The St. Louis Cardinals have been having a terrible time of it lately. First, they lose a series to the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates. Yesterday, they headed to Washington, D.C. to take on the last-place Washington Nationals and again fell. Although this time, it took them 13 innings to lose.
Chris Carpenter, who will no doubt have difficulty explaining the loss to his child, started for the Cardinals. If it weren’t for the unearned runs, he would have had a quality start, as he pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 earned runs. Unfortunately, Felipe Lopez is an everyday player for St. Louis. And as Reds fans remember all too well, he can have problems throwing the ball, as he did in the 3rd, which led to 3 unearned runs scoring.
St. Louis did take the lead back after that error, thanks to Albert Pujols’ 400th career home run. But it wasn’t enough. Carpenter and the bullpen could not keep the Nationals from scoring. Going into the top of the 9th, Washington was ahead 8-6. It was time for another of the Cardinals patented come-this-close-to-winning comebacks.
Except that this time, the Cardinals actually did take the lead. Brendan Ryan doubled in a run, Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie it, and then Randy Winn drove in a go-ahead run and an insurance run with a single.
It wasn’t enough for closer Ryan Franklin, though, who allowed the Nationals to tie it on a 2-run shot by Roger Bernadino. The game went into extras and nobody scored until the bottom of the 13th when Ian Desmond hit the walk-off single.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 4 games behind the first-place Reds. They have now lost 3 in a row. Most troubling may be that 2 of those games were started by their big guns–Adam Wainwright and Carpenter. Their record for their last 10 is 3-7.