I know I usually end with really, but this blog deserved a double, heck multiple really’s. So here we were last night gaining on Atlanta who lost to the Mets, for the Wild Card. Then a funny thing happened, the Cardinals had to play tonight, and doing so knowing the Braves won today and the pressure must have been too much for the Birds.
It started with pitching, Jake Westbrook just was all over the place. His location was horrible, and he was not able to get out of the 4th inning, and left with the Cardinals losing 3-0. The Cardinals just never, and I’m including with the rally in the 8th, looked in this game. There were lots of people to blame tonight, I already mentioned Westbrook. But the bullpen was bad, the infield defense was bad (Descalso, Furcal with errors in the bottom of the 8th that extended the inning). McClellan still doesn’t appear sharp in the pen, oh sure he has his moments, but again tonight he was off. Dotel gave up the grand slam to Ibanez, but to be honest the deficit could have been still one run and the Cardinals would not have rallied, they just didn’t look the part of a team that NEEDED A WIN to keep from losing ground in that uphill climb that is the Wild Card. Allen Craig looks lost at the plate and almost made a major mistake in the outfield when he and Jon Jay almost collided and caused what would have made Baseball Tonight’s Not Top Ten. It just looked like the difference between a team that wanted to clinch their division and a team that didn’t want to continue to fight for a slim chance at the playoffs, and that is so frustrating. I am hoping that the Phillies are so hung over from their champagne celebration tonight that they take the field tomorrow with absolutely no care in the world and the Cardinals steal one. The biggest problem is that with the Phillies now clearly the top team in the NL, will they care next week when they make the trip down South to Atlanta. Something tells me guys like Howard, Utley, Victorino, Rollins etc… will probably see little action in that final weekend. So that light at the end of the tunnel, signifying the playoffs is fading and fading fast! So tomorrow and Monday, let’s hope that the Phils take some mercy on the Cardinals and the Mets get back to beating Atlanta, so that light can get somewhat brighter.