Fresh off of winning seven of their first eight games following the All-Star break with the combination of a potent offense and stingy pitching, the Cardinals went to got Chicago and were shut out for the second game in a row for the first time in Tony La Russa's tenure as St. Louis manager.
Oh, I'm not saying the Cardinals position players aren't responsible for any runs scoring Friday. Their shoddy defense contributed directly to at least three of the Wee Bears' runs.
Jeff Suppan pitched fair. But he had to get four or five outs in a couple of innings and it came back to haunt him. In the fifth inning, with the Cardinals down by two, Suppan coaxed a perfect, inning ending sort of double play ball. But second baseman Skip Schumaker doubled clutched and let the runner reach first safely with two outs. Alfonso Soriano immediately cracked a two-run homer and the game was suddenly out of each. Suppan pitched six innings and was tagged for five earned runs on three walks and 10 hits.
Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan didn't look like Roy Oswalt Friday. But, then again, it's hard to win when the defense can't turn a double play to save its life and you can't score at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out. AP photo.
The offense, with the wind blowing out at Wrigley, managed only five singles. That's six hits in the team's last 21 innings played. And that's not getting the job done.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Jon Jay was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. As rumors swirl that he's on the table in the talks with the Astros for Roy Oswalt, Jay raised his batting average to .381.
Cardinals Play of the Game: I can't think of one.
Lowlight: Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus combined to go 1-for-12.