The last few weeks have shown us some good things about our Cardinals.
The starting pitching has been solid. The new guys (Fuentes and Mujica) have filled a void in the bullpen. The offense has been powerful — even in come-from-behind circumstances. Basically, all the moving parts have moved at the same time and speed. Plus, there have been flashes of spectacular defense, which, for a defensive-minded, small-ball lover like me, is quite thrilling!
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly in a 4-2 loss to the San Fransisco Giants.
Allen “The Amazing Whacker Guy” Craig. ‘nough said. (Who am I kidding, I have to say more than that!)
First, there was THIS. With the Redbirds down 3-0 in the 3rd inning, Craig whacked an 86-MPH fastball right into Freese’s Landing in center field. (Also, David Freese better watch his back. Craig is out to claim solo rights to that particular patch of grass!)
Second, he did THIS. This time, with the only other Cardinal run being Craig’s first solo homer, AWG sent yet another 86-MPH fastball soaring, this time into the Cardinals bullpen.
And for you defense fans, Jon Jay. Also, Carlos Beltran kept this play alive. And Skip Schumaker has a cannon.
Lance Lynn was far from his usual self. In the first inning, he gave up two singles, then a three-run bomb to Buster Posey (who is, by the way, on fire since the All-Star Break). Then, a lead-off single by Brandon Belt, a stolen base, and a double by Joaquin Arias pushed the San Fransisco lead back to two.
And, unfortunately, that would be enough, despite three shutdown innings from the bullpen.
Oh, when the RISP-LOB monster bites!
Looking more like the offense of June, the Cards were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, leaving 8 aboard on the night. So, it’s not like they didn’t have their chances.
Speaking of chances, both the Reds and the Pirates lost. I suppose that’s good, because the Cards didn’t lose any ground. But it’s ugly because, yet again, they couldn’t capitalize on a great opportunity.
But, like I said, you can’t win ’em all. Today is a new day, and our lovable Baby Giraffe, Joe Kelly takes the mound against Ryan Vogelsong, hoping to get things back on track.
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.