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.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

%Washington vs. TBA    4 p.m.

%Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff    5:30 p.m.

%St. Clair vs. TBA    TBA

%Sullivan Shootout

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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