I was wrong - Mark Mulder didn't give up 6 ER.
I was right - Mark didn't make it past the third.
But I really didn't want to be right in that manner.
Life is cruel, and usually unfair. Mulder has experienced the frustration of not knowing why his pitches wouldn't locate where he wanted them to be, the relief of finding a physical problem, the pain of surgery, the hope of rehab, the frustration of a lack of response, and finally, last night, the resignation that he's never going to come back.
The Cardinals are being close-lipped, and Mulder wouldn't say, but I think everyone knows this was his last trip to a major league mound. If after two surgeries and 4 rehab assignments the shoulder still won't respond, what else is there left to do? What can be done? How much more of this agony is Mark willing/able to endure?
I guess we'll find out.
The game result was secondary to me after that first inning. Thompson pitched his butt off for 4 innings. The Cardinals still can't drive in a runner from scoring position. They should have won this game going away, and it should have been well in hand long before Ryan Howard stepped into the box in the eighth inning.
I was glad to see LaRussa go for the jugular with the bases loaded in the seventh, by sending Mather up to pinch-hit for Miles. Good at bat; didn't work out like we wanted it to (struck out on a tough 3-2 pitch).
And after Ankiel swung at a Lidge slider that bounced in front of the plate, I think everyone knew he was going to strike out. That 0-2 slider Lidge spun up that was perfect; I doubt AP fouls that one off.
So now we're back to 4.5 behind the Cubs, and have a gaping hole in the rotation to fill after the All-Star break. The club has called up Jamie Garcia to take that spot. Anthony Reyes is the more seasoned pitcher, and the more prime time ready; this, as giving Mulder the start, speaks volumes about how the on-field management team feels about his ability (and about their desire to have him in their locker room).
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