With a 2-0 series lead against the woeful Diamondbacks and a pitcher fresh out of Class AA on the hill against the Cardinals only one thing could happen.
The Redbirds were bound to be completely handcuffed by the kid and slink out of their home ballpark with a loss that sent them back to second place in the standings with their eighth consecutive setback after being spotted the first two games of a three-game set. They fell 1/2 a game behind Cincinnatti, which rallied from down 3-0 to beat Philadelphia, by a score of 4-3.
Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan was adequate. He gave up three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, which is about the most you could expect from him at this stage of his career. But it's pretty plain and simple: The Birds aren't going to win games if they can't score some runs. Suppan isn't to blame for this clunker. It's the hitters who once again let the fans down with a mail it in performance.
The Birds could collect only four hits off Arizona starter Barry Enright who made his last appearance for the Mobile BayBears of the Southern league. The Class AA Mississippi Braves fared better in Enright's latest minor league start. They managed seven hits and two runs off of him in seven innings pitched.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols grounds out to shortstop with the bases loaded and two out Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. AP photo.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker had a pair of hits to raise his batting average to .264, an accomplishment after his awful start. Now if only the guys in the middle of the order could do a little bit of hitting on a consistent basis.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Albert Pujols' grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Well, that's what it would have been if Pujols wouldn't have grounded out to short to end the inning and seal the Cardinals fate.
Lowlight: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa let Mitchell Boggs bat in the bottom of the sixth, giving away a free out in an inning. The bases were eventually loaded with two out. What might have happened if the Cardinals sent an actual hitter to the plate? We'll never know. But, seriously, the Birds have to quit carrying 20 pitchers on the roster. They tie themselves up to the point that they can't make the most basic of moves in the late innings because they don't have any position players available. Dishonorable mention goes to Felipe Lopez who was 0-for-3 with an error in the field that cost the Cardinals a run.