Five years ago, the St. Louis Cardinals stupidly traded a promising young starting pitcher, Danny Haren, for the ultimately useless Mark Mulder. Tonight, that trade officially came back to bite them in the ass.
Now an All-Star pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Haren completely overpowered the St. Louis lineup, carrying his team to a 4-2 victory. He only allowed one run, four hits and two walks in eight innings.
Cardinals starter, Adam Wainwright duelled with Haren nicely for a while, and, for a few hopeful innings, the game was tied at one until the sixth inning. Then, for the second night in the row, Arizona catcher, Miguel Montero, hit a home run.
After that, the Cardinals' corps of middle relievers did what it usually does, screwed everything up and made it more difficult for their team to catch up and win a game.
With few exceptions, the Cardinals' offense couldn't seem to figure out Haren at all. Mark DeRosa, in his comeback game after a couple of weeks on the disabled list, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He still doesn't have one hit in a St. Louis uniform.
Albert Pujols went 1-for-3, hitting a run scoring RBI. The only other Cardinal run came from the unlikely bat of Joe Thurston. Ryan Ludwick had yet another good day at the plate, although none of his two hits resulted in runs.
All of the other Cardinals hitters were shut down by Haren. Now, it is difficult to harshly judge the offense of a team for being shut down by a potential Cy Young winning pitcher. However, in games like this one, the chinks in St. Louis's armor are clearly showing.
At this point, DeRosa is close to being considered yet another washout St. Louis trade. His lack of offensive production means that the Cardinals still don't currently have a reliable starting third baseman or left fielder.
If the Brewers win tonight (and since they're playing the Cincinnati Reds, that is highly likely), the Cardinals will only be a game and a half in front of their division. With a few more games like the one tonight, that lead won't last long. Here's hoping that DeRosa can start justifying his large paycheck sometime soon.