pagan sends the second pitch he sees from Westbrook and deposits it in the right center field stands. But the Redbirds come back in the 2nd and take the lead, first when Carlos Beltran takes the FIRST pitch he sees from Matt Cain and deposits IT in the right field stands. The Cardinals score another run on a walk to David Freese, a single by Jon Jay, and an RBI single by Rafael Furcal. The Giants tie the game at 2 in the top of the 6th when Buster Posey hits a solo home run to left center field. The Cardinals answer in the bottom of the 6th with 3 more runs. Matt Holliday doubles to left and advances to third on a fly ball by Beltran. David Freese then hits a sac fly to bring home Holliday. Yadier Molina singles, followed by a single by Jon Jay and a walk to Rafael Furcal to load the bases. Pinch hitter Matt Carpenter then hits a line drive single to left, scoring Molina and Jay. In the bottom of the 7th, the Cardinals seal the deal by scoring 3 more runs. Allen Craig doubles to left and Carlos Beltran is intentionally walked. David Freese then hits an infield single, scoring Craig. Yadier Molina draws a walk to load the bases, and Jon Jay singles to center, bringing home Beltran and Freese. Birds prevail 8-2 and Jake Westbrook gets the win.
Tuesday August 7, 2012—Cardinals 2 Giants 4
Giants put 3 runs on the board in the 1st inning against starter Lance Lynn, who gives up a 3 run home run to Buster Posey. The Birds get one of those runs back in the 3rd inning on solo home run by Allen Craig. Allen Craig strikes again in the 5th, sending another one over the wall in right center field. The Cards are unable to muster anymore runs against Giants starter Barry “I Used To Be Good” Zito and the Giants add another run in the 6th against Lance Lynn. Cards lose 4-2.
Wednesday August 8, 2012—Cardinals 0 Giants 15
Huge blowout, Cardinals score El Zippo, fans fume. Joe Kelly was the starter but was only responsible for 7 of the runs. The Cardinals’ bullpen is atrocious, do you really want the details? Cardinals’ offense gets 4 hits, Cardinals’ defense commits 2 errors, EVERYBODY gets to share the blame like one big dysfunctional family. Oh well, stuff happens in baseball. Moving on.
Thursday August 9, 2012—Cardinals 3 Giants 1
The dysfunctional family ship righted itself for the final game of the series. It was Adam Wainwright after all, on the mound. Cards score 2 in the bottom of the 1st. Jon Jay singles, but is eliminated on a force out off the bat of Allen Craig. Carlos Beltran hits a 2 run shot into left field to put the Cardinals on the board. The Giants manage one run in the 5th against Waino, on two singles, a walk and a sac fly. That is all the Giants would manage off of Wainwright in 7 innings and the bullpen in the last 2. The Cardinals add the third and final run in the 6th on a double and a stolen base by Jon Jay, followed by an Allen Craig sac fly. Waino picks up his 10th win of the season.
Friday August 10, 2012—Cardinals 1 Phillies 3
Pitcher’s duel between Kyle Lohse and Roy Halladay. The Birds score one against Halladay in the 2nd on a solo home run by Carlos Beltran. The Phils answer back in the bottom of the 2nd with one run on a double by Ryan Howard and a single by Domonic Brown. The score remains tied until the bottom of the 8th when relief pitcher Barret Browning gives up a 2 run homer to Chase Utley. Game over. Browning takes the loss.
Saturday August 11, 2012—Cardinals 4 Phillies 1
The Phils score in the bottom of the 1st off starter Jake Westbrook on a single, a walk and a force out ground ball. That would be all she wrote for the Phils against Westbrook, who was lights out for the next 6 innings. The Birds finally get on the board in the 6th against Cliff Lee, starting with a single by Jon Jay. Allen Craig then doubles on a pop up to shallow right and Matt Holliday follows with a 3 run shot to right field. The Cardinals add their final run in the 8th, when Allen Craig singles to left, Matt Holliday singles to center, and Carlos Beltran singles to left. Jake Westbrook picks up his 12th win.
Sunday August 12, 2012—Cardinals 7 Phillies 8
This was just a brutal loss, one more in the continuing saga of a bullpen that cannot seem to hold a lead in the late innings on a consistent basis. This time the loss was abetted by another shaky start by Lance Lynn, whose first inning troubles continued. The Cardinals got on the board in the 1st on a walk to Jon Jay and a double by Matt Carpenter. But, Lynn began the bottom of the inning by hitting Juan Pierre with a pitch, which was then followed by a single, a triple, and another single to bring home 3 runs for the Phillies. The Cardinals’ offense battles back, scoring one run in the 3rd on a Matt Carpenter single, a force out off the bat of Matt Holliday, and an RBI double by Carlos Beltran. In the 4th, the Birds take the lead, scoring two more runs. Rafael Furcal singles to center and is advanced to second on a sac bunt by Lance Lynn. Jon Jay then hits an RBI single to left, and a throwing error sends Jay to 3rd. Matt Carpenter then singles to left, scoring Jay. The Phils tie the game in the bottom of the 4th when Lance Lynn gives up a solo home run to Ryan Howard. The game remains tied until the 8th, when the Birds score 3 to put them ahead 7-4. Tony Cruz singles to left, and Rafael Furcal bunts Cruz to second. David Freese draws a walk, followed by a Jon Jay double to center, scoring Cruz and Freese. Matt Carpenter then singles to left, scoring Jay. The lead was short lived, however, because in the bottom of the 8th, reliever Marc Rzepczynski walked the first two batters, and was pulled for Mitchell Boggs. Boggs got the next two batters out, but then catcher Erik Kratz drilled a sinker on the outside corner to left field for a 3 run home run to tie the game. The game was forced into extra innings and in the bottom of the 11th, reliever Barret Browning, who was in his second inning of work, gave up a double to Kratz. Kratz was thrown out at third on a force out off the bat of Jimmy Rollins. A follow up ground out sent Rollins to second and then, with Juan Pierre batting, Rollins was inexplicably allowed to steal third. Pierre then hits a ground ball to Rafael Furcal, whose attempt to throw Rollins out at home failed, giving the Phillies a walk off victory. Barret Browning takes the loss and the Phils take the series.