The Cardinals put together a lowlight reel in front of a national television audience Sunday night, showcasing all of the ways they have figured out to lose games this season.
In 11 innings against the Cubs they: Ran themselves out of innings with misguided baserunning, overextended their pitcher by botching double play balls, threw the ball around like a hot potato, somehow failed repeatedly to score from second base on hits to the outfield, didn't move up baserunners and swung -- over and over and over again -- at terrible pitches.
Still, somehow, they managed to walk away with a 4-3 lead and regained first place by half a game as the Reds were downed by Houston.
Albert Pujols briefly slipped below .300 in the game. But he kept the Cardinals in it with a long home run to left field and nearly provided the winning margin when he later backed up Alfonso Soriano to the wall in left to fall just short of a second longball. Instead, the game went to extra innings.
Matt Holliday nearly lost his 10-game hitting streak, but snuck a ball past the Cubs third baseman in the 10th inning to keep the run intact and give the Cardinals a chance to win the game. Jon Jay got on base to push Holliday to second and Skip Schumaker hit a flare to center but somehow Holliday couldn't score. The replays showed, instead of going half way to third, Holliday went back to the bag. Third base coach Jose Oquendo tried to call him over, but Holliday wasn't paying attention and it led to the drama continuing when Yadier Molina ended the inning with a double play ball.
Fortunately, the Cardinals were able to steal the game in the 11th when Felipe Lopez hit a solo shot and Kyle McClellan and Dennys Reyes were able to pitch around trouble to close it out.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker was 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Lopez's homer.
Lowlight: I'm not so sure when Ryan Ludwick was activated from the disabled list that Allen Craig was the guy who needed to be sent to the minors. Colby Rasmus is absolutely useless at the plate right now. Maybe a trip to Memphis would give him a chance to figure out how to put the ball in play again. But the parent club can't afford him in the lineup right now because he's nothing but a sure out.