SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 17: Matt Carpenter #13 of the St Louis Cardinals dives but can't make the catch that goes for an RBI single off the bat of Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park on May 17, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon in a game as ugly as the "bad tuxedos" the players wore from the hotel to the Giant's ballpark on this getaway day. The Cardinals aided and abetted the Giants' scoring of seven runs by committing three errors defensively and issuing nine walks. It was too much for the St. Louis getaway lineup to overcome even with late-inning cameos from the regulars.
Adam Wainwright started for the Cardinals and suffered much the same fate as he did against the Braves on Saturday. Again, poor umpiring behind the plate led to a tight and often inconsistent strike zone. Wainwright walked four in an inefficient outing that saw him lifted after 5 2/3 innings pitched. The righty gave up five runs total but only two earned as his defense betrayed him early and often on the day.
The Cardinals broke out early against the Giants' new $100 million righty, Matt Cain, with two runs in the first. Skip Schuumaker led off with a single and Matt Carpenter followed suit. Matt Holliday then launched a flyball deep to center field that allowed Schumaker to tag up and score. Lance Berkman then doubled, pushing Carpenter from first to third. With one out, David Freese lifted a flyball deep enough to right to allow Descalso to tag up and score.
In the bottom of the first, Brandon Crawford doubled off Wainwright and was knocked in by a subsequent Buster
Olney Posey pop-up that found grass in front of a diving Carpenter, who was playing right field and rather poorly. In the bottom of the second, Emmanuel Burriss reached on a Berkman error. Wainwright walked Gregor Blanco. The pair of baserunners were driven in on a Crawford single. The Giants would not hold the lead for long.
Carpenter led off the third with a single and Holliday crushed a homer to left-center, giving St. Louis a 4-3 lead. After this, both pitchers seemed to settle in. It was not until the bottom of the sixth that a run would score. Angel Pagan led off with a single and Brandon Belt doubled, putting runners at second and third for San Fran with nobody out. Burriss lifted a sac fly to left field that tied the game. After inducing a groundout, Wainwright was lifted in favor of Victor Marte, who induced what should have been a routine grounder to Freese, but the third baseman made a terrible throw to first that Berkman was unable to handle. Freese's error gave the Giants a 5-4 lead.
The Cardinals were unable to mount a rally in the visitors' half of the seventh and Mike Matheny brought in Dead Arm Kyle McClellan for the bottom half of the inning. Melky Cabrera flew out to leadoff. Then, McClellan gave up a single to Posey and walked Pagan. Belt followed the free pass with an RBI double that plated Posey. It was then McClellan motioned to catcher Yadier Molina and was removed for the game due to a pain in his elbow.
Matheny dialed up Mitchell Boggs, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Boggs then induced a grounder to second base. While it is unsurprising that Schumaker botched the play, the manner in which he did was a bit of a surprise. Infamous for his stone hands, Schumaker didn't boot the ball. His well-chronicled lack of range wasn't the problem, either. Instead, the worse defensive second baseman in baseball opted not to throw home for a force out or to second for the double play; rather, he attempted to tag the runner and ensured that he only got one out. On the play, another run scored, making it a 7-4 Giants lead.
Molina hit a solo homer to dead center in the top of the eighth, but that would be the last run of the game. The Cardinals lost 7-5 and split a two-game series for the second time this week. Tomorrow, the Redbirds play the Kemp-less Dodgers in Chavez ravine.