Cardinals-Astros: Late-Inning Home Runs Kill Cardinals' Wild Card Chances

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IAugust 29, 2008

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse was dominant through 6.2 innings of work Friday night against the Houston Astros' explosive lineup. That was when relative unknown David Newhan stepped into the batter's box. With his Astros' squad down 2-0 in the seventh inning and a man on base, Newhan took a Lohse offering over the fence to tie up the ballgame.

After that, the Astros' bullpen went to work. Not only was it their pitching, but the offense fed off of Newhan's bomb, with a walk-off home run from Lance Berkman to send the Cardinals into disarray.

I knew the Cardinals had extremely slim chances of winning the NL Wild Card over the Milwaukee Brewers, but after Friday, I'm finally ready to count the Cards out of the 2008 playoff race.

It was a pretty amazing season, especially considering that most experts predicted us to finish fifth within the NL Central division.

But now, with just less than 30 games remaining, the Cardinals are 4.5 games out of the Wild Card slot, virtually burying them under a bunch of Brew Crew rubble.

The Redbirds never could muster any offense against lefty Randy Wolf, who almost exclusively throws breaking balls that sweep more than most erratic brooms.

As FSN's Rick Horton said, "The Cardinals now need pitching to come in each and every night and throw seven to eight innings giving up just two runs or less."

That obviously won't happen every game, but it needs to for the Cardinals to have a chance to overtake the Brewers.

That being said, it's over for the Birds and Bats this year, bring on 2009!

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