The Cardinals had a bunch of chances Friday night, but couldn't get the offense kick started against Matt Cain and the Giants.
Outfielder Chris Duncan lined out with the tying run on base, Albert Pujols on deck and two outs in the top of the sixth to kill the Birds biggest threat. The ball was hit on a rope deep into the second base hole but snagged just before it hit the ground in a spectacular, game saving catch.
Joe Thurston was 0-for-4 and stranded five runners on base, highlighting the need for some offensive help at third base.
Ryan Ludwick looked pretty rusty after two weeks on the disabled list, which is to be expected. The Cardinals probably would have preferred to let him have a few at bats in the minors before they threw Ludwick back into the fire. But with Rick Ankiel still hurting and the offense slumping, they needed all the help they could get ASAP.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Down from the start, the Giants didn't seem compelled to pitch around Pujols, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored, the only Redbird to have more than one hit on the night.
Lowlight: Colby Rasmus jogged after a ball he apparently assumed was going to be a homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning. I don't know if he would have caught the ball if he hustled. But he sure would have had a lot better chance to prevent the Giants hitter from getting to third base on the hit if he would have retrieved the ball a little bit faster.