In a plot more predictable than a made for cable television series, the Cardinals started off in promising fashion, shot themselves in the foot early and then sent the offense home for the night in a sad 8-2 loss Tuesday to the struggling Mets.
The Cardinals first two hitters got on in the first. And, with Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday coming to the plate, it looked like the Birds were primed to put up a crooked number. But Albert Pujols couldn't drive the runners in with a hard hit ball to third base. And Holliday followed with an easy ball to the hot corner that Mets third sacker David Wright fielded and threw home to easily nail Felipe Lopez. Only a Ryan Ludwick squibber with two outs salvaged the scoring opportunity.
But the 1-0 lead didn't stand up. The Mets scored in the second to tie the game, in the fourth they took the lead, in the fifth they put the game out of reach and in the sixth they rubbed it in.
The Cardinals only other run came in the eighth when Randy Winn killed a promising inning by forcing a run home from third on a double play.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols strikes out to make the last out in the Cardinals Tuesday game against the Mets. AP photo.
Albert Pujols was 0-for-5 for the night to see his average dip to .296 as we near the end of July. It's only the second time in his career that he's been below .300 at this stage of the season.
Starter Adam Wainwright, who knocked his ERA below 2.00 for the season with one run allowed in his previous four starts, allowed six earned runs Tuesday on six hits and three walks. He managed only five innings as his pitch count climbed early.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Brendan Ryan was 2-for-4 on the night to push his batting average over the .200 mark. Good for him. It's a little bit embarassing to have a batting average below the Mendoza line in August.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Ryan's RBI hit.
Lowlight: The Cardinals continued their pathetic baserunning to kill the first inning. I'm not sure why Lopez decided to go home on a ball hit right to the third baseman. But, if you're going to do that, you have to be prepared to bowl over the catcher when the ball gets there three seconds before the baserunner. Instead, Lopez dropped and tried a sad little slide that ended about three feet shy of the plate.
Cardinals Star of the Game: