The 2009 Cardinals, above all else, are good at one thing; continually crushing the optimism of their loyal fan base.
Many St. Louisans were foolish enough to be excited by the trade that brought Mark DeRosa to the Cards, thinking such a move would fix the various holes in the team's struggling offense. However, the last two games since he joined the team have been sorry spectacles, and seemingly DeRosa hasn't been able to stem that tide.
Tonight at Busch Stadium the Cards were completely shut down by Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum and the rest of the San Francisco Giants losing 10-0. The brilliant Lincecum garnered a two-hit shutout. It is difficult to be angry at St. Louis batters for being fooled by his unconventional pitching style, however, this game was filled with moments that should cause the blood of Cardinals' fans to boil.
For instance, Albert Pujols hit a double in the seventh inning, only to see it wasted by strikeouts by the next two hitters in the lineup: Ryan Ludwick and Chris Duncan.
That leads me to ask: Why in the holy name of Billy Mays is Mark DeRosa batting second? To be fair, he hasn't really done anything offensively for the Redbirds yet and he may not be the prototypical clean-up hitter, but DeRosa should always be batting after Pujols. His role on this downward spiralling team should be to both create runs and to punish any pitcher that strategically just wants to walk Pujols. He is certainly more capable of doing both of these things than Ludwick, Duncan, Ankiel or most of the other hapless current Cardinal lineup.
Another example of the general management's consistent ability to disappoint. They made a rare, good, responsible decision today by putting the struggling Khalil Greene on the disabled list. However, they chose to give his spot on the roster to a hapless right-handed rookie pitcher named Clayton Mortensen.
Coming into the game, he quickly made a big mess of anything. Against the not-too-intimidating Giants' offense he gave up six runs in three innings. The Cardinals have enough terrible middle relievers. I don't think they need any more.
Cardinals' starter, Brad Thompson, struggled a bit more than he should have in this game. No Cardinal hit particularly well.
After watching these last two games, almost all optimism anyone could have about the prospects for this current team is just about gone. This humiliating blowout drops the Cards to second place in their division. They have three more games against the Giants. I will at least try to force some hope those games will go a little better than this one.