Ugh. Can’t we just go home already? The Cardinals lost by a score of 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon, in one of the more bizarre games I’ve seen this season. Let’s start with Adam Wainwright, who, despite a rough four-run first inning that included three Cardinal errors, was fantastic, giving up only one earned run over seven innings pitched. The reality is that Wainwright has pitched significantly better than his record shows, and the Cards just can’t seem to gather up any run support on days that he’s on the mound (or anyone else as of late for that matter).
In the top of the second, David Freese led off the inning with his 14th home run of the season, upping his RBI total to 52 on the season, and Allen Craig cut the deficit to two runs after hitting a solo home run in the third, also his fourteenth on the season. Ultimately, though, the name of the game in this one was, yet again, a lack of timely hitting. The Cardinals left 11 runners on base Wednesday afternoon, including the bases loaded in the ninth inning as Francisco Rodriguez was just barely able to convert his 294th career save.
I would say the Brewers’ bullpen as a whole was pretty solid on Wednesday. After Tyler Thornburg left after only 4 2/3 innings, John Axford, the man responsible for Monday night’s meltdown, came into the game and pitched 1 1/3 innings, earning his third win on the season. Manny Parra and Jose Veras followed, paving the way for K-Rod in the ninth and Milwaukee’s eventual 44th win on the season.
Let’s also not forget Trevor Rosenthal who made his Major League debut on Wednesday afternoon, throwing ascoreless (though certainly not flawless) eighth inning. Despite loading the bases, Rosenthal seemed to have a cool and collected demeanor about him, one that I hope to see continues throughout his rookie outings.
This road trip was just a disaster. Yes, Monday night was a fun game to watch, but overall, these were all very winnable games for the Cardinals. It just continues to astound me that a team with this good of a lineup just can’t seem to come through when they need a big hit the most. Of course it didn’t help today that Holliday and Beltran were out of the starting lineups, but it’s nevertheless frustrating to see opportunity after opportunity just become wasted.
What’s Next: The Cardinals travel back home to Busch Stadium to host the Chicago Cubs for a three-game set beginning on Friday night where Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80) will oppose Ryan Dempster (5-3, 1.86). I hate using the phrase “must-win” in July because it’s…July, but the Cards could really use a victory to start off this homestand…