Cheap Seats

July 20: Mets 6, Cardinals 5

Dear John Mozeliak: Don't bother.

Why waste the energy of trying to add a piece here or there at the trade deadline to the Cardinals puzzle? There are so many flaws it's impossible to address them all. Why not just spit into the ocean?

The Cardinals showed off all their flaws in one night Wednesday against the Mets. They blew a 4-0 lead with sub par pitching, wasted numerous opportunities to score, played shoddy defense that gave New York extra chances and then had the middle of their line-up completely humiliated by Jason Isringhausen -- a pitcher with so many stitch marks on his right arm that you'd think it was transplanted from a rag doll.

Starting pitcher Kyle McClellan, who hasn't won a game since we were all complaining about how unseasonably cool and wet it was back on May 19, couldn't even retire Mets counterpart RA Dickey to protect the lead he was given.

The Birds plated three in the top of the third, so McClellan responded in the bottom half of the frame by giving up a leadoff single to the seventh-place hitter followed by a gap double to the eighth place batter to make the game 4-1. The he served up a single to Dickey to make it 4-2.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Dickey led off with a single to start a second Mets rally that left the game tied. It looked like McClellan might wiggle out of the jam after retiring the first two hitters in the Mets batting order. But he served up a no doubt homer to Carlos Beltran to knot the game up.

It looked like the Cardinals were going to pull the game out of the fire in the eighth inning when Matt Holliday led off with a single and moved to second and then third on productive outs by Lance Berkman and David Freese. The Mets inexplicably intentionally walked Colby Rasmus -- who is hitting less than .200 over the last two months -- to bring up catcher Gerald Laird with the tying run 90 feet away. Laird saw third baseman David Wright playing deep, so he bunted for a single to make the game 5-4.

It was no use. The ugly defense raised its hand and demanded to be counted in the bottom of the inning when Daniel Descalso made a bad throw to allow the leadoff runner to get on base. Lance Lynn got the next two outs, although the runner moved up to second base on a ground out. But Jason Motte relieved Lynn and his first pitched was stroked into the outfield to make the newfound lead evaporate.

Izzy came in and pitched two shutout innings, striking out Pujols, Holliday and Berkman in the process. And then Fernando Salas went down in flames with a game-losing homer.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and driven in. He ran the bases as well as he hit to help his club manufacture runs.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Laird's go-ahead bunt single.

Lowlight: Albert Pujols, who hit into a pair of double plays Tuesday, was 0-for-2 with a strikeout Wednesday.