Bats Go Quiet
Four hits? That’s it? Really? Since the Cardinals couldn’t seem to put any good wood on the ball today, they relied on the free passes to put runners on base. Unfortunately, only one of their nine base runners came around to score, and the Redbirds fell to the Dodgers 4-1.
On paper I thought St. Louis had the advantage. Their best starter, Kyle Lohse, was on the mound, and the Cards were coming off a pair of wins, trying to sweep the Dodgers right out of town. Lohse wasn’t bad, allowing four runs in seven innings, while striking out five. Too bad Clayton Kershaw was better.
One positive to take from the game, however, is the fact that struggling closer Jason Isringhausen pitched two scoreless innings in relief, including a three strikeout ninth. Now that both he and rookie Chris Perez are coming off stellar outings, the closer’s role looks to be even more complicated than before.
Here’s today’s box score. The loss puts the Cardinals six games behind the division leading Cubs, and a game behind the Brewers in the Wild Card race.
The upcoming series in Chicago is huge, although chances are Tony La Russa will say it’s no more important than any other series this year. The Baby Bears aren’t going to make it easy, starting Ted Lilly (11-6, 4.35 ERA), Carlos Zambrano (12-4, 2.76 ERA), and Ryan Dempster (12-5, 2.93 ERA). To make matters worse, not only do the Cubs have the best record in the National League, they’re virtually unbeatable at home, sporting a record of 43-16 at Wrigley. Hopefully the Cards are up to the challenge.