According to manager Tony La Russa, the only problem with the Cardinals is their offense. Oh, how I beg to differ.
The bullpen once again cost St. Louis another game as the Redbirds were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in their latest loss of 4-3 on Thursday.
The offense has been horrible, La Russa was right on the money on that point. However, he refused to acknowledge the elephant sitting in the room, the bullpen implosions.
With St. Louis protecting a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth inning, Ryan Franklin took the mound. What followed could only be described as the "same old song 'n dance".
Once again, Franklin destroyed another chance for the Redbirds to salvage any dignity to keep within striking distance in the NL Central. Ryan Braun blasted a two-run homer to put Milwaukee back on top and to seemingly put the game out of reach.
The would-be closer allowed arguably Milwaukee's best player to defeat them and drive them back down in both the NL Central and NL Wild Card races. The Brewers heavy hitters did a lot of damage as flashes of "Sherman's March" left in the wake of their departure.
Their All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun was nine-for-19 with three RBI and two home runs in the series. J.J. Hardy hit an incredible 11-for-20 with three RBI and a home run. Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder both hit over a .350 average for the series as well.
Franklin was not the only problem as the Cardinals failed to answer back with any offense in their final outs.
Ryan Ludwick, Jason LaRue, and Troy Glaus provided absolutely no offense as they each struck out twice in the contest and went a combined zero-for-11. Not exactly what I would call "protection".
For the fourth straight game Salomon Torres factored into the decision with his third straight save with a win on Monday to boot.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. What are the Cardinals waiting for?