Tony La Russa said it best: “The whole ballgame was not a standout game.”
Two rain delays weren’t really the problem at all for the Cardinals in their 4-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Instead it was their own lack of offense despite six walks and another bad sixth inning by Kyle McClellan. Of course, some Cards hitting could have kept the inning from being a challenge.
Once the game started after a 66-minute rain delay, the Cardinals had their chances in the first. They had two on and none out after Ryan Theriot led off with a double and new No. 2 hitter David Freese walked. Albert hit a fly to right for the first out. And Matt Holliday … yes, of course. Grounded into a double play. Albert did the same in the fourth, after another walk to Freese.
The Cards did manage to combine a hit from Freese, a walk to Albert and a double by Holliday to score their only run in the sixth.
Mostly, though, it was a quiet night for the Cards bats — only three hits.
As for the pitching, Matthew Leach says:
McClellan pitched around two of the Cardinals’ errors in the first three innings, holding the visitors to one unearned run before the sixth-inning storm. Play was stopped with a runner on first and no outs in the sixth. When the game resumed, Stephen Drew flied out, but Justin Upton took a 1-0 pitch 406 feet to left field for a 3-0 D-backs lead.
The right-hander was trying to locate a fastball down and away, but instead left it up and over the plate. Upton did what a dangerous hitter does with a pitch like that.
Ah, well. McClellan’s record is now 6-6.
On the plus side, P.J. Walters pitched hitless innings in his return to the majors.
Overall, though, a frustrating night that just made the division race all the more interesting, as Leach describes:
The Cardinals fell back into a first-place tie in the ever-more-jumbled National League Central division. St. Louis and Milwaukee are deadlocked at 47-42, while Pittsburgh is one game back. The Reds remain three games out. The NL Central features the closest first to fourth place teams of any division in baseball.
Oh, and the Cubs rallied back from an 8-0 deficit to the Nationals … and won 10-9.
Today’s a new day, tonight’s a new game. Let’s hope the offense and the results are better.
In happier news, remember to vote for Stan The Man’s 1955 walk-off homer as the greatest moment in All-Star Game history. Voting ends tomorrow.
Finally, for the Diamondbacks perspective on this series, check out Veronica Padilla’s D-Backs Strike.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Milesâ€™ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.