Saturday night's loss to the Blue Jays was all about some seriously bad timing.
Jaime Garcia, who pitched seven innings and allowed only one earned run on five hits, issued a pair of unfortunate walks to start the top of the third inning. He got a ground out to send the runners to second and third before intentionally walking major league home run leader Jose Bautista.
Adam Lind, no slugging slouch himself, was limited to a sacrifice fly. It tied the game but Garcia was one out away from getting out of a major jam with only one out allowed. He coaxed a grounder off the bat of catcher J.P. Arenciba to third baseman Daniel Descalo. Descalso's throw sailed up the first base line and pulled Lance Berkman off the bag as he lept high in the air to make the catch.
Berkman in one motion caught the ball and slapped at Arenciba with the tag. The first base umpire ruled the runner safe, but Berkman argued emphatically that he'd made the tag -- and it looked like he did. Instead of the inning being over with the game tied at one, Toronto was up 2-1. And then the next hitter blasted a three-run homer to blow the game up.
It was the fifth homer Garcia allowed all season through 16 starts. And the pitch, which a fatigued Garcia was forced to make at the end of an un-necessarily long inning, never should have happened.
After that, Garcia settled down and put up four more zeros before exiting for a pinch hitter.
The Cardinals offense was once again AWOL during Marine Week.
The Redbirds started the game with their first two runners on base in the bottom of the first. Ryan Theriot walked and Jon Jay turned on a pitch and drove it into right field to put runners at first and third with no one out. But Matt Holliday grounded into a double play to push a run across the plate -- but end the chance for a big inning.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Jay was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Jay's first inning base hit.
Lowlight: The home plate umpire called Holliday out on strikes in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson on a ball that appeared to be low and inside. When Holliday complained, he was quickly ejected. I'm so tired of hot headed umpires throwing out players that the fans paid to watch to satisfy their fragile egos. Here's an idea -- make the right call and you'll have a whole lot less trouble.