There once was a team playing to win the division
Discussions were had about post-season decisions
Old players returning
But new players earning
A spot on the roster with play near precision
[Author's note: Forgive me for the boring limerick. I had something a lot better in mind before this game went to hell in a hand basket.]
UGH. Do I have to write about this? I don't wanna. Let's start with the good news:
- John Lackey pitched darn well today. Over seven innings, he struck out seven, allowed only five hits and two walks, and gave up just one run on a solo shot by Khris Davis in the second inning. He got into a bit of trouble in the top of the sixth - but not really - giving up a single to Logan Schafer and walking Domingo Santana to load the bases after intentionally walking Khris Davis. But he struck out Hernan Perez to end the inning and keep the game tied 1-1.
- Matt Carpenter is just fine. I was skeptical when I heard that he was removed from the game last night as a "precautionary" measure, but it turns out that this time it was true. Carpenter hit a ground rule double in the fifth inning and a solo home run in the seventh, which gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead at the time. Carpenter, by the way, now leads the National League in doubles.
- Matt Adams also looks like he's getting healthy. He started the rally that led to the Cardinals' first run in the fourth inning with a single. Kolten Wong followed with a single, Greg Garcia grounded into a fielder's choice to advance the runners, and Tony Cruz scored Adams on a ground ball to the right side. Adams also doubled in the bottom of the sixth. His swing looks good, his timing looks good, and he managed to play first base for more than half the game today. A healthy Matt Adams really adds to this lineup and gives the team a great boost off the bench.
- Stephen Piscotty also hit a solo home run, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning.
That's all I got for the good news, folks. Trevor Rosenthal came in to pitch in the 9th and looked awful. He gave up a hit to Shane Peterson, hit Martin Maldonado in the head, walked Jonathan Lucroy, and gave up a grand slam to Jason Rogers. 5-3 Brewers. Which wouldn't have been that bad, really. But Seth Maness relieved Rosie, gave up a single, intentionally walked Adam Lind, and gave up a home run to Khris Davis, his second of the day.
The Cardinals showed life in the ninth, as Tommy Pham singled and scored, Piscotty reached on an error, and Jason Heyward legged out an infield single. But the deficit was just too great. Brewers win 8-4.
2. The Cardinals head to Pittsburgh for a three-game series that begins tomorrow. It would be great if the Pirates lose tonight so that we could leave Pittsburgh no worse than tied for the division. Jake Arrieta takes the hill tonight for the North Siders, so prospects are good.
3. Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon got into an actual physical fight in the dugout during the Nationals game today. It appeared that Harper said something to Papelbon, who then attacked him. I wonder if this at all affects Harper's MVP chances. I could see the whole thing leaving a bad taste in voters' mouths. In any event, it's a pretty embarrassing ordeal all around.
4. I'm going to go drown my sorrows in a game of beer pong now.