The Cardinals' Tuesday night loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks is going to put the team in an awfully bad spot Wendesday.
Obviously, I'm thrilled that the Birds fought back twice from a deficit of three runs to tie the Arizona Diamondbacks and force extra innings. But St. Louis is going to pay a high price today for being forced to use its bullpen for 9 1/3 innings.
Rookie Michael Wacha lasted only four innings, giving up 10 hits and six earned runs. He started off strong with one run allowed over the first three frames -- and that was after he walked the eighth place hitter and gave up an 0-2 hit to the Diamondbacks starting pitcher. In the fourth he gave up a three-run homer to put St. Louis behind and then he was unable to stop the bleeding with two more runs in the fifth.
If the Cardinals could have come through on one more of their many chances to score the deciding run late in the game, they could have brought home a win and made today's game the difference between two of three or a sweep instead of the difference between winning and losing a series. And, if they would have come through on one of the earlier chances, they might have saved some of those bullpen innings.
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Allen Craig left seven runners marooned on the bases Tuesday. Five were left by Pete Kozma and four runners each were stranded by Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.
Instead Joe Kelly, who has pitched as many as three innings once this year and two innings or more twice, will be relied on to start the rubber game. There's not much of a cavalry behind him. Seth Maness pitched 2 1/3 innings Tuesday, Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica and Keith Butler each tossed two and Victor Marte tossed one to lose the game.