It wasn't pretty. But it was effective.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter scuffled for his second consecutive start, turning in a six inning performance in which he gave up three runs on eight hits. Carp struck out four but walked three as he struggled with his control all night and just plain looked uncomfortable on the hill.
Fortunately the Redbirds hitters were able to offer some run support and ran away with the game 10-3. With the Cubs winning 2-0 over Houston, the Cardinals maintained their 10 1/2 game lead in the NL Central and reduced their magic number to 20. The Cubs have been able to diminish the Cardinals lead since Aug. 4.
I'm not sure if their was a problem with the mound of it Carpenter had a physical issue. But he just didn't seem happy with the way things were going. On three or four occasions he seemed to stumble during his delivery and then look back at the pitching rubber. Once he took off his cap and walked around the mound as if to gather his thoughts. That's very unCarpenterlike. Usually he's all business. I hope, after nearly two full years off with injuries, that he isn't getting worn down.
One person who was happy with the way things went was second baseman Skip Schumaker who reached base all five trips to the plate with four hits and a walk. He scored a pair of runs and drove in two.
Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker raps one of his four hits Wednesday against Milwaukee. AP photo.
Jason Motte gave up a double to Prince Fielder in the top of the seventh inning, but otherwise looked much better. He must have worked on some mechanical issue because he hit 98 and 99 on the radar gun with better accuracy than he has displayed recently. He struck out five while allowing one hit and one walk over two scoreless innings.
Troy Glaus made his long-awaited season debut with a whiff as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. I guess this proves there was no truth to the rumor that he broke both of his ankles while waiting in vain in the batters box the night before.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Schumaker
Lowlight: Mark DeRosa, who started after being kept out of the starting lineup for a couple of days by his troublesome wrist, was held hitless. One the bright side, he played some pretty solid defense. Hopefully it was just one of those nights and not a sign that his wrist is holding him back.