Bottom Line: Matt Holliday broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the 3rd inning, but the Phillies pushed back with four runs against Jaime Garcia in the 5th and 6th innings en route to a 5-1 victory tonight at Busch. AJ Burnett, yes the one who gave up 12 runs in a single game against the Cards last year, pitched a complete game to lead the Phillies to a solid victory. The Cards delivered just seven hits tonight, and they have scored just four runs in the last three games, which has led to a three-game losing streak. On the other hand, the Phillies have won 9 of their last 11 games.
Garcia: Plain and simple, Garcia was not as good as his past two starts when he allowed just one run in his last 14 innings. In total, Garcia pitched five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. After striking out six through four innings, Garcia ran into some trouble in the 5th and 6th innings. He allowed RBI doubles to Burnett and Jimmy Rollins, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead, and then he conceded a solo homer to Marlon Byrd. Garcia has struggled in his past three starts against the Phillies, conceding 12 earned runs over 14 innings. Once again, everything snowballed for Garcia in the middle innings, something he will have to correct if he wants to become a reliable starter for this formidable starting rotation.
Comeback woes: With the loss, the Cards remain winless when trailing in the 7th inning or later. In tonight’s game, the Cards were not much of a threat in the final three innings, mustering only one hit. Overall, this shows how crucial starting pitching has been for the Cardinals this year because when they struggle, as seen with Garcia tonight, the Cards do not possess enough offensive firepower to come from behind.
What’s Next: It’s a battle of the aces as Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.15) takes on Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.78 ERA) at 3:10 CST. The Cards will look to end their three-game skid and earn their first win of this four-game home series.