An ugly game yields an ugly score. A combination of poor fielding on the infield (which i will resist calling a trend at this early point) and way too many walks from our pitching staff put this game out of reach by the end of the fifth.
the cards struck first, putting together a nice bottom of the first, with two singles and a walk yielding two RBIs to Allen Craig on his bases loaded single. ryan ludwick began a day of serious on-baseness with a walk in the top of the second, already westbrook's second walk of the game. westbrook would follow it up with his third walk, to maybin. a single and a sac bunt would tie the game up, briefly.
pujols hit a dinger to lead off the bottom of the third. the top of the fourth began with ludwick hitting a single, then he was driven in on a triple by hundley. the game was tied at three.
the game completely exploded in the top of the fifth. two singles (both infield singles to ryan theriot), a sac bunt, an intentional walk, an unintentional walk, and a single later, and westbrook was out of the game, getting only a single out in the inning. motte entered and promptly gave up a double, then another intentional walk and unintentional walk combination. by the time motte finally got his first out (a sac fly), the game was 9-3, padres. 11 batters appeared in the top of the fifth. the cardinals more or less rolled over for the rest of the game.
motte pitched the 6th inning as well. mitch boggs pitched THREE innings. do you remember the whole "we need miguel batista even though he's old and not actually a good pitcher, because he can be our long man" story? yet in the first two games we saw batista pitch the 8th inning of a tie game and saw the heir-apparent (or one of them) to our current pseudo-closer pitch three innings of mop-up with a six-run deficit. i knew that the bullpen management was going to be ridiculous and contradictory, but i didn't expect it to be so obviously stupid and inconsistent so early.
the role of our middle infield in the game needs some special attention. theriot in particular played an unfortunate role in turning routine ground balls into infield singles, and has already amassed two errors for the season. while one can't rely too much on performance over two days, his performance is not exactly out of line with his recent history, which has seen him moved to second base for his defensive deficits. for a groundball heavy staff, a defense already carrying a subpar defensive second baseman, and a fan base used to watching wizardry at short, theriot seemed like a poor fit in the offseason, and his early performance has reinforced those concerns.
still, pujols dinger, allen craig RBI single . . . . the game was still a shitpile, but we have some time to turn this around.