Usually after such a frustrating loss I would be dishing out blame for Cardinals players or perhaps the skipper on these virtual pages.
But tonight I have to blame myself.
I had the stupidity to suggest earlier in the day that Kyle Lohse was worthy of a reasonable contract extension to remain with St. Louis after this season. So, naturally, he went out and laid an egg. The only more direct cause and effect relationship is when your neighbor washes his car and causes it to rain on what otherwise promised to be a perfectly sunny day.
The Braves couldn't score runs to save their life to cause an eight-game losing streak prior to the Cardinals arrival. But somehow the Redbirds pitchers managed to give up a 10 spot on getaway day to lose two out of three in Atlanta. The Braves were 1-5 against the Cardinals in 2011. In 2012 they're 5-1 against St. Louis.
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Lohse gave up a pair of home runs in the first to put St. Louis behind 3-0. Lohse had a scoreless second and, after a lead-off single in the third seemed to be out of the woods when he erased the baserunner with a double play. But, with two outs and the sacks cleared, he surrendered a singe to Dan Uggla and a double to Freddie Freeman to allow one run. After a walk, Loshe gave up a single to Jose Constanza to put Atlanta ahead 5-0.
The Cardinals got a run in the fourth when Rafael Furcal singled and Matt Holliday drove him home with a hit. In the top of the sixth the Redbirds had a four-run outburst and tied the game at five when Holliday singled in one run then Matt Adams drew a two-out walk and Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso collected RBI hits.
But Marc Rzepczynski came in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth and allowed a lead-off hit, moved the runner to second with a wild pitch and then allowed him to score with a double to put Atlanta back ahead 6-5. Martin Prado was walked to put runners on first and second with two out to bring the lefty Brian McCann to the plate. Rczepczynski uncorked a ball that got past catcher Yadier Molina to second and third. Then he gave up a hit to McCann to score both runs and put the Braves up 8-5.
The Birds scored two in the top of the eighth to make the score 8-7. But closer Jason Motte threw eight straight balls to start the bottom of the inning with two men on and no outs. when the smoke cleared the score was 10-7 and it was all over but the crying.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Furcal was 2-for-5 with a pair or runs scored.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Descalso's two-out, game-tying hit in the sixth.
Lowlight: The utter helplessness of the bullpen these days.