The Cardinals have played 173 games in 2012 and last night's loss was, by a wide margin, the worst.
Obviously the comedown from expectations of popping bottles to icing bottles is severe. That has to be a factor in making this statement, but it was more the amalgamation of all the worst parts of the 2012 Cardinals baked into one, neat, 9 inning example made it... ahem... take the cake.
Pitiful offense? Check.
You know how many baseball games you can win by scoring 0 runs? Zero. It's never been done. Yet there they were, making Barry Zito have flashbacks to 2004. It was a feeble attempt at offense. It really wasn't even a suggestion of offense.
Bad coaching? Check.
Maybe Mike Matheny is trying to get the city to turn on Lance Lynn. Maybe he's a gambling man. Maybe he's asleep when Lance Lynn starts. Regardless, he can't watch enough Lace Lynn struggling in the 4th inning before making a move. With the off-day pending and the possibility of being able to set your rotation for the World Series in reach, Coach should have had an itchy trigger finger.
He didn't. Then again, did it really matter? Because the Cardinals bats were in their patented 2012 sleep mode.
Insane plays? Check.
How about a hybrid bunt/swing single from the Giants pitcher? Or a throw to second base that misses all the fielders, but hits the base? Hell, unless you were rooting for the Giants, these might be the two most interesting things that happened Friday night.
So the Cardinals are going back, back to Cali. And will have 2 more opportunities to return to the World Series. Raise your hand if you think this is going to go 7.