After I wrote my last post, I thought it may have been wishful thinking to believe the Cardinals could sweep San Francisco. We were to face 2 of the best young pitchers the Giants have in Lowry and Lincecum, and then a lefty (Zito) who, like all lefties, will give our lineup fits.
And then the first two games happened. And if certain folks could FIELD their POSITION, LaRussa's boys would have won both games.
First, Friday night's 4-3 loss. Key play: Taguchi's drop of Benji Molina's fly ball led to three runs - and a 4-0 lead. I love Taguchi. He's my favorite Cardinal after AP. I play softball most nights in a Taguchi #99 shirt. He hustles, was willing to re-make his approach at the plate in the minors just to have the opportunity to play at the Major League level in the States, and he's a great defensive outfielder. Although you wouldn't know it from last night's highlights.
Sorry, So - I love ya, but you should have made that catch. Cost us the game.
Of course, it is always difficult to predict what would have happened if a particular play had been made or a hit had been gotten in a specific situation. However, I think it's entirely reasonable to believe LaRussa would have deployed his bullpen almost the same way (maybe Franklin instead of Cate in the eighth) and that the Cardinals would have started the ninth tied 1-1. Then Duncan's double wins it.
Next, tonight's 7-6 loss. Aaron Miles had one of those horrible innings. His 3 errors (in one frigging inning!) led directly to 3 Giant runs, indirectly to a fourth, and the margin of victory. If he fields his position, the Cardinals win this game 6-5. The throw to first on Sweeney's slow roller - shit happens. The ball Randy Wynn hit that went through him - inexcusable. The other bad throw - the first two plays were clearly in his head at that point.
We've lost enough games because our starting pitching is God-awful, or because our big bats haven't produced this year. Now, with the first two finally starting to click, to be betrayed by our defense? That REALLY hurts.
So much for being .500 at home. Best case scenario is we win tomorrow and go into the break 5 games under overall, 21-22 at home. Ugh.
I can't wait for the All-Star break. At least my Rotisserie Fantasy team is kicking ass....
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