Cardinals-Brewers: Wellemeyer Kills The Cards' Momentum

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 22:  Todd Wellemeyer #37 and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals talk against the New York Mets on June 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Can the St. Louis Cardinals continue their hot streak, even with their worst pitcher on the mound? Apparently not. Their game against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight seemed very evenly matched, and both teams made tons of sloppy, amateur mistakes, but, in the end, the Brewers got the best of the Cards and won 5-1.

Todd Wellemeyer did about as awful a job as he usually does, allowing four runs in four innings, before he was mercifully pulled from the game.  The Cardinals middle relievers walked a ton of Milwaukee hitters, and pitched with the inconsistency they've shown all season. Ultimately, though, they were all effective at keeping subsequent Brewers from scoring, until Jason Motte foolishly loaded the bases in the eighth inning, and then the generally awful Dennys Reyes was brought in to throw to the always dangerous Prince Fielder, who singled in the winning run.

The Redbirds jumped out ahead early in the game, but once their poor pitching allowed the Brewers to catch up, St. Louis seemed unable to build any further momentum. Albert Pujols's bat remained silent in this game. Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker continued to hit well. Milwaukee's management, made plenty of errors in judgement, like intentionally walking two of the Cardinals' worst batters, Joe Thurston and Rick Ankiel. However, by and large, the Cardinals failed to take advantage of mistakes like these.

For some reason, not only did Chris Duncan play in the this game, but LaRussa had him batting 5th. Of course, even thoughv the terminally ineffective Duncan had the good fortune to walk twice, his presence did the Cardinals no good at all. If someone this terrible is going to remain in the lineup of a competitive baseball team, he should be batting at the bottom of the order 9th to minimize the damage his lack of skills does to the team. To put him 5th, two spots after one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, should be a complete outrage to anybody that is unfortunate enough to root for this team.

Milwaukee's win cuts the Cards' lead in the Central division down to one game, so, when these two teams meet tomorrow, it's a must-win game for the Cardinals. Plus, since Wellemeyer's not on the mound tomorrow, the game is certain to be less painful to watch than this one was.