Cardinals’ Silent Bats to Blame in World Series Loss - The Missourian: Sports

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Cardinals’ Silent Bats to Blame in World Series Loss

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Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013 7:00 am | Updated: 11:48 am, Fri Nov 1, 2013.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Clutch hitting deserted the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason. The power arms that got them to the World Series finally gave out, too.

For the third straight year there’s satisfaction in the achievement of making a deep October run. They were close to a second title in three years, largely thanks to rookie Michael Wacha, and there’s no reason they can’t keep contending.

The way it ended, it felt as if they’d missed by a mile.

“Unfortunately, the offense during the playoffs, we just didn’t get it going,” Carlos Beltran said after the Cardinals went quietly in a 6-1 Game 6 loss Wednesday night. “Our pitching did a good job.”

The flameout brought back bitter memories from last fall, when the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead over San Francisco in the NLCS and got outscored 20-1 the rest of the way.

The Cardinals did not schedule the usual exit interviews while players cleaned out locker stalls. A team spokesman said the next availability for media would likely be Monday.

“The flood gates opened,” manager Mike Matheny said. “I told them to hold their head high. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”

The lineup was off the charts in the regular season, with a .330 average with runners in scoring position that was the best in major league history. They batted .224 in the World Series and the RISP was a meager .167, and the bottom half of the order vanished with zero RBIs from sixth on down.

David Freese was the NLCS and World Series MVP in 2011, racking up 21 RBIs. He had one homer and four RBIs this postseason and batted .158 against the Red Sox. Shortstops Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso combined for one single.

Jon Jay (.167) and Matt Adams (.136) contributed little. In the four losses to Boston, the Cardinals totaled five runs.

“It’s really hard to think about at this point, because it’s so rare and special to be on this stage,” Matheny said. “And you hate to see anything slip away, not that we gave away — they took it.”

The Series might have slipped out of St. Louis’ grasp in Game 4 at home. The Cardinals might have left Lance Lynn in too long and paid dearly on Jonny Gomes’ tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning off rookie Seth Maness.

“I think that game, it was kind of hard for us to lose that one,” Beltran said.

Without Wacha’s shutdown run, they would have never made it this far. Matheny made sure the kid knew that.

It might have been a matter of the Red Sox simply getting better looks the second time. Or the innings load taking its toll on the 22-year-old right-hander.

“The game is going to catch up with everybody,” Matheny said. “This kid has been absolutely fantastic.”

There’s plenty of blame to go around. That includes Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak for some puzzling roster decisions.

Shelby Miller led major league rookies with 15 wins but pitched just one inning in the postseason, apparently due to concern about his innings load. Edward Mujica, who had 35 saves before falling apart in mid-September, apparently got a bullpen spot as a reward because he logged just two innings.

Before the division series, manager Matheny was asked what role Mujica would have and he answered cryptically: “Right-handed pitcher.”

Going forward, it appears the NL champions have plenty of payroll flexibility. They haven’t said whether they’ll seek a contract extension with Beltran, who would like to stay.

“They know, they know. I made it clear I want to come back,” Beltran said after Game 6. “But we have to see their plans.

“I won’t take anything personally if I don’t come back to St. Louis.”

Beltran became a free agent Thursday along with Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal and Mujica. The Cardinals declined a $9.5 million option for next year on Jake Westbrook.

Including Beltran, who wrapped up a two-year, $26 million deal, that’s more than $42 million off the payroll for next year.

St. Louis also might decline arbitration on Freese, who made $3 million this year. If rookie Kolten Wong is ready to start at second base, Matt Carpenter would likely move to third.

Factoring into the Beltran decision is the need to find regular playing time for Matt Adams in the outfield except when filling in for Allen Craig at first base and getting top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras into the mix, too. Taveras had been on track to contribute last year before a season-ending ankle injury.

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Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament

Thursday, July 17

At Westhoff Park

G1 (1) West 11, (8) Pacific 1

G2 (4) St. Charles 17, (5) Elsberry 2

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G3 (3) Washington 4, (6) Wentzville 0

G4 (2) Daniel Boone 8, (7) St. Peters 2

Friday, July 18

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G5 Elsberry 8, Pacific 3

G6 St. Peters 9, Wentzville 1

At Westhoff Park

G7 St. Charles 4, West 1

G8 Daniel Boone 7, Washington 4

Saturday, July 19

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G9 Washington 9, Elsberry 4

G10 West 9, St. Peters 6

G12 West 14, Washington 1

At Westhoff Park

G11 St. Charles def. Daniel Boone (fft)

Sunday, July 20

Rest at Westhoff Park

G13 Championship — West 2, St. Charles 1 (13 innings)

Monday, July 21

G14 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 13, West 11

Zone 1 Senior Legion Tournament

At Lindenwood University, St. Charles

Thursday, July 24

G1 West 13, Daniel Boone Post 262 8

G2 Jefferson City Post 5 11, Hannibal Post 55 2

Friday, July 25

G3 St. Charles Post 312 vs. West, 5 p.m.

G4 Daniel Boone vs. Hannibal, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 26

G5 Jefferson City vs. G3 winner, 10 a.m.

G6 G3 loser vs. G4 winner, 4 p.m.

G7 G5 loser vs. G6 winner, 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 27

G8 Championship — G5 winner vs. G7 winner, 1 p.m.

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 4 p.m.

Ninth District Junior Legion Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 Elsberry 4, St. Peters 3

G14 Championship — Washington 3, Elsberry 1

Washington wins district, to host Zone 1 Tournament at Borgia. Schedule below.

Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament

At Borgia

Thursday, June 17

G1 Elsberry Post 226 10, Chillicothe Post 25 2

Friday, June 18

G2 Washington Post 218 5, Elsberry 1

G3 Chillicothe 5, Elsberry 4

Saturday, June 19

G4 Championship — Washington 16, Chillicothe 0 (5 innings)

Washington advances to State Tournament in Jackson.

Junior Legion State Tournament

At Jackson

Thursday, July 24

G1 Jackson 3, Springfield Glendale 2

G2 Eureka 7, Sedalia 0

Friday, June 25

G3 Washington vs. Jackson, noon

G4 Springfield Glendale vs. Sedalia, 2:30 p.m.

G5 Eureka vs. G3 winner, 5 p.m.

G6 G3 loser vs. G4 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

G7 G5 loser vs. G6 winner, 1 p.m.

G8 Championship — G5 winner vs. G7 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 27

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 1 p.m.

Freshman Legion Ninth District Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 Elsberry-Winfield 8, St. Peters 3

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 1

G14 Championship — St. Charles 5, Washington 2

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 2, Washington 0

Missouri Freshman

Legion State Tournament

At Rotary Recreational

Complex - Ronsick Field

Wednesday, July 16

G1 Creve Coeur Post 397 16, St. Robert Post 331 2

G2 Ste. Genevieve Post 150 4, St. Charles Post 312 0

G3 Jackson Post 158 1, vs. Springfield Glendale Merchants 0

G4 Washington Post 218 9, Eureka Post 177 4

Thursday, July 17

G5 Springfield Glendale 11, St. Robert 1 (St. Robert eliminated)

G6 St. Charles 10, Eureka 2 (Eureka eliminated)

G7 Ste. Genevieve 4, Creve Coeur 2

G8 Washington 12, Jackson 10

Friday, July 18

G9 Jackson 12, Springfield Glendale 0 (Springfield Glendale eliminated)

G10 Creve Coeur 8, St. Charles 3 (St. Charles eliminated)

G11 Ste. Genevieve 3, Washington 2

G12 Creve Coeur 11, Jackson 7 (Jackson eliminated)

Saturday, July 19

G13 Washington 8, Creve Coeur 3 (Creve Coeur eliminated)

G14 Championship—Washington 5, Ste. Genevieve 2

Sunday, July 20

G15 Championship Game 2—Washington 3, Ste. Genevieve 0

Great Midwest Football League

July 19

Missouri Cyclones 34, Illinois Justice 0

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian First

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    First

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    PPD

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    Third

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

*Indicates League Games

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