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Dodgers-Cardinals: Matt Holliday Not the Only One To Blame for Cardinals' Loss

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIOctober 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07:  Matt Holliday #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out in the seventh inning of Game One of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals, a team many picked to win the World Series, is on the brink of elimination after yesterday’s stunning 3-2 loss at Dodger Stadium.

The Los Angeles Dodgers scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in their best-of-five series with the Cardinals. The easy target for this loss for the Cardinals is LF Matt Holliday.

In case you missed it, the Cardinals were leading 2-1 with two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the ninth. James Loney hit a routine linedrive to left field, but Holliday didn’t see the ball, the ball hit him right in the bread basket, and the ball dropped in.

“I didn’t see the ball,” Holliday said. “Obviously, I can catch a ball that’s hit right at me. It’s very difficult to swallow. We had a chance to win the game. It was unfortunate that it happened when it did.”

Holliday’s drop opened the floodgates for the Dodgers and they never looked back. Now it’s going to be easy to blame Holliday for this loss. After all, he did make the crucial error in the bottom of the ninth inning.

However, Holliday’s error was just a small piece in yesterday’s puzzle. Remember, even after Holliday’s error, there were still two outs and a runner on second. There were still plenty of opportunities for the Cardinals to get out of that inning with a win.

The reality is the Cardinals are playing bad baseball.

Outside of Adam Wainwright, who has been the only Cardinal to show up in this series, everyone was to blame for this loss.

Let’s talk about the fact that the Cardinals were 0-9 with runners in scoring position yesterday and are just 3-for-22 for the series.

Someone should tell Brendan Ryan and his stupid mustache that the series started two days ago. He couldn’t get a hit in a big spot if his life depended on it right now.

Let’s talk about Colby Rasmus’ horrific baserunning mistake in the top of the seventh. After Rasmus doubled home Mark DeRosa to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead, Rasmus, for reasons only known to him, tried to advance to third on the throw home.

Rasmus was gunned out at third for the first out of the inning. You can never, ever, ever, ever make the first out at third base—especially in that situation. I thought that was one of the biggest plays of the game.

LaRussa was so upset, it was like someone screamed "last call" at the bar.

Let’s talk about Ryan Franklin, who had the same look on his face as Calvin Schiraldi did in Game Six of the 1986 World Series. You know, that “I would rather be anywhere but here” look on his face.

Let’s talk about Yadier Molina and his pathetic attempt to block a curveball in the dirt in the ninth inning. For a guy who is supposed to be the “best defensive catcher” in the game, that was an inexcusable play.

The bottom line is the Cardinals have done everything that can to give these games to the Dodgers. Now, I don’t want to act like the Dodgers have done nothing in this series. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Let’s especially give credit to the Dodgers’ bullpen. For the second game in a row, they completely shut down the Cardinals in the late innings. The George Sherrill acquisition is getting better and better with each passing game.

The Dodgers have taken advantage of the opportunities given to them. That’s why they are up 2-0.

Game Three is Saturday at 6:07 ET. Here is something to chew on, Cardinal and Dodger fans: No NL team has come back from a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series era. It has been done four times in the AL.

 

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