Well, at least tonight they only blew a five-run lead...
After another awful night of defensive mistakes and mental miscues, the Rockies were unphased by Tony La Russa's Parade of Misfit Relievers, smashing a three-run homer off of Jason Motte in the eighth inning after Mitchell Boggs gave up a double before giving way to Trever Miller who walked the only man he faced.
Evan MacLane made his major league debut -- surrendering a game-losing home run to the first hitter he faced in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals lost 8-7. They also lost their pride, hope and dignity. And I wish several of them would lose their major league pay checks.
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday proves that the Cardinals are capable of scoring with a home run in Colorado. Too bad he can't pitch. AP photo.
The inexcusably crummy defense reared its ugly head in the fifth inning when the Rockies leadoff man hit a ball through Felipe Lopez at third. The next hitter hit a perfect double play ball to shortstop Tyler Greene ... And Greene air mailed the ball into the right field corner. Instead of two outs and no one on, it was second a third with no outs. The next batter singled past the rangeless Skip Schumaker at second to plate two runs, then a bloop single to center turned a five-run lead with nothing cooking into the Rockies best hitter, Carlos Gonzalez, at the plate representing the tying run with only one out.
Jaime Garcia gets a ton of credit for showing the guts and strength to come back and strike out Gonzalez. But then Melvin Mora hit an RBI single to right field with two strikes to score a third run thanks to the porous defense. It took Garcia 26 pitches to get out of an inning that should have taken 10 pitches. After that he wasn't the same and was yanked in the sixth after allowing three hits and a run while recording only one out.
In the top of the sixth, the Cardinals got a two-out hit from Skip Schumaker fllowed by a hard hit ball right to the Colorado second baseman off the bat of Lopez that was (somehow) scored a base hit and had a chance to make up for their errors in the field. The Birds were able to capitalize with one run when Colby Rasmus collected a broken bat RBI single down the right field line. But they lost a chance to get a big payback when Albert Pujols struck out with men on first and third.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Matt Holliday who was 4-for-4 with a pair of homers.
Cardinals Play of the Game: With one out and a runner on in the bottom of the seventh, Colby made a headlong diving catch on a ball to short center for the second out.
Lowlight: After giving up the game tying homer in the eighth, Jason Motte had a hard hit liner come right back to him but it bounced off his glove. Instead of settling for runners at first and second with one out, Motte picked up the ball as the runner passed first and flung it by Albert Pujols to let the potential winning run go to third base with one out. Nice. Fortunately, he struck out the next two to keep the game tied. But that play is so typical of the Cardinals this year. You can see it coming from a mile away, but you're powerless to stop the sucking. What a nightmare.
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