The St. Louis Cardinals kicked off their three game series vs. the Philadelphia Phillies by allowing 14 hitters to come to the plate in the top of the eighth inning, resulting in nine runs in what was, up until then, a close game. But the Phillies’ formidable power was not to blame—the Cards’ bullpen was.
The frame featured five St. Louis relievers. And the Phillies did have six hits in the inning. But hit batters and walks? Unacceptable. This had the makings of a really good win: Going into the eighth inning with a lead against Roy Halladay, who by that time was out of the game, and the Phillies is a place not a lot of teams find themselves. Kyle McClellan pitched a great game, going seven innings and only allowing one run. A win tonight would have meant getting the series off on the right foot, holding onto first place, and bolstering team confidence a little after the Albert Pujols injury.
But Pujols’ absence had no bearing on this game whatsoever. This game was pissed away. And not because the Phillies are that good; Cardinal relievers could not throw strikes. It’s just about time the front office finds guys who can.