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The Cards blow another one

Jul 8, 2010, 8:54 AM EDT

I wish I didn’t know so many cool Cardinals fans, because it would be nice to gloat about Tony “master of the bullpen” La Russa having to suffer through bullpen implosions on consecutive nights. But I do know a lot of cool Cardinals fans, and that takes all the damn fun out of it.

Last night’s loss ended when Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff, walkoff homer in the ninth, but the roots of this loss were in the earlier innings and, in all likelihood, Tuesday night’s game. Earlier innings in which La Russa had to burn through multiple relievers, leaving him with Evan MacLane — who had just been called up — to handle the ninth. Mitchell Boggs, Trever Miller and Jason Motte were either gassed or just didn’t have it or both before MacLane came in, and because of it the Cards frittered away a five-run lead for the second time in as many nights.

The killer in all of this is that these losses have served to waste big offensive nights for St. Louis after they they had struggled to score runs for so damn long. Indeed, the Cardinals scored more than seven
runs both nights — the first time they’d done that since the end of May — but it was all for naught.

But I guess it could be worse for Cardinals fans.  They could be Knicks fans.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    “But I guess it could be worse for Cardinals fans. They could be Knicks fans.”
    Or Phillies fans…ugh. 6 out now. Watching Cliff Lee kick ass in Seattle. Hearing our GM say he is in the market for a front-line pitcher. Watching Domonic Brown have a 1.104 OPS in triple A while Jayson “Big Money” Werth leaves runners stranded on third with no outs, Shane pops out every other at bat, and Old-Man Ibanez just gets older.
    If Amaro had any balls, he would bring up Brown TODAY and sit somebody’s ass on the bench. Of course, if he had any balls(or brains), he would not have traded Cliff Lee to begin with.

  2. Levi Stahl - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    I keep trying to hold to the calm perspective that Danup suggests at Viva El Birdos today: ultimately, these are just losses like any other, with last night’s being, if not inevitable, then at least foreseeable after the burning of the bullpen the night before. If the starters had given up five or six runs and they’d lost that less dramatic way, things wouldn’t feel so apocalyptic.
    I’ve still got a lot of confidence in this team, because their flaws seem solvable with a bit of luck and minimal tinkering. Still, three games back is not where you want to be at the break. It’d be nice to win out through the weekend and close that gap.

  3. adam - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Actually Craig, this was a perfect example of LaRussa’s handling of the bullpen. You say that Miller and Boggs didn’t have it, but they only threw a combined 10 pitches.
    When your bullpen has been blown through in recent games, maybe you should let your guys face more than 2 guys. Granted, I didn’t watch the game, but looking at the box score it looks like Boggs came in the top of the 8th, got one guy out and allowed a hit (not a HR) and was pulled after throwing SIX PITCHES so LaRussa could use his LOOGY, Miller. Miller went to a 3-2 count before walking his hitter, so here comes Tony to make another switch and Motte didn’t have it.
    Rewind to the night before and LaRussa, for some reason, pulls Motte after a six pitch inning. Not for a pinch hitter, but so he could bring in Dennys Reyes to blow the game and make him use Franklin. When will he learn that it’s ok to use a pitcher for more than 1 inning if they’ve only thrown 6 pitches? Does he really believe it’s going to wear out their arms? Shoot, he let Franklin throw 28 pitches in his 1/3 of an inning and he can’t let Motte throw #7?
    If you can’t tell, I despise LaRussa for making this type of managing commonplace.

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