The Bottom Line: Today was a bad day for the Cards. First, it was announced that Yadi is out for two months or longer, a massive blow to this team’s playoff chances. Then, the good guys got trounced by a Pirates club they had owned all week. Sigh… You can’t win them all, but some light at the end of the tunnel today would have been nice. When it rains, it pours. (Okay done with the cliches for the rest of the recap.)

Shelby Miller
Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller: Shelby had a brutal outing tonight, giving up four earned runs in only 5 innings of work. Miller was able to scatter five hits across those innings, but four walks proved to be his undoing as two came home to score and the other two kept innings alive for the Bucs to score again. After another ineffective start, you have to ask yourself if Shelby’s back is still bothering him. Since leaving his June 24 start with lower back issues, Miller has given up 13 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings with eight walks. Hopefully the All-Star break will be enough time for Miller to rest because the Cards can’t afford to lose another pitcher.

Fielder’s Choice?: In one of the more bizarre plays I’ve ever seen, the Cards executed the ever elusive 5-8 fielder’s choice tonight. With runners at first and second in the top of the 6th, Pirates’ pitcher Edison Volquez popped up a bunt to third baseman Matt Carpenter. Hoping to start a double play, Carpenter let the bunt drop and fired to second base, only there was no one covering the bag. Destined to be a costly error for the Cards, centerfielder Jon Jay made the heads up play to scoop the ball and sprint from the outfield to make the diving force out at second. Absolutely bizarre.

What’s Next: Today was bad day so let’s just forget it and move on. The Cards start a critical series with the first place Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow behind the arm of Joe Kelly. Tomorrow will be Kelly’s first start back from the 60-day DL for a hamstring injury.

After starting the season on a tear that seemed to be unrelenting. the Brewers have hit a major bump in the road over the past week dropping 5 straight games. With a sweep, the Cardinals take sole possession of first place in the NL Central and finally become top dog (I lied, one more cliche).