Just when it seemed nothing else could go wrong, suddenly the remaining healthy Cardinals pitchers can't throw strikes.
Rookie Jaime Garcia could only manage five innings pitched because he was constantly in trouble thanks, in large part, to five walks allowed. But it wasn't only his fault. The Cardinals infield helped out with every one of them making an error. Albert Pujols and Brendan Ryan each made throwing errors, Felipe Lopez made an error with the glove and Skip Schumaker made a mental error when he backed up on a grounder so far that by the time he fielded it there was no time to throw the runner out. Of course, technically, that last one was a hit. But it shouldn't have been.
Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan gets some love from third base coach Jose Oquendo after hitting a three-run homer Friday against the Diamondbacks. AP photo.
On the bright side, even though struggling slugger Albert Pujols continues to have his problems at the plate, some of the Cardinals other slumpers showed signs of life. Schumaker had two hits as did catcher Yadier Molina. Matt Holliday hit a rocket of a double.
Ryan Franklin had to get a five-out save to bring home the win for the Cardinals. And he couldn't make it easily. In the ninth, the first two outs he recorded we extremely hard hit line drives to Holliday in left field. He also gave a line drive into the left field corner for a hit and walked the bases loaded before he gave up another hard line drive that was caught by centerfielder Colby Rasmus for the last out.
It was ugly. But it was a winner.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Brendan Ryan's three-run blow was the decisive blow of the game.
Cardinals Play of the Game: See above.
Lowlight: Dennys Reyes continued his funk. He came into the game with runners at first and third with a lefty at the plate. It was his job to get one hitter out -- and couldn't retire him.
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