Closing out the pint-sized series with Chicago (no, the other Chicago), here’s what the Cardinals brought to the table:
Not listed above are the members of the bullpen, which apparently is a seething, resentful cauldron of tension kept perpetually on edge by noted asshole Bud Norris narcing to Mike Matheny about who isn’t attending team meetings The Right Way™ so that they can be fined for their insubordination. This is how you get high-caliber players to come to St Louis - entice them with the possibility that a chaw spittle-flecked Bud Norris can berate you for some perceived failing, while Mike Matheny smiles emptily and tut-tuts about how the game was tougher in his day (which, let’s not forget, was a mere ONE catcher ago in the Cardinals timeline). And of course, younger players should just grin and bear it, because Bud Norris knows best - he’s proved his veteran bona fides by sucking for MULTIPLE teams! He’s got a rich history of having pitched in two whole postseason games, so he clearly understands the nuances of winning.
I don’t want this to seem like I’m bringing this up just to have an excuse to rag on Bud Norris (although I am happy to, you suck, you absolute mouth-breathing, petty rube), because this is clearly a clubhouse problem. This is at least the fifth well-documented incident of clubhouse tension just in the last calendar year. Something’s gotta give - I’m on the record for what I think the change should be, but whether you agree with my solution (it kind of rhymes with Dire Bike Cloth Weenie), everyone should be in agreement that something is very, very amiss and needs action.
Oh yeah, and a game happened. It wasn’t as cool as last night, despite Luke Weaver’s effectiveness (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). Weaver has been notably worse against left-handers (with a .356 wOBA against this year, compared with .282 for righties), so the White Sox could have been concerning, with 6 of today’s lineup being switch or lefty hitters. However, Weaver kept the damage very limited, leaving it up to the offense to perhaps echo the performance from the night before.
Spoiler alert: they did not. Carlos Rodon hewed cleanly through the Cardinals lineup like a samurai sword through the first seven innings. In the eighth, he ran into a bit of trouble, loading the bases on a Paul DeJong single, an error, and a walk to Matt Carpenter. He was lifted at that point - leaving Juan Minaya and Joakim Soria to shut down Tommy Pham (...injured Tommy Pham?) and Jose Martinez on consecutive strikeouts. (Very bad strikeouts. Like, catastrophically annoying the-ball-is-RIGHT-THERE strikeouts.)
The White Sox gave themselves two insurance runs in the 7th by stringing together a single, double, and single with 2 outs against Mike Mayers. They then tacked on another against Jordan Hicks in the 8th, widening their lead to 4-0.
Joakim Soria came back out to finish things off for the White Sox, and despite a whisper of life in the Cardinals offense (a single by Yadier Molina and a walk to Paul DeJong), the Cardinals would not manage to plate a single run. They only managed to muster a meager 4 hits in the entire game, with no one player getting more than a single hit. Carpenter was the sole bright spot, reaching base 3 times. Four separate players went 0-4, with Tommy Pham going a step beyond that and striking out 4 times.
Cardinals return to St Louis on Friday to take on the Reds, who are shockingly, still playing above .500 ball since firing Bryan Price earlier this season.