The Cardinals have officially stomped the memory of their eight-game winning streak to bits, blotting it out with another ugly, weak and lazy performance in Chicago.
The Redbirds again wasted numerous opportunities to score, played porous defense and picked all the wrong times to make bad pitches to lose 6-5 to a rudderless team whose manager just quit on it.
The Birds looked like they were going to run away from the NL Central on Wednesday. By Saturday night they were back in second place to a Reds team that is without Scott Rolen.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols reacts after hitting a foul ball against the Cubs Saturday at Wrigley Field. Pujols was 0-2 to drop his batting average to .301 for the season. AP photo.
As bad as they played, the Cardinals almost pulled the game out.
-- In the fifth with two on and two out Albert Pujols hit a ball to the wall in right centerfield that could have been the difference in the game.
-- In the sixth, the Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs and Tyler Greene popped out to short center.
-- In the seventh, Jon Jay got caught stealing with Matt Holliday at the plate and one out to kill a potential rally.
-- In the eighth with two on and one out Greene hit into a double play.
If the Birds would have come through in any one of those scoring opportunities, they might have won.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Brendan Ryan was 2-for-4 to bring his batting average up to a whopping .192. He also made a couple of really nice plays in the field.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Tyler Greene got a two-out hit in the second from the ninth spot in the batting order after the whole stupid pitcher hitting eighth thing resulted in the pitcher at the plate with one out and two runners on instead of a position player at the dish.
Lowlight: Oh, pick something from the four consecutive innings listed above in which the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot.