I think it’s time to get worried about the bullpen. Leading 2-1 in the eighth, Soriano gave up a two-out solo homer to Pujols, which, well, it’s Pujols, but I’d be less concerned if he hadn’t followed with a warning track flyout to the same part of the park to Encarnacion.
Tyler Yates has clearly relapsed now, and maybe has pitched himself out of a key role. He gave up a hit to the first man, struck out the second, then allowed a home run to give the Cardinals the lead. The next two men also got on base, and the Vulture came in to try to keep the game in reach. He could not. He struck out the first man he faced, but followed that with a homer to make it 7-2.
The hitters have to come in for some criticism too. They outhit the Cardinals 8-4 in the first eight innings, but couldn’t do anything much with runners on base. Chipper doubled in Renteria in the third, and KJ homered in the fourth. Meanwhile, three men were erased on the basepaths (Harris was thrown out twice trying to steal second, though the first time he was clearly safe, and Andruw got picked off at first) and Julio hit into a two-on, none-out double play to kill a potential rally in the fourth.
Jo-Jo Reyes looked good. After the leadoff man got a hit, he didn’t allow another until the sixth. He had some control problems, walking four, but struck out three — he had come into the game with only one strikeout. He gave up two hits in the sixth and was pulled with one out, though Moylan came in and got out of a jam with a double play.