Daily Rant: 3 Straight Losses Have Cardinals Reeling
By James Benoit
Thursday night marked the St. Louis Cardinals third straight loss. With a chance to gain ground on the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central standings, and the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card standings, the Redbirds blew it. On a positive note, the Cardinals did finally score a run, even if it was on an error.
|St Louis Cardinals||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||4||0|
|WP||Edwin Jackson (8-9, 3.53)|
|LP||Jaime Garcia (3-6, 4.52)|
Behind the Box Score: The Nationals scored early and often Thursday night in a game that could be seen on MLB Network. In two nationally televised prime time games this week, the St. Louis Cardinals have struggled mightily, both offensively and starting pitching.
In the first inning, the Redbirds had a hit, but struck out 3 times. In the bottom of the inning, Jayson Werth led off with a walk. Bryce Harper then stood in, looking to continue his recent hot streak. He did exactly that, sending Jaime Garcia’s pitch on a long ride to left, for a 2-0 lead.
The 2nd wasn’t much better for the St. Louis Cardinals, as Edwin Jackson earned two more Ks in the frame, only allowing a David Freese walk. Jaime Garcia quickly got out of the bottom of the frame, and things looked okay, for the moment.
In the 3rd, Edwin Jackson pushed his strikeout total on the night to 7, getting Jaime Garcia and Matt Holliday swinging. The Nationals managed another run in the frame on an Adam LaRoche sacrifice fly to right, scoring Jayson Werth.
In the 4th, the St. Louis Cardinals had a somewhat promising rally after a Yadier Molina walk, and David Freese ground out on which Danny Espinosa failed to step on 2nd base. Skip Schumaker then singled, sending Molina to 3rd. In stepped Rafael Furcal with a chance to bring home the St. Louis Cardinals first run in 22 innings. He failed though, popping out to Ian Desmond to end the threat, and any chance the Redbirds had that inning to end their scoreless streak.
Jaime Garcia did a fabulous job in the bottom of the inning, making quick work of Danny Espinosa, Jesus Flores, and Edwin Jackson. Jackson returned the favor in the top of the 5th, adding one more K to his night.
Jayson Werth led off the home half of the 5th, hitting his 4th blast of the season to deep center. He would add another RBI in the 6th, pushing the lead to 5-0. Bryce Harper singled home Jesus Flores, making it 6-0, just after Rafael Furcal left with an injury after being replaced by Daniel Descalso.
There was more scoring in the 7th for the Nats, as they pushed their lead to 8-0 on a Jesus Flores single off of Lance Lynn. The long awaited run for the St. Louis Cardinals was just minutes away. After a Bryan Anderson double, Jon Jay reached on a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman. Bryan Anderson scored, and Jon Jay stood at 2nd, almost looking up in disbelief of the fact that the Redbirds had their first tally in 3 nights.
That’s how it would end, another Cardinals loss, 8-1. The former Cardinal Edwin Jackson’s final line was 8 IP and 10 Ks.
Quick Look At The Standings: It seems to grow in drama by the day, as the St. Louis Cardinals are just barely ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final Wild Card spot in the NL. The latest swoon does not bode well for the Redbirds, and it’s high time that they end their losing streak. They really could use some kind of offensive boost, as winning their next 3 would be ideal.
The Redbirds continue their series against the Washington Nationals tonight as Adam Wainwright (13-10, 3.63) faces off against Gio Gonzalez (16-7, 3.28). It should be a great pitching matchup, so hopefully the St. Louis Cardinals can get to Gonzalez early. Though that doesn’t seem likely, the Cardinals have a knack for making good pitchers look bad. Let’s hope that’s the case tonight!