Cheap Seats

Series summary: Cardinals vs. Astros

Series record: 1-0-1

Granted the Astros aren't the same team they were in 2005, but it is always a good sign when you can sweep a division foe.

And the Cardinals pretty much handled them in every facet of the game.

Starting pitching: A

Adam Wainwright struggled again with his control in his second start but managed to pitch five shut out innings. And Kyle Lohse made one of the best starts from a Cardinals pitcher in recent memory with a complete game shut out. Even Joel Pineiro was solid with 6 2/3 innings pitched and two runs allowed.

Relief pitching: B+

Jason Motte seems to have officially lost his unofficial grip on the closers role with another ninth inning struggle followed by a middle inning mop up assignment that wasn't too bad. It's disturbing how hittable his fastball has suddenly become. The rest of the pen has been pretty decent.

Offense: A- 

The Cardinals missed an opportunity to drive home an important insurance run Sunday with a man at third and one out which made things a little more tense in the ninth than they might have otherwise been. But they had two games against lefty starters -- a problem for their lefty laden lineup -- and the other was against Roy Oswalt. So it's hard to complain about the production of the St. Louis hitters.

Defense: A-

An errorless series. My only gripe is that the outfield communication doesn't seem to be the best, as illustrated by Colby Rasmus running into Ryan Ludwick Sunday on a fly ball. The kid needs to learn to take charge if he is going to play centerfield.