Cheap Seats

Cardinals at Rockies, Sept. 27

I could harp on the things the Cardinals did to lose their Sunday game 4-3 to the Rockies.

But, instead, I'd rather talk about why I am glad they lost it.

It's not often that I root against the Cardinals. So much so that it was difficult to watch the game because I would get caught up in the game and root for the team in red against my better judgement.

blog post photo

Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick hits a fly ball in the ninth inning against the Rockies. It could have been a game-tying sacrifice fly. But Albert Pujols was doubled off at first base, ending the game. AP photo.

The bottom line is, the Cardinals have fared very well against the Dodgers this season and, while their record isn't good this season against Colorado, they have typically played very well in Denver. But I don't like their matchup nearly as much against Atlanta or Philadelphia.

Don't look now, but the Braves have been the hottest team in the National League lately -- 41-25 in the second half of the season -- and are suddenly looming large in the rearview mirror of the Rockies.

If Atlanta beats out Colorado, the National League East will have two teams in the playoffs that won't be able to play each other in the first round. That means if the Dodgers hang on for the league's best record, they'd play Atlanta and the Phillies would play the Cardinals in the first round.

While the Cardinals would have the home field advantage if they could stay ahead of Philadelphia for the best overall record, the Phillies are 47-33 on the road compared to 32-32 at home.

The Cardinals are 1-5 against Colorado. But let's face it, the team the Rockies swept in the first half of the season bears little resemblance to the current Redbirds. No Holliday, no DeRosa and no Lugo. The Rockies won two of three in the recently completed series. But the first game was a squeaker and during the Sunday game the Cardinals chose to rest Matt Holliday in left and play the recently called up Tyler Greene in centerfield for the first time in his major league career. Mark DeRosa played in the outfield to make room for David Freese at third and Jason LaRue started behind the plate for the banged up Yadier Molina. Not exactly the first string. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have owned the Dodgers this season.

Kyle Lohse was mediocre in his second start since returning to the rotation. He threw five innings and allowed six hits and three earned runs.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Julio Lugo was 2-for-5 and had a third of the Cardinals six hits in the game.

Lowlight: Albert Pujols ended the game on a controversial double play. But he could have won it earlier when he whiffed with the bases loaded and one out. He's been phenomenal with the bases loaded this season, and you can't expect a guy to hit a grand slam every time. But a sacrifice fly would have been nice.

While some blamed Pujols after the game for the double play when he was caught off base on Ryan Ludwick's fly ball, the question is: did Lugo cross the plate before Pujols was doubled off? If so, the game would have been tied. Did Pujols get caught off base trying to draw the throw to allow the tying run to score?

What difference does it make?