The Cardinals put on a clinic about how not to play baseball Wednesday night to fall to 1-2 for the season and 8-13 since the beginning of 2008 against the bottom feeding Pirates.
The pitching was lousy and the defense questionable -- save for Albert Pujols who set the team record for assists by a first baseman with seven. But what really irks me is the complete disregard for fundamental baseball.
Colby Rasmus may be a rookie. But every kid in little league knows that you can't go wrong by running hard. And he cost the Cardinals a run when he hit an infield grounder and didn't hustle out of the box. When the fielder muffed the ball, Rasmus tried to turn it on too little too late and was nipped at first base as a runner crossed the plate for the third out.
If that wasn't enough, in the ninth Joe Thurston seemingly extended a rally when he followed a leadoff double with an extra base hit to right. But he got thrown out at third base -- with the Birds down by three runs -- when he got greedy. It snuffed out the Cardinals chances to get back in the game.
The Cardinals might not have won the the game. But they would have made it a lot closer by eliminating those mistakes, which cost two runs, and by playing better defense.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Pujols not only set the assist mark with his far ranging play at first base, but he hit the 700 walk mark in the game. With Glaus on the shelf and the lack of a true cleanup hitter, we may see Pujols reach 800 and 900 this season, too.
Lowlight: Both plays were pretty dumb, but I think Ramus gets the lowlight over Thurston. I would prefer to see a player make an out by hustling than by not.