August 17, 2008

Reds ace too much for Redbirds' ace

The Cincinatti Reds' ace Edinson Volquez sailed through some innings and overcame obstacles in other innings that the Cardinals could only hope to, Dusty Baker's non-offensive club hammering the Cards for seven runs in a 7-3 troucing in the series and road trip closer.

Kyle Lohse wasn't sharp, but wasn't so bad, either, the Cards leaving the bases loaded in one inning when they had Volquez on the ropes, failing to support Lohse at the same time. But you can't ask an offense to put up the six or seven runs the Cards usually need to win in every game. Today simply wasn't that day.

The Cards' offense came in spurts, Tory Glaus singling home a run, then, in anoher inning, Schumaker doing the same, and then, in yet another inning, Ryan Ludwick doubling home a run. Volquez gave up only three hits in his 7.0 innings of work.

At one point, Volquez threw a pitch high and tight to Cards' hurler, Kyle Lohse. The next inning, Volquez led off, Lohse playing him some chin music, the home plate umpire then warning both teams. An inning later, Volquez drilled Felipe Lopez in the back, but Volquez was not ejected from the game, making the warnings a somewhat stupid way of doing things for major league baseball.

The loss, combined with a Cubs rout of the Marlins, pushed the Cards back to 7.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Milwaukee was just getting started on the west coast at the time of this post. A Brewers win would send the Cards three games back of the Wild Card spot, while a loss by the Brewers would allow the Cards to keep pace at two games out of the Wild Card.

Today's game ends a 10-game road trip that found the Cardinals playing tough but losing the series that kicked it off in Chicago, then taking three out of four for the "middle" series with the Florida Marlins, then taking the series against the Cincinatti Reds, failing to sweep today.

Now it's back to St. Louis where they will enjoy tomorrow (Monday) off, then start a home stand with two games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, then a day off, then a three-game series over the next weekend at Busch Stadium versus the Atlanta Braves, then a day off, then another two-game set, this time against the Milwaukee Brewers (also at home), then a day off, then another road trip. So plenty of days off, a good thing with a pitching staff that will need every rest day it can get, especially with the currently DL-pitchers, Wainwright and Carpenter.
photo by Barbara Moore