The storyline following Thursday's game was pretty simple: Cardinals pitcher Mitchell Boggs was awful. Boggs tossed six innings, but allowed ten runs on ten hits, and committed a costly error in the first inning to allow the New York Mets to run out to a 3-0 lead.
This is now the third straight awful start by Cardinals pitchers. What are we to do with the NL-best Chicago Cubs coming into town Friday night?
Apparently as a temporary solution, the Cardinal bats have been holding up their side of the bargain. A problem came Thursday, though, as the Cardinals pounded out nine hits, but could muster up just one run in the losing effort.
One of the nine hits certainly didn't come from first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols has looked stressed and frantic at the plate, perhaps because he's eyeing his 300th career home run. It's simple for the Cards though—they can't have him hitting 0-7 in two games at home, that isn't in the recipe for winning ballgames.
Another big issue I have with tonight's contest is the way in which St. Louis' defense played. Aside from Boggs' error, there were many misplayed balls in the outfield, including centerfielder Rick Ankiel running in towards a ball that was flying over his head, eventually a triple by Jose Reyes.
Friday night's game won't be any walk in the park for the Cardinals, either. The Cubs' ace Carlos Zambrano will be making his return to the mound after a short DL stint to face Braden Looper. Sitting 2.5 games back, the Cardinals find themselves in the beginning of a crucial series at the midpoint in the season.
There are two positives I can take away from a 11-1 loss like this: the play of Jason Isringhausen and Ron Villone. These two have been much-maligned all year by the St. Louis media and fans alike (myself included), but they combined to pitch three innings, while giving up just one hit.
If we can get bullpen work like that in our close games, the future looks quite bright for the Redbirds.
For now, with a big series coming up, the Cardinals better find their pitching soon, or else the broom might come out down by the Mississippi.