The Redbird Report: World Champions?

The conclusion is inescapable. The Cardinals are this bad. Their 6-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers Sunday capped a three-game series sweep by Detroit and extended the Cardinals' losing streak to five, the second time this season they have reached that depth.

The Cardinals' record is 16-25 and shortstop David Eckstein admitted, "That's all you can go by."

In their last nine interleague games on the road covering 2006 and 2007, the Cardinals are 0-9 and have been outscored, 83-38 by the Tigers (six games) and Chicago White Sox (three).

Manager Tony La Russa generally is extremely hesitant to criticize a player, but the gloves came off when he discussed two balls that fell safely in center field in the sixth inning, out of the grasp of eight-time Gold Glover Jim Edmonds.

"(Starter Brad) Thompson deserved better," said La Russa. "The game should have been 3-2 going into the top of the seventh. But that was a tough three runs to give up. It's not really acceptable."

To La Russa's statement that the balls were "catchable," Edmonds said, "I have no comment for that."

CARDINALS 3, DETROIT 6: Starter Brad Thompson pitched well enough, but some spotty defense and Tigers starter Justin Verlander were too much to overcome as the Cardinals lost their fifth straight game.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--1B Albert Pujols reached base 11 times in 15 plate appearances in the Detroit series, getting seven hits and walking four times, and has raised his average to .273, still well below his norm.

--LF Chris Duncan hit his seventh and the Cardinals' 20th homer on Sunday. On May 21 a year ago, Pujols hit his 22nd homer. Duncan has three homers in May. The Cardinals have only four homers this month as a team.

--The Cardinals have two pitchers working on seven-game losing streaks. RHP Kip Wells is 1-8 for the season and RHP Anthony Reyes is 0-7 after losing, 8-7 to Detroit on Saturday.

--SS David Eckstein raised his average to .262 after having four multi-hit games in a five-game hitting streak in which he was 11-for-20 before he went nothing for three on Sunday and had to leave the game after fouling a ball off his left leg.

--RHP Jason Isringhausen, who has had few chances to save games lately, had to be used in the eighth inning Sunday just to give him some work. In five of Isringhausen's 17 appearances, the closer has pitched with his team losing.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Number of home runs (both by LF Chris Duncan) the Cardinals had in the first 17 days of May.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm slinging slop up there that's hanging and hitting people in the hip. I don't know. It's pretty frustrating." -- RHP Adam Wainwright, who allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday.


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