Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks got ugly. Very ugly.
No, I don’t want to talk about Randy Choate or Maikel Cleto or a depleted bullpen that meant of course they were going to lose or two losses in a row (for the first time since the end of April, by the way).
No talk about Ty Wigginton either, just because.
1. Joe Kelly
Though some of the ever-overreacting Twitter crowd were calling for Joe to be sent back to the minors in the second inning when he gave up two consecutive hits and a run, the truth is Joe did a good job in his first start of the year. He threw 80 pitches, lasted 5 2/3 innings, gave up two runs although the second was unearned thanks to Matt Holliday making a cringe-worthy error, and retired 12 consecutive batters between the second and the sixth.
After all his ups and downs out of the bullpen, an outing like this was terrific to see — and gave the team what it needed last night: innings on the mound.
And while all that is nice, Joe should be a positive based on this alone. Right?
2. Matt Carpenter
No one is hotter than Matt Carpenter right now. (Take that however you want.) He went 4 for 5 last night with a double and three singles to up his batting average to .333 and extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He’s hitting a ridiculous .545/.600/.727 in June. Granted, it’s only through five games — but he’s 12 for 22 with two doubles and a triple (and those three hit-by-pitches).
3. David Freese
Speaking of hitting streaks, Mr. Freese singled in the sixth inning to increase his own streak to 15 games — the longest active streak in the majors.
4. Shane Robinson
Shane started in centerfield for the second straight game and made his presence felt with the bat for the second straight game also. Though expectations weren’t necessarily high when he came to the plate in the fourth with two on and only one out (hi, Gerb!), Shane singled to drive in Matt Holliday and tie the game at 1. He had a second inning single as well.
5. Carlos Beltran
Though not quite to Matt Carpenter levels, Carlos is pretty hot right now too — and he continued his streak last night also. Though he only had one hit, a single in the seventh, it drove in two runs. He now has a seven-game hitting streak plus a four-game RBI streak and is batting .400/.400/.550 in June — with 8 RBI in four games.
So, to conclude, some words from Joe Kelly:
“We are playing good baseball,” Kelly said. “But it is baseball. You’re going to lose some games, you’re going to win some games. I mean, two in a row is not that big of a deal. We’ll be fine. We’ll get right back out there tomorrow.”
Yep, game four of the series with the Diamondbacks is tonight beginning at 6:15 p.m. (an hour earlier than usual). Ian Kennedy and Shelby Miller are the starters. Tonight also kicks off the MLB draft, meaning it will be a busy night of baseball present and baseball future.
Christine Coleman is the lead 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.