And it was even more frustrating than Saturday’s loss or Friday night’s loss — because it was unfortunately so predictable.
The St. Louis Cardinals were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, this time by a score of 4-2. When the game reached the seventh inning tied 2-2, and then the Cardinals couldn’t do a damn thing after having the first two batters reach in the top of the eighth, the ending was kind of a foregone conclusion — right?
Just a matter of which Red it would be?
Last night it was Scott Rolen off Mitchell Boggs with the bases loaded … the new Cardinals version of “Clue.” Who’s going to kill our enthusiasm this game?
Here are some ugly numbers that Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted last night. For the series, the Cardinals went four for 28 with runners in scoring position, and were 1 for 17 in Saturday and Sunday’s games.
There’s the reason for the sweep.
Jake Westbrook was not bad last night. He was in the game too long — when Cubs fans are questioning why he’s still in, you know it’s a problem — and, thus, the outcome. Yes, there were more questionable decisions by Mike Matheny last night. That was one. Pinch-hitting a once-again terrified-looking Tyler Greene against Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning was another. Then again, Greene’s terror was justified — did you know that Aroldis Chapman throws the ball really, really hard? Like, more than 100 mph??? Just in case you missed it the first or second or 56th time, the ESPN announcers wanted to be sure you knew.
Yes, the ESPN crew was annoying. But they were less annoying than Thom Brennaman on Saturday and, I will reluctantly admit, why not focus on the Reds? They were the ones getting the hits that counted.
Although Yadier Molina definitely did his part last night. The booing of Yadi by the Reds fans has become ridiculous by now (and I do think the Cards fans have stopped booing Brandon Phillips, right? At least I thought so). To still boo over something that happened in 2010 should stop — even though the broadcasters, whether ESPN or Fox or even Fox Sports Midwest — still can’t let it go. Anyway, Yadi drove in the first run of the game with an RBI-double in the second inning and singled in the fourth. Then, in the sixth with the Cards down 2-1 and boos ringing throughout Great American Ball Park as he stepped to the plate, he did this. It’s really too bad the clip cuts off when it did, because Yadi’s trip down the dugout receiving line was pretty intense.
Yadi was pretty much the lone bright spot of the night on offense, although Carlos Beltran had two hits — very welcome to see.
Bright spots are helpful, but they’re sure not the story of the weekend. The Cardinals fell to 4 1/2 games back, as the Reds now have a one-game lead over the Pirates. And while there are still games left against both teams, Bernie pointed out some ugly numbers about those last night too:
The Cardinals are 3-8 in last 11 games vs. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Have lost 5 of last 7 to Reds; 3 of last 4 to Pirates.
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) July 16, 2012
Now it’s onto Milwaukee for a three-game series starting tonight — with a new face in the bullpen. My pal Craig of Midwest League Traveler made sure I knew that Trevor Rosenthal is being called up to the big leagues. Whose spot he is taking is unknown at this point, but it’s quite the jump for Rosenthal. Last year he was here in the Quad Cities and was the starting pitcher in the Midwest League All-Star Game at the Bandits home stadium, Modern Woodmen Park. He also was great during the Bandit’s Midwest League Championship playoff run.
Tonight’s game features Lance Lynn against Mike Fiers, starting at 7:10 p.m. Central.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email email@example.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.