One Lousy Half Inning

That’s all it took. The top of the 4th. The St. Louis Cardinals sent 12 men to the plate, scored 7 runs and amassed 8 hits. That’s all they needed on a night where Chris Carpenter once again flung his voodoo at Reds hitters and Skip Schumaker hit his first career grand slam.

There are a couple of positives I took away from last night’s 7-3 loss. I realize that not everyone can find good things in a bad situation.

1. Ramon Hernandez. I have now approached the point where I’m not shocked by any production from either of our catchers. For the evening, Hernandez was 3-4 (hit the ball hard all 4 plate appearances), 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

2. Carlos Fisher. Once again, Dusty Baker needed extended innings from a reliever. Once again, Fisher obliged. Fisher provided Baker with 3.1 innings and saved the bullpen for the remainder of the series. Considering the Reds are off on Thursday, all hands with the exception of Fisher should be available for the next two games.

Of course when you lose, there’s the bad side, too.

1. Jim Edmonds. I know a lot of people will bash him on his Reds debut. 0-4 will do that. At least Edmonds isn’t in Chicago.

“As long as it’s not as bad as it was in the Chicago, I’ll be all right. The media killed me in Chicago for the first three weeks until I hit my first home run. I’ve been in the Central so long. When you play the same team over and over over, you’re bound to have good games. I love hitting in this park — great fans, great city.”

2. Mike Leake. His struggles continue. 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 H. Since June 5 Leake is 2-4 with a lofty 5.72 ERA.

3. The Reds didn’t follow my gameplan. They didn’t beat Carpenter. Pujols had an RBI. Jay Bruce didn’t get a hit (although he did manage 2 walks and scored a run).

Expect Baker to make adjustments to tonight’s lineup with Tony LaRussa sending lefty Jaime Garcia to the mound. Jonny Gomes will most likely be in left. Chris Heisey or Drew Stubbs could be in center. I’m a little unsure about Bruce. By drawing two walks last night, that tells me he at least saw the ball well, but he average against left handers is .236. But Heisey and Stubbs aren’t any better hitting .180 and .237, respectively.

Game Notes:
The biggest difference (besides Schumaker’s slam) was in the 3-4-5 hitters. The Reds trio of Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Edmonds were 1-10. St. Louis’ three of Pujols, Holliday and Rasmus were 5-12, 3 runs, 3 RBI…The bullpen (riding the coattails of Fisher) was it’s excellent self again last night. Overall, the pen hurled 5.1 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 8 K, 1 BB…The attendance was 36,353. That makes four straight games at GABP in which the crowd was 35,000+…Ramon Hernandez was the only Red to have more than one hit (3). The only Cards starter to not get a hit (other than the pitcher) was shortstop Brandon Ryan. We know he’s in because of his glove. That’s why LaRussa has him in the #9 hole.