Not pretty...but we'll take it.
I thought I was going to blow a gasket when Franklin blew YET ANOTHER lead in the 9th again tonight. At first I thought Ankiel robbed Tatis' homer...but no. Had he read the ball right off the bat, he may have caught it.
We needed this win really bad.
Only three games out.
Something needs to be changed in the bullpen. This is getting ridiculous. They just aren't effective, at all. When you are constantly giving up runs in the late innings and blowing leads, you have to make a move.
July 21st -- Franklin gives up three runs in the 10th and gets the loss.
July 22nd -- Milwaukee scores 2 in the 8th on Lohse to tie the score and McLellan gives up 1 in the 9th and gets the loss.
July 23rd -- Isringhausen gives up a run in the 9th in a 3-0 loss.
July 24th -- Franklin gives up 2 runs in the 9th, blows the save and gets the loss.
July 25th -- 7-2 loss...didn't matter.
July 26th -- Franklin gives up a run in the 9th and blows the save...Cards win in the 14th.
It's almost comical how bad the bullpen has been over the past week.
Four of the past six games we had the lead in the 8th or 9th inning, and we blew the lead and ended up losing all but the last one, which we won in the 14th. We should have won a few of those games.
If we lose the division or wild card by a game or two, you can look back on the series against the Brewers as the reason why.
Time for the crazy stat. Even with all the nonsense the past week, the Cardinals are still the best team in the NL this season with a lead after the 6th inning. To quote Craig Ferguson: "I know. It's crazy."
But, yes, the pen needs fixing. Unfortunately, Perez, who is the most likely in-house option (other than Wainwright which no one wants to see him relieving because he's so good starting), imploded last night in Memphis giving up 5 runs over 1 1/3 innings. Perez just can't pitch more than one inning at a time. Prior to the implosion, he'd had 3 perfect 1 inning outings, getting 7 Ks in those 3 innings. Every time Perez pitches a 2nd inning, he gets hammered.
Last night, however, McClellan had a 2006 Wainwright-esque 8th inning after surrendering a lead-off single, then striking out the side. Nice mix of fastballs and a wicked curveball. Was kind of surprised they didn't let him pitch the 9th with how well he handled the 8th. So there is another option, although he hasn't done well the few times they've put him in "closer" situations.
After that - it's Waino or trading for someone.