The Cardinals improved the bullpen and the defense prior to the trade deadline. But it doesn't seem like they can stop the trend of their starting pitchers dominating for several innings -- then falling completely apart.
Chris Carpenter owned the Brewers line-up for four innings, allowing a hit a walk and no runs. But in the fifth he surrendered five straight hits and five runs to erase a 2-0 lead from a two-out Matt Holliday homer in the first.
The Birds had a chance to get back into the game in the sixth when Holliday, Lance Berkman and David Freese hit back-to-back-to-back singles. But Skip Schumaker hit a grounder to second that was called a double play. Insult was added to injury when replays showed Schumaker was safe by half a step. That would have made the score 5-3 and the next hitter, Yadier Molina, singled to lead off the seventh. That single in the sixth would have tied to the game and who could say what would have happened from there?
While it makes one scratch their head in wonder, the Cardinals have no one to blame but themselves for the loss. They hit into far too many double plays and it's disturbing how poor their execution is with runners on base.
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The loss drops the Redbirds to a disturbing 3 1/2 games behind Milwaukee and puts them in a position where they must win to keep from falling out of striking distance.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday was 2-for-3 to end his slide at the plate. He homered, scored once and drove in two.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's homer
Lowlight: The double play parade goes on and on and on...