Well, a win’s a win, no matter how wild … right? At this point, I’ll take as many wild wins as we can get!
That’s exactly what Tuesday night’s 11-6 win over the Rockies ended up being. Yes, the Cardinals took command late in the game. But it wasn’t a sure win. And it sure wasn’t a pretty one.
Still, here’s a quick look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
They won. So there’s that.
Okay, okay. When you put up 11 runs, there’s probably more good than just the W. Obviously, the offense turned itself back on, just in time to take advantage of the Coors Field advantage. The middle of the lineup did precisely what it was supposed to do.
Here’s the story, at a glance:
Allen “The Amazing Whacker Guy” Craig — 3-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Matt Holliday — 2-for-5 (a double and a HR), 2 runs, 4 RBI
Carlos Beltran — 2-for-5 (also a double and a HR), 2 runs, 2 RBI
David Freese — 2-for-5 (with a HR), 1 run, 1 RBI
Yadier Molina – 2-for-5
Even Skip Schumaker was 2-for-4
That makes six players with multi-hit nights, as the team tallied 11 runs on 15 hits.
Yeah, I suppose that part’s good!
(Also, with Tuesday’s efforts, David Freese posted the best batting average in all of baseball in the month of July — .458. That’s our Hometown Hero!)
There’s the pitching, too. Brian Fuentes, Fernando Salas, and Mitchell Boggs combined for two scoreless innings — a rare feat on this night!
After Matt Holliday’s double and Carlos Beltran’s home run gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead after the top of the first, Kyle Lohse and company gave two runs right back. Lohse gave up a double, a single, and another double before getting Todd Helton and Wilin Rosario to ground out to mercifully end the inning before things got worse.
That wouldn’t be the end of the too=close-for-comfort innings for Lohse, either. His final line was 6 innings pitched, 9 hits, 5 earned runs, two walks, five strikeouts, and a home run.
The Rockies came within a run of tying the game up at five a piece in the sixth inning. But, the Cardinals fortunately pulled away after that, aided by the Holliday and Freese home runs.
Not Lohse’s sharpest night, although there were moments things got out of hand behind him.
Those moments? Those were the ugly ones.
Errors by both Daniel Descalso and Skip Schumaker made innings last longer than they should have, as well as everything else that comes with a pitcher thinking he’s going to get out of the inning, only to have to dial it up again and face someone else.
The errors make it tough on everyone.
But so does not being able to close it out. Even Jason Motte struggled last night, coming in for the 9th, despite his team having an 11-5 lead. A lead-off walk turned into a run when Todd Helton doubled off of a 99 MPH fastball to make it 11-6.
I’d be lying if I said my heart rate didn’t go up a bit at that point (but we’re going to say it was because I was watching the replay of Team USA’s women’s gymnastics team final, not Motte’s pitching!), but Motte dug in and got the next two.
So that kind of went from ugly to okay, but we’re going to count it regardless.
The other ugly thing? The Reds won. Again. Ugh.
Today, it’s Jake Westbrook looking for win number 10, as the Cards look to keep the momentum going. (The Reds have to lose at some point, right?)
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.