Over the course of a full 6 month baseball season, a few games can make all the difference. Here, then, are half a dozen games that (for me) hurt the most. The rules: One game per month that the Cardinals lost that was most painful to watch. If the Cardinals change their stars in the following games, as of today (9/28/2010) they are tied for 1st in the NL Central with those pesky Reds. Let the wallowing begin.
April 20: Cardinals 7 at D’backs 9. This game was lost to Dan Haren, which is always a sad thing for folks who still have not had the Dr. Howard Mierzwiak treatment to remove all memory of the Mark Mulder trade. Sadder yet, the Cardinals managed to score 7 runs, all charged to Haren, but still lost. It wouldn’t be for awhile that 7 Cardinals runs in a single game would be an event to make us weep with wonder and cry out, “Double rainbow all the way!” And the saddest of all, it was the game in which it was obvious that Kyle Lohse was still a pretty bad pitcher.
May 26: Cardinals 1 at Padres 2. The Cardinals were coming off a game on May 25 in which they were shut out by San Diego 0-1 with Wainwright on the mound. They lose this game in 13. 22 innings, one run. It was kind of like one big, long, nightmarish Mets game spread over two nights of offensive futility, except that Joe Mather didn’t get live out a twisted fantasy about being Tippy Martinez.
June 25: Cardinals 4 at Royals 4. From the AP: “After a nightmarish start to his post-Cy Young season, Zack Greinke is starting to look a lot more like Zack Greinke.” Thanks, St. Louis line-up! Wait, was that Jeff Suppan pitching for the Cardinals? What – that was his THIRD start for the Cardinals? Oh. My. God. What is going wrong?
July 6: Cardinals 9 at Rox 12. "No team in the modern era had ever scored nine runs in the bottom of the ninth to win a game, according to STATS LLC, whose data goes back to 1918." The most ominous part of the Cardinal loss: Felipe Lopez plays 3B, goes 2 for 5 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. Fast forward a few months and Ol’ Flip is figuratively locked out of the clubhouse. Our home team unravels before our eyes…
August 29: Cardinals 2 and Nationals 4. Wainwright pitching, the Cardinals still working on a pennant race after the beautiful Reds series a few weeks before, and thud. It was after this loss that I determined the Cardinals might have poopy in their pants (Thanks, Jack Clark). Has anyone noticed the trend yet of losing to ‘beatable’ teams on the road? Yeah, me too.
September 20: Cubs 7 at Cardinals 3. OK, here we go. Carpenter pitching for us, Zambrano for them stinkin’ Cubs. They maybe can still pull this thing out and rescue the season – maybe – right? Ummm, no. The Cardinals are SWEPT by the Cubbies. At home. In September. How is that Zambrano has career ERA of 3.5 and a 1.29 ERA when pitching in St. Louis? And was this the game when we all started looking at our Cy Young award winner and whispering, “Ohhh, he’s starting to decline”? But there is hope. Hey, at least the Cardinals don’t have the worst offensive player in the MLB on their roster. Oh, crap…
There's always next year.