The Cardinals suffered their 10th
walk-off loss on the road in 27 road defeats Sunday, but this 4-3, 10-inning
defeat at Pittsburgh wasn't so much a byproduct of poor relief as it was spotty
defense, lack of late-inning clutch hitting and unfortunate baserunning.
The Cardinals committed
three errors, including a throwing error in the 10th by catcher Gerald Laird on
a steal attempt by Pittsburgh's Xavier Paul, who had beaten out an
infield hit to reach base. Shortstop Ryan Theriot, who had another sloppy game
in the field, allowed this throw to skip by him and Paul got to third. A
sacrifice fly by Pittsburgh third baseman Chase D'Arnaud won the
game for the Pirates and knocked the Cardinals out of first
Earlier in the 10th, Paul
beat right-hander Jason Motte to the bag on a ball Paul had hit behind the bag
to first baseman Albert Pujols, who lobbed a throw to Motte covering. Motte
should have got to the bag first, but didn't. "It's testament to not making a
simple play. It should have been two outs and nobody on," said manager Tony La
Russa. "And we wound up losing the game."
The Cardinals, who did
not have a hit in eight at-bats with men in scoring position, had a runner at
second with one out or no outs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings
and did score any of those runners.
One of the errors was by
second baseman Skip Schumaker, who has had just two this season. Theriot, on the
other hand, has 16, and has shown little range or arm.
The bottom of the 10th
marked the only time in the three-game series that the Cardinals had
"We did some fundamental
things right. We also did some fundamental things wrong," said La Russa. "And we
wound up losing the game."
Laird said, "For the most
part, we've got to play better fundamental baseball. We've got to get the bunts
down; we've got to cut down on the errors. In a close game like that, you've got
to execute small ball and we didn't make the plays."
RHP Kyle Lohse, who had a
finger inflammation which bothered him in his last start, went five innings,
giving up just two runs before the Cardinals pinch-hit for him in the sixth.
Lohse didn't walk anyone and fanned four but manager Tony La Russa noted Lohse
had allowed opposing RHP Charlie Morton to hit a deep sacrifice fly with a man
at third and one out in the fifth as the Pirates tied the game. And La Russa
added that Lohse had trouble recently going through a lineup for the third time.
"We had a fresh (bull)pen," said La Russa.
CF Colby Rasmus, who had
been hitting .182 for the last nine weeks, had a strong game with his 10th
homer, a single and a hard out to right field. He hadn't started since
C Gerald Laird executed
well with a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt. Until the eighth inning, that
is. That's when Laird, after a leadoff double, got caught off second as he was
looking to advance on a potential sacrifice attempt by 3B Daniel Descalso, who
did not make contact with the pitch and then Laird was picked off by Pirates C
"That's not (Laird's)
fault," said La Russa, who instead faulted Descalso for not bunting at a pitch
in the strike zone. "Daniel's one of our best fundamental players." Laird called
his being picked off "inexcusable," but said Descalso had "kind of caught me off
guard and bunted right through the ball."
The Cardinals completed
their fourth and final three-city trip of the season. They were 4-5 on this one,
winning just one series (the Pittsburgh series) out of
3B Daniel Descalso kept
the Pirates' seventh inning from being an even bigger one than one run when he
made a diving stop to his left and then started a double play. The rookie has
been the club's best defensive infielder this season, including at SS, where he
rarely had played before.
RHP Kyle McClellan, still
looking to keep the ball down more, will make his ninth bid for his seventh win
Monday night when he faces Houston. He has not won a game since he hurt his hip
in late May.
C Yadier Molina, LF Matt Holliday and 3B David Freese were given the day off Sunday. Manager Tony La
Russa said it was a normal day off for Molina and Holliday but Freese had
nagging leg pain and he hoped Freese could return Monday.
BY THE NUMBERS: 26 -
Number of road games left for the Cardinals, who have 35 remaining at
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You don't
play perfect all the time. Nobody does."
- Manager Tony La Russa, after his
team played sloppily in losing to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
3B David Freese (leg) was
given July 24 off due to nagging leg pain, but manager Tony La Russa said he
hoped he could return July 25.
RHP Kyle Lohse (inflamed
middle right finger) left the team July 21 to have an exam in St. Louis. He threw a side
session July 22 and made his start July 24 at Pittsburgh.
LHP Brian Tallet
(strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive
to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed
soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He began
a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 23, and he might return around
RHP Adam Wainwright
(Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25.
He will miss the entire 2011 season.
July 25 vs. ASTROS: Kyle McClellan (6-6, 4.34) vs. J.A. Happ (4-11, 5.88) 7:15
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: The Cards skipper sounds off after failing to sweep the Pirates in Sunday's 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh.
Gerald Laird details the missed opportunities that led to the tough loss in Pittsburgh.