The video scouting reliant Cardinals were obviously told that Royals starter Zack Greinke attacks the strike zone early. Because they went to the plate hacking away like nobody's business.
Five of the first seven hitters swung at the first pitch. And the result was that the Redbirds allowed Greinke to total seven pitches or less in four of the first five innings. That's just ridiculous. It's a shame they let him breeze through eight innings since their ninth inning rally fell just short and they lost 4-2.
Like I've said before, if the pitcher is laying them in there, by all means, let 'er rip. But when hitters are popping up balls or pounding them into the ground, they're swinging at pitchers' pitches. And I don't care if those are strikes. Unless you're protecting the plate, there are plenty of strikes that hitters would be well advised to stay away from.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols tries to tag out Royals outfielder Scott Podsednek on a pickoff play Friday night in Kansas City. AP photo.
The announcers were quick to make excuses for the hitters, saying that it was the 2009 Cy Young Award winner on the hill for Kansas City. Yeah, well that was last year. Greinke was 2-8 coming into Friday night's game. So, obviously, other teams have figured out how to score some runs against him.
The setback especially hurt since it knocked the Cardinals back into second place as the Reds beat the hapless Indians.
Jeff Suppan, making his third start in his return to St. Louis, was mediocre. He was what you can expect from a fifth starter in 2010. But what difference does it make when the offense can't score?
Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker was 3-for-4. It was a hollow 3-for-4 because he didn't score or drive in any runs. But that's not all his fault...
Cardinals Play of the Game: David Freese's RBI single in the top of the ninth.
Lowlight: 2-3-4 hitters Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick were 0-for-10. What order will the be in tomorrow?