Following an unfortunate sweep at the hands of the Brewers, the Cardinals spent the first six innings of their set with the Nationals looking like they were determined to get back to their winning ways.
Unfortunately, the bullpen proved there is no lead they can't lose, squandering a 6-1 advantage for an eventual 8-6 loss.
Starting pitcher Jaime Garcia was robbed of yet another victory. He allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking one. But that was no match for Miguel Batista who must have compromising pictures of a high ranking member of the Cardinals front office to be allowed to remain on the roster despite the way he has pitched lately.
Batista gave up five runs on four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning to completely destroy two hours of work from his teammates. But he didn't do it all alone. With a one-run lead and a lefty at the plate the Cardinals summoned Trever Miller -- who promptly hit the first batter he faced.
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Opponents seem to be taking advantage of the soft tossing lefty, leaning in to inside pitches to get a free base. I have a little idea. How about bringing Jason Motte into the game instead to see if they'd be interesting in leaning in to a 100 mph fastball?
If manager Tony La Russa doesn't want to put Motte into the game in a tough situation against a lefty hitter, he ought to at least let one of the Birds' power arms blast the leaners with a fastball the next time they come to the plate.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lance Berkman had one hit in three at bats -- a homer. He also walked twice as part of a two run, two RBI night. It was a shame he couldn't make the Nats pay in the ninth inning when they walked Pujols -- the potential tying run -- to pitch to the switch hitting outfielder instead.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Pujols' first inning homer.
Lowlight: Batista, Bastista and Batista.