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Well, That Certainly Sucked

by: Brian F. Logush

To paraphrase the late, great Frank Sinatra, "ain't that a kick in the balls."

The St. Louis Cardinals 2012 season has come to an end. Come to think of it, I think 'end' might be too nice of a word. That implies a slow descent into nothingness. What happened over the past three games was anything but slow and nothingness. What we saw was a train wreck, sliding off the tracks and crashing into McCovey's Cove.

It was, to put it nicely, a complete and utter disaster. Three games to one. To get to their second consecutive World Series, all they had to do was win one out of three. Hell, even the Astros could win one game out of three. Not very often, but they could.

Where did it start? Hitting? Starting pitching? Defense? Bullpen? Coaching?

Let's start with the coaching. Mike Matheny replaced a Hall-of-Fame manager, losing an equally deserving Hall-of-Fame pitching coach, and a certain first baseman. Is it his fault? No, it is not. So let's nip that right away. In his first year, he took the club to the NLCS. That's impressive, no?

Bullpen? Color me impressed. Especially considering in the last three games, the bullpen didn't lose the games. Yes, Jason Motte gave up a homer in Game 7. In an 8-0 game. When you're down by eight, what's one more run? I'm sure Motte isn't involved with any point shaving activities.

Hitting? Most certainly. It wasn't much fun to watch teams continuously swing at balls well outside the strike zone. But in that respect, you have to give credit to the Giants pitching staff. They know how to pitch to hitters, and they executed very well. Almost flawlessly. One run in twenty-seven innings. That's all you need to know. And it's not like no one hit the ball. There were several instances where Cardinals would smack the ball to the outfield, but they would hang up and end in the glove of whatever Giant was in the vicinity. But it's hard to overlook that lone run in three games. Certainly a concern, but it's not the main reason.

Defense? Holy crap, was it terrible those last three games. Pete Kozma looked lost out there at short, especially the last two games. He booted the ball around, threw home with no shot of getting the runner... it never seemed to end. Kelly in Game 7 reaching for a hopper wasn't a great call. Lohse wasn't great out there either. But Lance He threw that ball like he had a vendetta against second base. And he almost got Kozma steamrolled by Pablo Sandoval, and I can't imagine that feels too good.

Starting pitching? This is the biggie. If you said that Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, and Lance Lynn would throw three games when all they needed was one win, I would've wagered heavily on the Birds. But who would've guessed the three would combine for 9 and 2/3 innings? Especially Carp and Lohse. It was a brutal end to the season, but frustrations over defense and strike zones appeared to mess with their psyches.

In the end, the 2012 season can be looked at as a success. Consecutive years in the LCS. Consecutive Wild Card spots, with an assist from the added slot. But they beat Atlanta in Atlanta, and beat Washington, the team with the best regular-season record, in dramatic fashion. But they still blew a three games to one lead. It sucks. But, hey, that's why they play the game.

But man oh man, what could have been. Well, at least I can turn on Fox Sports and watch some good ol'-fashioned St. Louis Bluuu...

Oh, come on!!

You can follow me on Twitter @Brian_Logush if you are so inclined. If you like sarcasm and dream interpretations, I'm your follow. Just don't ask for a RT if it's your birthday.


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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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