Defensive miscues and bullpen meltdowns—if this team is going to make the playoffs, I suppose it had to make them on its own terms. There's just nothing to say about a game with failures of this magnitude in isolation—Jason Motte was probably the wrong choice coming off an extended outing the night before, but to blame this game on that mistake is a little like blaming a Rube Goldberg machine on the first marble.
Motte's a great reliever, but even in the midst of a career year he's not quite the kind of guy who comes in breathing fire and forcing Metallica to come up with new songs with even bitchin-er intros. Given the cost of those guys, I'm still okay with Motte and Salas as the linchpins of this bullpen.
Furcal's a fine shortstop given how late the Cardinals decided to patch this team's biggest hole, but over the last two years he's been Theriovian in terms of his fielding percentage. Given how typically useless fielding errors are as a measure of ability, I'm still okay with Furcal as the Cardinals' shortstop.
We all know about Motte and Furcal's limitations, and the limitations, real and perceived, of every player on this team; we know all the buts. When you get multiple buts at once, the team is in trouble. When but-he-makes-errors and but-he's-not-Mariano-Rivera come into play in the middle of the Wild Card race, the team is in especially frustrating trouble.
We've got one more brought-to-you-by-Moneyball post in the hopper, so expect some words about Lance Berkman and the joy of one-year contracts this afternoon. Brought to you by Moneyball! Opening today, I think!