I mean OMG!!!!! Now normally taking 2 of 3 on the road in Atlanta would be a big time positive for the St Louis Cardinals, except for the circumstances that surrounded the Cardinals heartbreaking 6-5 loss to the Braves. Let’s start at the beginning, Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia was flat out dealing early and Braves starter Derek Lowe was struggling. Garcia was staked to an early 4-0 lead, and then things started going horribly wrong. In the Braves half of the 5th McCann singles, Uggla flies out to right and then Gonzalez takes Jaime deep for a two run jack and it’s now 4-2 Cards. Joe Mather walks, McLouth singles moving Mather to third and then PH Hicks singles to score Mather and now it’s only 4-3 good guys.
In the 6th is where I think one of the worst things that could happen to the Cardinals did… Cards third basemen David Freese, who we all say is as important a field position player as there is on the roster. Remember Cardinals fans when he was hurt last year and the Cardinals 3rd base situation was, well not good would be putting it lightly. So up comes David Freese in the top of the 6th, and what happens? He gets hit by a pitch and what would turn out to be a broken bone in his hand! Can this guy catch a break?!?!? He was off to a good start and again a potential injury that could cost the Cardinals their regular third baseman. So Freese, who is still in the game is on first. This actually happened after Berkman had singled and then Yadi got a single. This would load the bases for, wait for it…THE RIOT! Or as I want to call him THE CAUSE OF A RIOT! As the Cause would ground into a rally killing DP (3rd to Catcher to 1st) and a blown opportunity. More on the “Cause” later….
So the Braves half of the 7th and Uggla (who I still wish was the Cardinals every day second baseman) doubles to deep center. In comes Jason Motte, and gives up a grounder to Albert at 1st, and our gold glove first baseman boots the ball into center and allows Uggla to score. This is Albert’s fourth error already this year, and again the infield defense is cause for concern right now. Mather then gets on due to a FC and is driven in by PH Eric Hinske and now it’s 5-4 Braves.
The Cardinals rally again in the 8th when Matt Holliday (has there been anyone hotter than him and Berkman right now, and PLEASE GOD LET THEM STAY HEALTHY), doubles and moves to third on a Berkman sacrifice and then scores on a Yadi SF and game tied 5-5. Then “THE CAUSE” K’s to end the 8th. Which brings us to the ninth, and it should be noted that Ryan Franklin actually pitched a 1-2-3 8th, but why he was brought in for the ninth? Your guess is as good as mine unless Tony LaRussa wants to save his young guns for the upcoming Florida series at home starting Monday. Maybe they will find that mysterious injury that forces Franklin to the DL, who knows? But having said that … out for the ninth trots ole Ryan Franklin. Now in his defense he forces the first batter (Alex Gonzalez) to pop out to SS, but oh wait playing SS for the Cardinals is none other than “THE CAUSE” who DROPS THE BALL!!!!! NICELY DONE “CAUSE”, YOU STILL THINK YOU’RE ON THE CUBS? Is it too late to get Brendan Ryan back? So runner on due to the error, which is “The Cause’s” 7th of the season, inexcusable!!!!!!! Mather sacrifices Gonzalez to second, Franklin then proceeds to walk McLouth and then PH Conrad a bloop single scores Gonzalez…game over!
Now I’m not going to totally pounce on Ryan Franklin here, he was the recipient of shoddy defense by “THE CAUSE”, but still he did his level headed best to get only one out. The record will show Franklin took the loss, but I think this loss should be put on most of the team here. On a side note MLB Network just pointed out that the Cardinals bullpen has now got a total of 7 losses which is worst in the Majors, not good guys. Albert and The Cause’s errors hurt, but what hurts worse is what could be a stint on the DL for David Freese. I think I speak for all of the fans of Cardinal Nation when I say that Freese is snake bitten and the injury bug has bitten him again. I just hope this is not something long term, I guess we’ll know when the team gets back to St Louis for a lengthy 7 game home stand vs the Marlins and Brewers. I think this team has some problems going into that home stand, and for a first place team with a 16-12 record and a team that still manages to win every series since early on, there are still questions. Infield defense, Freese’s status… I mean my God Albert Pujols played third base at the end… that’s it guys showcase Albert at third for teams that were set at first base but not necessarily at third….Thanks Alot! And the bullpen, if indeed Franklin is going to stay there I’m scared. In fact guys and gals, I’m scared anyway. Fingers crossed folks and to you Ryan “THE CAUSE OF RIOT”