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This Dog Barks But Just Won’t Bite

By Mark Ashby Vaughan

Last night’s game is a microcosm of the entire season for the Cardinals. They had just won four games in a row and had their ace Adam Wainwright on the mound and an early two run lead due to a Matt Holliday homer in the 1st inning, but they just refused to close the deal.

With several chances to blow the game open and bury the Pirates, instead the team flinched in the clutch and whimpered away with another loss that should have easily been one in the ‘W’ column.

In the fourth, with the bases jammed and two outs, Brendan Ryan, as he has done all year long, failed to deliver a key base hit, instead grounding out to end the inning. This failure to pile on runs has killed this team all year long. Two out run scoring hits win championships.

In the ninth inning, trailing 4-2, the first two batters reached on singles and they were quickly moved over to 2nd and 3rd by an Aaron Miles bunt.

A John Jay singled scored the runner from third with the runner on 2nd being unable to advance. That put the Cards just one run down with Albert coming up. Pujols hit a smash which went off of the fielder’s glove and into short left-field. Randy Winn, who was racing to the bag at 3rd and clearly able to score on the play, was inexplicably halted by third base coach Jose Oquendo. So, instead of the game being tied at that point, the team was still down a run.

Perhaps Oquendo reasoned that they’d get the run since Matt Holliday was coming up and they had two outs to score the man from third. That would be faulty logic given this team’s history of failing to deliver with the game on the line.

On the first pitch that he saw, Holliday promptly popped up for the second out. That was followed by another weak pop-out by Felipe Lopez and the game was over, Winn stranded at third base.

The Cardinals are now 4-45 when trailing after seven innings. That is a winning percentage of .082. That, my friends, isn’t going to get any team into the playoffs.

As they have done all year long, the Cardinals bark but they just refuse to bite.

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