Dear Cardinals, if we wanted to know how it feels to be Cubs fans, we would have been Cubs fans...
Yet it is the team in red that is turning in the Chicago style deep dish losses in the ninth inning over and over.
Colby Rasmus looked like he was going to be the hero of the contest with the Birds' most impressive homer of the year, a solo shot in the sixth that sailed out over the 25-foot-tall wall in the deepest part of the ballpark. The knock broke a 1-1 tie and was the difference until two outs in the bottom of the ninth. But it's hard to enjoy the sweet taste of that success when you chase it with the bitter pill of Rasmus dropping a ball on the warning track while the tying and go ahead runs circle the bases to end the game.
Of course, you can't put all the blame on Rasmus' shoulders. For the third time in four save attempts Ryan Franklin got himself in a heap of two out trouble and ended up coughing up a game the Birds couldn't afford to lose. He walked the tying run into scoring position -- and the winning run on base -- then got behind in the count to Miguel Tejada before serving up a pitch that drifted over the plate that the former Athletic, Oriole, Astro and Padre put the good part of the bat on.
It looked at first like the ball might sail out of the park. But it hung up and Rasmus was able to run it down. He did everything but catch the ball. And I'm guessing the main reason why is that he could hear the footsteps of left fielder Jon Jay who was pulling up after making the long run to the scene of the crime.
I sit in left center field at Busch Stadium and one problem I have with Rasmus -- besides his curious routes to the ball on occasion -- is the fact that he isn't a take charge guy in center field. He's bumped into or otherwise been affected on a play by another Cardinals outfielder at least four times already this season. I don't see him calling for the ball -- and if he is calling for it, he's not barking it out in a commnading way.
After the game it seemed like Franklin was emotionally devistated, his voice cracking as he spoke to reporters. I sure hope he figures this out quikcly because it seems like things are getting out of control fast.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Jaime Garcia was once again brilliant. He allowed four hits and one run in six innings pitched. He certainly deserved a better fate than the no decision with which he was tagged. He struck out nine and walked one.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Rasmus' homer.
Lowlight: It's hard to put it out of the old noggin that if Franklin could have come through with four reasonable save opportunities that the Birds would be a respectable 5-3 instead of a laughable 2-6.