Braden Looper threw one of his best games against one of majors best offenses. Yet, only two pitches were enough to let the game slip away from St. Louis as the Phillies defeated the Cardinals 2-1 on Saturday.
Looper pitched seven solid innings allowing only three hits with two walks with four strikeouts. An outing that probably would have resulted in a win any other day, but the Cardinals offense couldn't help him.
Greg Dobbs and Ryan Howard both hit solo home runs in route to Philadelphia's victory but it was all the offense they would need.
One day after the Redbirds bomb shelled the Phillies ace Cole Hamels for five runs, the Cardinals offense stalled again. This time, against Joe Blanton.
Don't get me wrong. Blanton is a solid starter, but how can the Cardinals produce so little against a number three starter and destroy an ace only one night before?
It seems characteristic of St. Louis to do just that. Several losses earlier in the season have come at the hands of lesser opponents and several victories have come from beating aces.
If the Cardinals cannot beat the pitchers they're expected to, playing in October seems like a lifetime away.
Despite Ryan Ludwick continuing to devour pitching by hitting behind Albert Pujols and getting his 26th home run of the season, St. Louis' offense seems erradic to say the least.
Once again the Cardinals left double-digit runners on base, a recurring theme that must have manager Tony LaRussa bouncing off the Busch Stadium walls.
With this loss, the Redbirds continue to play musical chairs with the Milwaukee Brewers for second place in the NL Central and for the NL Wild card lead.