would be easy to look at some of the Cardinals' defensive breakdowns in the
fourth inning Tuesday and a couple of hanging breaking balls by right-hander
Adam Wainwright as to why the Cardinals lost 6-4 at
Shortstop Pete Kozma made a throwing
error and both second baseman Skip Schumaker and third baseman David Freese got
their gloves on grounders but couldn't make plays. The bases were loaded and
Wainwright, who hadn't allowed a hit through three innings, walked first baseman Yonder Alonso to force in a run as he didn't get a couple of close calls. Then Wainwright left a couple of breaking balls up and allowed two runs each on a double by second baseman Logan Forsythe and a triple by Alexi Amarista. That made for a five-run inning.
"If a couple of plays are made, it's a whole different game," said manager Mike Matheny. "Those are plays our guys normally make."
But here's where the Cardinals lost the game: They were 1 for 14 with men in scoring position. Somehow, they still are one game to the good in the wild-card race.
In the second inning, they had the
bases loaded with nobody out and scored only once, on a forceout grounder by
Schumaker. In the third, they had the bases loaded with one out and scored only
on an error by
The Cardinals scored once in the sixth on center fielder Jon Jay's run-scoring single. But with runners at first and third, right fielder Carlos Beltran fouled out and left fielder Matt Holliday flied out.
The worst came in the eighth. Down a run, the Cardinals had runners on first and second and one out and their Nos. 3-4 hitters up. Holliday hit a dribbler about 10 feet and was thrown out by catcher Yasmani Grandal. First baseman Allen Craig then hit a tapper only a couple of feet farther and was tossed out by pitcher Luke Gregerson, a former Cardinals farmhand who earned the save.
Twice Wainwright failed to get bunts down that would have helped him, notably in the sixth before Jay singled. Jay also failed to sacrifice in the eighth before striking out.
"We have to make baseball plays," manager Mike Matheny said. "Baseball plays are fielding your position and doing the little things like getting runners over.
"Until you do that, you can't expect to win games like this."
Freese, who hit his 19th homer in the seventh, said, "This was a good opportunity for us to lengthen our lead in the standings and we're not doing it."
After 12 straight road games without a quality start, the Cardinals got one, albeit a loss, from RHP Adam Wainwright, who gave up five runs in six innings but only two earned. Wainwright dipped to 13-13 in his third straight loss. He gave up five hits, but only two of them were hit hard, both in a five-run fourth inning. "You look at that inning and that probably was the game," Wainwright. "I actually was pretty sharp tonight." Wainwright refused to blame his infielders for three missed plays in the fourth inning. He blamed himself for allowing the runners to score. "The difference between a good season and a bad season for a pitcher is making pitches with guys on base," he said.
2B Skip Schumaker, back in the lineup after getting a start off on Monday, reached base on three walks and a single. He scored once but was stranded the three other teams as the Cardinals left 13 runners on base.
RHP Edward Mujica, after 18 straight scoreless outings as a Cardinal, covering 17 innings, allowed his first run, an eighth-inning tally that gave San Diego a two-run cushion on Tuesday night.
RHP Trevor Rosenthal, a rookie, continued his impressive work out of the bullpen. He struck out three in the seventh inning.
SS Pete Kozma made an
error to start a five-run
By the Numbers:
1-7 - Cardinals' record in their last eight road games.
Quote to Note:
"The bottom line is we're losing games we need to win."
- 3B David Freese.
RHP Jake Westbrook (strained right oblique) will miss a start or two but apparently will be able to pitch again this season.
1B Lance Berkman (sore right knee) is scheduled to undergo additional surgery Sept. 14 and is out for the season. His career might be over as well.
RHP Chris Carpenter
(right shoulder surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March
26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first
time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He
threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when
he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day,
and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he
was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects,
weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent
what was believed to be season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet
syndrome. He threw a normal bullpen session Sept. 7 and is slated to face
hitters in a simulated game Sept. 10 in
SS Rafael Furcal (torn ligament in right elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 31 and is out for the season. He might need Tommy John surgery, but he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sept. 4 in the hopes of avoiding having to go under the knife.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.
Link to boxscore: San Diego 6, St. Louis 4