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Cardinals bats shut down in series finale

Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

Not a whole lot to say about this game. It was a very well-pitched game on both sides, but it was the Cardinals who blinked first. All it took for the Rockies to win the game was a sacrifice fly by Ezequiel Tovar.

The Cardinals stranded 15 runners today, as the big hit simply eluded them. They stranded the bases loaded twice against a normally woeful Rockies pitching staff. The worst moment of the game had to have been when Paul Goldschmidt failed to capitalize in the eighth with the bases loaded.

Let’s break this one down and get into a few takeaways.

Old pal not so friendly

Austin Gomber returned to St. Louis today. He was the big piece that went back to the Rockies in the Nolan Arenado trade, and he carved up a masterpiece today. The former Cardinal gave the Rockies six scoreless innings.

Gomber also allowed just six hits, striking out two batters and walking three. What little trouble he did encounter he worked his way out of. He earned his ninth win of the year and lowered his ERA to 5.40.

In that case, the Cardinals failed to capitalize against a guy with an ERA over 5. That’s not a knock on Gomber, but it’s frustrating to me that this offense was unable to do any damage against him.

Thompson makes a case for rotation

On a more positive note, I was really impressed today by Zack Thompson. I had zero expectation that he would have this type of performance, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The Cardinals stuck with him for four innings and he allowed just two hits and one walk, striking out eight Rockies batters. Unfortunately, he was the one who gave up the one Rockies run, meaning he got the hard-luck loss.

I feel bad for him in that regard, but this is an encouraging sign for 2024 if the Cardinals want to get a look at some of their internal options and assess who could potentially slot into the rotation at any point.

That could alleviate some of the work they have to do in the offseason, and could mean that they only need to get two starters and let internal candidates battle it out for the final spot.

It’s off to Tampa Bay for a three-game series next. Miles Mikolas returns from his suspension Tuesday night.