Cheap Seats

April 12: Diamondbacks 13, Cardinals 8

Chris Carpenter was brilliant in his first two starts of the season -- only to be left high and dry by a Cardinals offense that couldn't string together more than a couple runs.

So, the way things are going in this bizarre early part of the season, doesn't it only make sense that the Redbirds would put eight runs up on the board and Carpenter would stink to high Heaven?

The Cardinals ace gave up runs in each of the five frames he pitched -- eight total on eight hits -- and he gave up a 475-foot homer to Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton which is the longest in the majors this season.

Down by big deficits three times in the game, twice the Redbirds were able to mount impressive comebacks. But they left too many opportunities on the table in the end. In the fifth inning the Cardinals scored two runs and left the bases loaded. In the sixth they scored three runs and left the sacks jammed.

Both innings ended with catcher Yadier Molina at the plate. In the fifth, after Diamondbacks starter Armondo Galarraga walked Skip Schumaker to force in a run as he struggled with serious control issues, Molina hacked at the first pitch he saw and grounded out meekly to the shortstop. In the sixth Molina also swung at the first pitch -- but fouled it off this time. The eventual results weren't much better. He grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat.

If there was a bright side to the loss it is that Albert Pujols and Ryan Theriot each collected three hits to give their batting averages signs of life. Hopefully the pitching will settle back down and -- after three impressive offensive games in a row -- the Cardinals will right their ship.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Lance Berkman was 3-for-5 with two runs batted in and one scored. His homer in the second helped the Cardinals hit back to back longballs in consecutive games for the first time since 2005. David Freese hit the other homer.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Pujols made an excellent diving stop near the foul line behind the first base bag which Brian Tallet somehow caught while diving across the bag to get the out.

Lowlight: Tallet was injured on the play. And fellow reliever Brian Augenstein appeared to injure a groin muscle on the mound. Both pitchers could see disabled list time although the extent of their injuries has not yet been revealed.

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