The Cards’ lead in the NL Central is shortened to 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates after the Cards lost 4-2 against the Reds Wednesday night.
The Bottom Line: The Cards lost John Lackey (13-9, 3.91) in the 3rd inning due to an ejection after Lackey argued balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Tom Hallion. Lackey’s performance up to this point had been less than stellar; he gave up two runs on four hits and two runs in just over 2 innings of work. This put an increased pressure on the bullpen to perform after a strenuous Tuesday night. Tyler Lyons, Seth Maness, and Carlos Martinez pitched in the game with Lyons receiving the loss. The Cards’ two runs both came in the first inning off of a Matt Adams RBI double and an RBI single by Oscar Taveras.
Lackey’s Hot Head: John Lackey has had a history with being thrown out of games. This is the fourth time in his career that he has been tossed while on the mound. His previous three times had been for allegedly throwing at hitters. Prior to joining the Cards, Lackey had been known to get testy at times. His temper has been in check in recent years, but Wednesday night he showed how seriously he takes his job. His ejection is reflective of the passion he has with regards to succeeding, similar to the same fire the Cards used to have with Chris Carpenter. However, his loud mouth cost the Cards Wednesday night as he lost innings that were much needed out of him. It was untimely and will hopefully not be a problem in the weeks to come. It is crucial that the Cards are prepared to face adversity with the playoffs less than a month away.