We knew it would be a rough ride as one of the slots of the questionable Cardinals rotation came up again in Los Angeles.
Manager Tony La Russa couldn't decide if he should give the start to struggling rookie Blake Hawksworth or struggling rookie P.J. Walters. It turns out that it didn't matter. They each pitched four innings, with Hawksworth pitching the first four frames and then Walters coming in to relieve. But they were nearly identically awful: Each gave up six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. The only difference was that Hawksworth struck out five and Walters only one.
The really disappointing thing is that, while the Cardinals were forced into a less than ideal pitching situation, the Dodgers were also in a jam. Reliever Carlos Monasterios started for Los Angeles and mesmerized most of the Cardinals batsmen for six innings.
Cardinals leftfielder Ryan Ludwick is congratulated by centerfielder Randy Winn after hitting his first of two homers Monday in Los Angeles. AP photo.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Ryan Ludwick hit a pair of homers in a 2-for-4 night with a pair of runs scored and a pair of RBIs to account for half of the St. Louis offense in a 12-4 loss.
Cardinals Play of the Game: When the Cardinals were down 2-0 after an inning, Ludwick's homer in the second seemed to get the club back in the game. But it wasn't meant to be.
Lowlight: The Cardinals second third and fourth hitters in the batting order -- Brendan Ryan, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday -- were a combined 0-for-11 with five runners stranded on base.