Cheap Seats

Cardinals accept a present from the Seattle Mariners, separate from Pittsburgh

Miss Manners indicates that the Cardinals owe the Seattle Mariners a thank you card.

That's because proper gratitude is required when you are presented with a generous gift.

The Redbirds, who have left the offense in the bag for the fourth game in a row, were being shut out in the eighth inning when the Mariners allowed the eventual tying run to get on base with an error on a pop up and then to score on a bad play on the back end of a routine double play ball.

Then in extra innings Seattle allowed the bases to be loaded with two outs and then the winning run to score on a passed ball.

The 2-1 victory allowed the Cardinals to untie themselves from the Pittsburgh Pirates to regain sole possession of first place in the National League Central Division and to gain a game on the Cincinnati Reds who fell to 3.5 games back of St. Louis.

With all due respect to Adam Wainwright, who pitched his guts out for eight innings, I have to give Matt Carpenter the edge as the Cardinals star of the game.

Carpenter made two absolutely unbelievable plays to snuff out Seattle rallies, the dandiest one a ranging stop up the middle that not only saved a run the Redbirds couldn't afford to give. It so surprised the runner that Carp got to the ball that he strayed off third base and got nailed in a run down for a desperately needed double play to end an inning.

Wainwright pitched well enough to win with one run and six hits allowed. And the lack of the victory has in all likelihood ruined his chance to get 20 wins this season. Let's hope that there is no need for him to pitch in relief to try to secure the division crown or a wildcard spot. It would be ideal if the Cardinals could create enough of a cushion that he could take it easy the last week of the season. But that seems equally unlikely.