Missed Opportunities

Daniel ShoptawAnalyst IAugust 12, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 20:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on against the Kansas City Royals during the game on June 20, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Too bad Mitchell Boggs didn't show up for the first inning.  Too bad Jose Oquendo doesn't realize that Yadier Molina isn't exactly Mr. Swift.  Too bad the big bats couldn't come through in the ninth.  There were plenty of opportunities for the Cardinals to extend their lead in the Central, but none of them came to pass.

There were a lot of flawed heroes in this game.  Albert Pujols hit #37, but couldn't get a hit in the ninth to extend the scoring threat.  Matt Holliday had three hits, but struck out with a runner on and two outs in the ninth.  Molina had three hits, but was thrown out twice on the base paths.  Boggs only gave up one run in five innings, but that was after three in the first.

We'll slap the Goat tag on Jason Motte, since the run he gave up decided the game.  Motte is working on some things, but it's possible that he should get some time in Memphis to figure them out.  While the Cardinals do have a cushion right now, those memories of 2006 and how quickly cushions can deflate are still strong.  I'd rather him spend some time in Memphis and get on track so as to be ready to pitch in October than miss out because he was experimenting in St. Louis.

Pip had some great postgame notes at Fungoes.  Head over there to catch up.

Still, most of the Central, including the Cubs, lost last night, so the Cardinals continue to have their three game lead as one more game was marked off the schedule.  While it's way too early to really keep track of it, the magic number is 47.  Every day is another chance to chip away at that.

Shaq was in the house last night, throwing out the first pitch (and doing a tolerable job of it as well, even if AP was on the plate instead of behind it) and working up interest in his reality show.  It should be an interesting event on Thursday when the two of them go head to head in a hitting contest.  Can't wait to see the episode!

The Cards wrap up the series, which is the last one against Cincinnati in Busch, by sending Chris Carpenter to the mound against Homer Bailey.  Carp was human last time out, giving up four runs against the Pirates, but you have to figure he'll be wanting to redeem himself from that outing.  Nobody currently on the Reds has had much success against him in the past, something that may continue this evening.

St. Louis has had a bit more success against Bailey, with a few long balls sprinkled in there.  Nobody has faced him a lot, though his lack of success around the league this year doesn't bode well for the Redlegs.

Cubs take on the Phillies again tonight, so maybe the Cards can push that lead out a little farther.