Worst Game Yet
By Cardinal 70
There have been a number of indications that the offense isn't clicking as well as you'd think for a team leading the division. Larry at VEB outlined most of the issues yesterday before the game. Unfortunately, a lot of them came home to roost last night. Nobody seemed to be able to get anything going, perhaps in part because they'd not seen much of the pitcher before. Like they said on the broadcast, though, everyone seemed a little out of it, a little lethargic. An inspired game plus a long plane ride will do that, I guess.
Plenty of Goats to go around. If one was so inclined, they could probably indict the whole offense. However, because I saw the play and it, perhaps, was a bit of a turning point, the Goat goes to Cesar Izturis for being thrown out at third in a one-run game. After he hesitated around second, he really should have backed up and returned to the bag. You hate to play the "if" game, but if nothing changes about that inning except that, the Cardinals tie the game. Schumaker came next with a hit that would have at least moved him to third, then Duncan flew out for what would have been a sac fly. Of course, Correia probably would have gone after the guys differently so you don't know that would have happened, but it was reasonable. And then perhaps Wainwright goes after Lewis differently in the bottom of that inning with it tied. Lots of ifs, but nothing outlandish.
Not much on the Hero side. Wainwright threw a pretty good game, save the extra-base hits to Fred Lewis, but he tired late and gave up four runs. Call it a makeup, but since he drove in the only run and he's been close a number of times, we'll give last night's Hero to Troy Glaus. At least he let the Cardinals avert the shutout.
The Cardinals try to avert their first two-game losing streak and stay on top of the NL Central this evening as Kyle Lohse takes on Barry Zito. Here's what I wrote about this game in the CardsClubhouse series preview:
Friday's game is Barry Zito vs. Kyle Lohse. Talk about opposites, at least in the free agent market. Zito signed a huge deal last year, one that he hasn't quite lived up to, while Lohse wound up signing a bargain deal with the Cardinals this offseason and has earned every penny. Zito has faced the Dodgers and Brewers this season. Both times he lasted only five innings and gave up at least 4 runs.
You'd like to think the bats would come alive against Zito, especially if this new patience idea is working. He's only walked four in his 10 innings, but he's not striking anyone out so the batters should be able to wait and get the pitch they want. A 6.30 ERA, a 1.90 WHIP and a .381 BAA against indicate that, at least this year, that's what people are doing.
If Lohse can pitch close to what he's been doing, the Cards should be able to take the game. The Giants didn't pound Wainwright last night, so he should be able to get by with only allowing a run or two.