Cheap Seats

Cardinals @ Nationals, August 28

It's cruel that the Reds and the Giants suddenly can't win, giving a false sense of hope to Cardinals fans who look at the standings and see the wild card seemingly within reach and the division title apparently not out of the question.

But I have lost all hope in a team that has lost series this month to the Astros, Pirates, Cubs and Brewers and will be fortunate to split a four-game set from the Nationals after getting bombed 14-6 Saturday night.

Kyle Lohse, unfortunately, is no better after arm surgery than he was before it. And it is disturbing that he is panning out to be a $41 million bust. Especially since his contract was backloaded to pay him $7.125 million in 2009, $8.875 million this season and gives him $11.875 million in 2011 and 2012. It's one thing to pay superstars eight figure contracts. But I don't think the Birds can afford to pay a player to average an 4-8 record with an ERA near 6.00.

blog post photo

Nyjer Morgan dives back to the plate to score the what should have been the Nationals' 15th run in the eighth inning Saturday. He was called out, however, because Ivan Rodriguez made contact with him while trying to tell him to go back to touch the plate. AP photo.

The Cardinals were spotted a 3-0 lead when Skip Schumaker singled to start the game, Albert Pujols doubled him home then Jon Jay homered. But it wasn't going to be enough. Lohse surrendered a run in the second and a disturbing four runs in the third.

He let pitcher Orlando Hernandez lead off with a base hit, then gave up a hit to Adam Kennedy to make it first and second with no one out. He managed a strikeout. But then Lohse gave up a hit to Ryan Zimmerman to drive in one run and make it first and third with only one out. With the tying run on third, the Cardinals used a stupid shift against Adam Dunn -- and he took advantage poking the ball to the opposite field for a free double. Another single later, the Cardinals found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-3 score.

That shift garbage drives me up the wall because any player with half a brain only has to will to take advantage of the defense. And it's pretty week to bring a guy to the plate with a chance to tie the game and basicall force him to accept a free double. I don't know if manager Tony La Russa was under the impression that Dunn couldn't hit to the opposite field if his life depended on it. But it didn't look like he had a problem with it to me.

Lohse got even with Hernandez in the fifth when he started a Cardinals rally with a double. The Birds tied the game at five. But it was all downhill after that. In the bottom half of the inning he gave up a three-run homer to Adam Dunn to make it 8-5. Mike McDougal relieved and gave up six runs in an inning and two thirds for the cherry on top of their dog doo sundae.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Schumaker was 2-for-3, the only Redbirds hitter with more than one safety in the game.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Jay's homer.

: Lohse gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits in five innings pitched. Where have you gone, Jeff Suppan?