It's a little checklist that Cardinal fans go through before games, to prepare themselves for what is to come:
Is the opposing pitcher someone the Cardinals haven't seen much of? Check.
Does the opposing pitcher have a high ERA? Check.
Is the opposing pitcher lefthanded? Hey, he's not! Maybe they have a chance!
Of course, sometimes it just doesn't matter what hand they throw with
. It's tough to find things to make you more depressed after so many this season, but try this one on for size: Jeff Samardzija, who threw 5.2 scoreless innings in Busch Stadium last night for the Cubs, was beat around for seven runs in six innings in his last start, against the Memphis Redbirds. That's right, the AAA team could beat a guy that stymied the major league squad.
Matt Holliday had two hits and drove in the only run. Yadier Molina had two hits and two walks. The Cards were able to get runners on, but they couldn't get them in. Which I guess shows the difference between bad right handed pitchers and bad left handed pitchers. They wouldn't have even gotten the hits against the lefty.
You have to think that Jaime Garcia is wearing down a little bit. Not surprising, being that it is the end of a very long season. He still pitched a pretty solid game, but he admitted after the game that, earlier in the season, he shakes off the error (charged to Skip Schumaker but really committed by Brendan Ryan) and gets out of the jam.
I also wonder if this late season fade isn't going to affect his Rookie of the Year chances. Even if he'd won last night, or at least gotten a no decision, would voters start to dismiss Cardinal candidates (and this encompasses Albert Pujols and Adam Wainwright) because the team fell apart down the stretch? Pujols isn't going to get the MVP because Votto has been just as good and is on a winning team. Will Garcia lose out to someone like Buster Posey because the Giants get a little more attention in the last few weeks? I'm not saying it'd be a travesty if Posey won, just wondering if, in a close race, exposure and positive thinking about a team might not be a deciding factor.
You know it's gotten bad when even the players aren't watching the scoreboard anymore
. Obviously they are trying to win--some of the defense last night proved that they hadn't mailed in the rest of the season--but with a tragic number of 13, it's going to take one of those "a book is written about it 20 years later" type of comebacks and this team hasn't shown it could pull off a run like that. Even if they won all their games left, Cincinnati probably isn't going to fold either. So, to some degree, the sooner they are eliminated the better, so we can stop even pretending there's a chance for October.
Not that I'm wanting the season over, don't get me wrong. I hate the wasteland that is the offseason. I miss being able to turn on a game nightly. I miss having the Post-Dispatch updating with numerous stories on a regular basis. If you want to get really selfish, I miss having topics to talk about in this space. It's darn hard to blog in the offseason!
Looks like Trever Miller might actually be able to pitch again this season
. I'd pretty much written him off due to the fact they didn't need to push him to return, but it sounds like things are fairly positive and he might even face the Cubs.
Also in that article was the note that Pujols and Colby Rasmus had had a sitdown. It sounds like it was a good conversation and that they are on the same page again. Which is good, because if Rasmus got on the bad side of AP and TLR, he'd definitely be a goner.
Wainwright goes tonight, looking for Win #19 on his quest to get to 20. He probably has four starts left counting tonight, so he has a solid chance at it. Randy Wells goes for the Cubs, which means there's no telling what could happen. Once this year, the Cards scored five on him before he could record a single out. The next time, he shut them out for seven innings. We'll see which team shows up!