If you were of the belief, as I was, that the Cardinals needed to sweep this series to have a viable chance for October baseball, it seems like the Redbirds are now kite flying, because they are playing out the string.
What is there to say about last night's game? The recurring theme in the game story today was that they were flat and uninspired. I didn't get to see much of the game, but the parts I did, they were creating chances, but just not following through. Albert Pujols flirted with a two-run HR in the first--if that goes fair, does the game change? If Ankiel can drive in a run in that inning to tie it up, how does that affect things? If Pujols doesn't pop out with runners on the corners, would that have been the inspiration needed?
I did feel that the Cardinals were in trouble when it went to 2-0, then 3-0. It felt like the game was slipping away, that Milwaukee was just not going to make enough mistakes to get the Cardinals back into it. And then the 7 run ninth made everything look much worse.
Still, looking at the box score makes it tough to come up with a hero. Without that HR from Braun, Todd Wellemeyer would be in the mix. He did a pretty good job for six innings, getting out of trouble. Instead, though, I'll go with Aaron Miles
, the only person to have more than one hit in the game.
This is actually one of those rare games where a Goat is easier to find that a Hero. Pujols goes 0-3, failing in that run-scoring opportunity mentioned earlier. Brad Thompson gave up 4 runs and Jamie Garcia 3, but the game was pretty much out of reach anyway at that time. I think the Goat goes to Rick Ankiel
, though, for his 0-4, 2 K day.
So now what? The Cardinals start finishing the schedule up and looking forward to callups. Colby Rasmus, however, won't be one of them
. I don't know that I'm completely surprised by that, though I did think it'd benefit St. Louis to take a look at him at the major league level. Still, I take issue with how management, especially Tony LaRussa, presented this refusal.
John Mozeliak's "he's been hurt, so it's hard to bring him up" actually is a reasonable argument. And if I'm Rasmus, I think I could live with that. If the reasoning had been, "We have a lot of outfielders and he probably won't get to play much," that'd make some sense as well, though getting a taste of major league life could be a powerful motivator. Heck, even a "We're keeping our options open on his service time" would be a little pragmatic, but understandable.
But does LaRussa go with any of those tactful explanations? No, he flat out says "he hasn't earned the callup". This in the same article that mentions people like Kelvim Jimenez coming back up. Has he had the season people expected of him? No. But he was hitting well before the injury. It just seems to me that you aren't laying the groundwork for a good relationship if you start talking like that. And with LaRussa's reputation (whether deserved or not) with young players, it doesn't take much to hinder. Unless, of course, TLR isn't planning on being around next year...........
In other news, apparently the Cardinals still don't have a handle on Chris Carpenter's injury
. This comes as a major shock to people that follow the Cardinals, who know all about their stellar track record when dealing with hurt players.
Oh, sorry, my sarcasm button got stuck. Let me fix that.
So, with this new information and the fact that the season likely isn't going to have much drama the rest of the way, I'm guessing the odds are we won't see Carpenter again on the mound, or if we do, it'll just be a short start to make sure everything is fine. I wouldn't expect him to pitch 10 more innings this year, in other words. I would like him to get out there and make sure he can have a start and be fine, but that's probably not necessary.
Back to the field. If the Cards are to have even the slimmest of chances (BP
has them with only a 7.4% chance of playing after the season, odds that dropped over 6% with last night's loss) they have to win tonight. They do have Adam Wainwright going for them, which is nice. Wainwright has done OK against the Brewers
in the past, though Ryan Braun has done well against him (just like every other Redbird hurler). If he actually pays attention to the scouting report
, unlike others, perhaps he can get him out as well and be on his way to a victory.
Manny Parra is going for the Brewers tonight. He's gone three times against the Cardinals this year and has a 5.79 ERA but no decisions to show for it
. For his career, well, the current Redbirds are hitting .301
as a group against him. If they can't score runs tonight, the season really is over.
Even if the season is practically over, there's still baseball to watch and for that, we should be grateful. It will be soon enough when fall arrives and the only thing on TV is sitcoms and football. I shudder at the thought.
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