St. Louis v. Milwaukee: Cardinals Fall to Brewers as Lohse Falters Near the End

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst IJuly 22, 2008

Through six innings the Cardinals young interim ace was perfect. He had command of all of his pitches and had the Brew crew guessing all night long.

The seventh and eighth innings would be Lohse's undoing as the Brewers defeated the Cardinals 4-3 on Tuesday night.

As Lohse was cruising through the innings and racking up strikeouts, he was being extremely efficient in his pitches. At the time of the eight inning, he hadn't even got his pitch count up to triple digits.

A very good and efficient sign for any starting pitcher, as Lohse needed to pitch deep into the ball game after unexplainable bullpen collapses in recent games.

A series of hits by J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder in the eighth inning would yield more runs to eventually tie the game. Lohse's brilliant start now wasted.

St. Louis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against former teammate Jeff Suppan it what looked like a cruising victory. Oh, how the momentum can change in an instant.

The Redbirds had been living by the sword with comeback wins against the Padres in the previous series. It would prove to be their downfall against their divisional foes.

For the second straight night Bill Hall hit a go-ahead solo home run to put Milwaukee ahead in the late innings. For the second straight night Bill Hall stood and admired his handy work.

Of course, it was against the bullpen. This time against Kyle McClellan.

The Redbirds offense was not a huge disappointment but, it left a bit to be desired. It seems St. Louis loves to jump out to early leads but they always find a way to blow those leads. Whether it be by starting pitching, defensive lapses, or bullpen implosions.

Ryan Ludwick managed the only bright spot left for the Redbirds as he belted his 23rd home run of the year. However, his raw power wouldn't be enough to down the Brewers.

The Cardinals once again left seven runners on base as they could not find ways of extending their early lead. This disturbing trend of a sputtering offense and bullpen implosions cannot be ignored.

To me, a fresh new face needs to be added to spark life into St. Louis' bullpen. They need it now, not a couple of weeks from now.

With CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets set to take the mound the next two games, a sweep could very possibly happen. Right now, those wins could all come from a bullpen that looks overworked and inefficient to say the least.