The Cardinals lost a tough one Thursday. But, while it would have been nice to watch them sweep the loathsome Reds, it was at least encouraging to see the way the team's starters pitched in the series.
Even in the loss, Brad Penny was spectacular. He hurled seven innings and allowed only six hits, two walks and one run. The really unfortunate thing is that the lone run came on a two-out single off the bat of Cincinnati starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
The Cardinals should win a lot of games in Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Brad Penny pitch all season like they did in the opening series... Unfortunately, the offense that featured Felipe Lopez in place of David Freese at third base and Allen Craig making his major league debut in place of Ryan Ludwick in right field, largely decided not to get involved in Thursday's game.
Only Matt Holliday's solo homer in the seventh inning got the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
The Birds carried the 1-1 tie into the ninth and lefty reliever Trever Miller retired the only man he faced to start the inning. In comes Jason Motte who threw a couple of good pitches before serving up a big, fat meatball to Johnny Gomes who deposited it over the outfield wall for the deciding blow.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Penny
Cardinals Play of the Game: Albert Pujols tried to backhand a grounder to first that kicked off the heal of his glove. Fortunately, it bounded to second baseman Skip Schumaker who fielded the ball cleanly and flipped it to Penny who was covering first for the out.
Lowlight: Allen Craig was 0-4 with a strikeout in hi major league debut.