Isringhausen Meltdown - Find Another Closer

Isringhausen blows his fifth save in 16 tries, suffering his fourth loss.

Manager Tony La Russa tried to avoid the question but right-handed closer Jason Isringhausen, after blowing his fifth save in 16 tries and suffering his fourth loss, said it was time for La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and general manager John Mozeliak to consider finding another closer "until I can get on track.

"I'm just sick of embarrassing myself and letting my team down," Isringhausen said after allowing four straight men to reach base in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs.

After Isringhausen got the first two men on two pitches -- center fielder Rick Ankiel had to run a distance and then make a jumping catch on Milwaukee third baseman Bill Hall -- Isringhausen allowed singles to shortstop J.J. Hardy and pinch hitter Gabe Kapler, walked catcher Jason Kendall and allowed a two-run game-ending single by second baseman Rickie Weeks. "They can't keep sending me out there the way I've pitched," Isringhausen said. "Get somebody in there who can do a better job."

Isringhausen's meltdown this season is reminiscent of 2006 when he blew 10 saves but labored much of the season with a bad hip which required surgery.

"In '06, I had an explanation but never told anybody," he said. "Now I have no explanation but I'm pitching like a second grader.

"I've got to sit down and figure it out. I'm letting down 25 guys day in and day out."

Isringhausen said he was sure he would have a meeting Saturday with the aforementioned men. But, La Russa didn't want to be pinned down late Friday night on whether he would make a change.

"You want me to make him feel worse than he already does?" said La Russa. "He feels worse than the fans."

BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 3: The Cardinals suffered a third straight loss for the first time this season. Jason Isringhausen has blown two-run and one-run leads in that time and Friday night's loss spoiled a strong effort from Todd Wellemeyer, who over six innings allowed two runs, both unearned, as a result of a throwing error by Brendan Ryan.


--Brendan Ryan had to come in at third base in the third inning for Troy Glaus, who was hit above the left elbow by a pitch from Milwaukee LHP Manny Parra in the first inning. Glaus, who is one for his last 27, couldn't extend his arm afterward and is highly doubtful to play Saturday.

--1B Albert Pujols wasted little time extending his on-base streak to 37 games. He rocketed a long homer to center in the first inning.

--SS Cesar Izturis, who had been 11 for 31 in a nine-game hitting streak, went 0-for-3 although his bases-loaded walk forced in a run in the second. The Cardinals, up 3-0, had the bases loaded and nobody out in the second but LF Skip Schumaker lined into a double play and 2B Aaron Miles also lined out.

--RF Ryan Ludwick, who had been 13 for 24 over his last eight games, including three home runs and five doubles, was hitless in four at-bars.

--The Cardinals finally will face a RHP on Saturday in Milwaukee's Ben Sheets, snapping a stretch of four straight games started by lefties.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories