Baby Birds Earn Wings In Giant Defeat

There were a few bright spots in last night’s 12-7 Cardinals loss to the Giants, which featured the major league debuts of pitchers Lance Lynn and Maikel Cleto.

Lynn was perfect for the first 3 1/3 innings. Allen Craig had an RBI double and Colby Rasmus a 2-RBI triple to give the Cards a 3-0 lead in the third. RYAN THERIOT NOW HAS A 16-GAME HITTING STREAK. Colby had a career-high six RBI after a grand slam in the seventh. Cleto pitched a perfect eighth inning.

Oh, and Aubrey Huff left town after the game.

The rest of the game? Not so bright. Especially the defense.

Lynn’s stats for the game won’t show that he actually pitched well in his major league debut, even on three days’ rest. (The puzzling fact of why he started on short rest was explained well by our buddy Bob Netherton before the game.) And his start would have gone much better if Theriot and Colby had completed makeable plays.

With one out and Miguel Tejada — the first base runner allowed by Lynn — at first base, Freddy Sanchez hit a grounder to short that Mr. Dan pronounced as a double-play ball on Fox Midwest. It should have been, except the ball bounced up and hit Theriot in the chest. He dropped it, then picked it up and shoveled it to Tyler Greene to get Tejada. Sanchez was safe. No double play.

So, of course, Aubrey Huff — who shouldn’t even have been up — launched a homer to center to make the score 3-2 Cards.

In the sixth, Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez hit a ball deep to left-center. Both Allen Craig and Colby ran for it … and it dropped between them. At least Colby acknowledged his mistake:

“I kind of gave up on it there a little bit,” Rasmus said. “I ain’t going to blame it on anything, I just missed the play.”

Things got worse from there, as three more runs scored in the inning to drive Baby Bird Lynn from the game.

The other Baby, Cleto (who was called up from Double A for the game) came in for the seventh. He throws very hard, that’s for sure — most pitches seemed to be 97-98 mph. (And he chomps on his gum about as hard as he throws.) He also was wild at first, walking two before giving up a double and back-to-back homers — including Huff’s second.

Colby’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh made the score more interesting at 10-7 Giants. So Miranda’s question about him on Monday — what is going on, son? — still remains valid.

In the ninth, showing he doesn’t just pick on pitchers new to the majors, Huff hit his third homer off Brian Tallet to make it 12-7.

Oh well.

The Cards had plenty of chances throughout the game — Jonathan Sanchez walked six and the Cards left 10 on for the night. They added to the league-leading GIDP total thanks to Theriot and now have 2,831 for the season. (Or 72, if you’re a stickler about accuracy.)

Perhaps the best that can be said is that Baby Birds Lynn and Cleto definitely showed some promise, which bodes well for the future. And, thankfully, the Cardinals are done playing the Giants for the year.

Next up: the Baby Bears, in for the weekend. Which means the Ryan Theriot Fan Club will be gearing up to support our guy against his evil former team. GO RYAN! KEEP THAT 16-GAME HITTING STREAK GOING! (And please, dear God, NO MORE SCREWING UP ON DEFENSE.)

We mean it.



Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email aaronmilesfastball@gmail.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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