Sunday Morning Coffee with Ray Mileur

Besides the St. Louis Cardinals themselves, and you know how people like to kid them selves, only a couple of people I know of, including me, expected the Cardinals to still be in the NL Central pennant race by the All-Star Break. I have to admit now that the break is upon us, I find myself wondering if the Cardinals are really contenders or just pretenders?

The Cardinals were leading 9-3 in the seventh when I got the call from the local Sheriff Department to go out and help chase some down some bad guys, I'm thinking ok it's safe to go, heck we has a six run lead, certainly we can hold on to this one. I had already put the game in the win column in the Birdhouse operations center.

I'm not sure if it's self confidence or just arrogance or what, but I always write everything in ink but before the night was over last night, I found myself looking for some white-out.

So while I'm out looking for bad guys in the infamous Bloody Williamson County, the Cardinals were being victims of an assault and battery in Pittsburgh. There is never a cop around when you need one.

It's in the record books now, and seared into my short-term memory bank, which thank God, I don't have a long-term memory bank. The Pirates tied game last night with four runs in the ninth on Nate McLouth's three-run shot off Jason Isringhausen and Bay's fifth RBI, on a force-play grounder.

Troy Glaus and for the record, when are we going to start showing Troy some love around here, homered leading off the 10th for St. Louis' 10th extra-base hit, but the Cardinals' bullpen blew their league leading 22 saves.

The Cardinals outhit the Pirates 22-13 but left 12 runners stranded on base. "It's one of those games that got away, but the Pirates have done it to us a couple, three times," manager Tony La Russa said. "We know they're going to play nine innings - and 10."

The Cardinals fell to 5 1/2 games behind NL Central leader Chicago after Saturday's loss.

What are your going to do? Add a little something extra to this morning's coffee I guess. I'm wondering how long the hangover of this loss will linger and when will this headache go away. Another night of no sleep, getting in at 5:00AM, as I layed there wondering, are the Cardinals really contenders this season, as I projected, or just pretenders.

By the way, we caught the bad guys in Williamson County; I wish I could say the same thing about the Cardinals in Pittsburgh, who lost to Pirates, 12-11 in ten.


... ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Cardinals took a 10–6 lead into the ninth inning, but ended up with the loss after the Pirates tied the score and then won 12-11 with a 2-run shot in the 10th...St. Louis had not lost a game in which they led by four or more runs in the ninth inning since 1998, when they did it three times, tying a major league record for the most such losses in one season...the 22 hits on Saturday were their most in a loss for the Cardinals since July 1, 1956, when they had 23 hits in a 10- inning, 19–15 home loss to the Reds. Elias

...Rick Ankiel left Saturday's game in the seventh inning with a left ankle injury and should be considered day-to-day for now.

...20/20: Ryan Ludwick launched his 20th home run of the season last night to join Rick Ankiel who hit #20 on Friday, giving St. Louis its 5th set of teammates to hit 20 homers before the All-Star Break. The club still holds a shot to have three players reach 20 home runs as Albert Pujols sits at 18 homers on the year. Never has the Cardinals had three players accomplish the task.

That's it for today, gee what a night, who needs coffee to stay awake. The Cardinals will be taking the field in just a couple of hour, a big win today; will go a long way to easing the pain from Saturday's loss.

Contenders or Pretenders? We'll soon find out soon, I'll see you at the ballpark.


Editor's note: when Mileur isn't obsessing about the St. Louis Cardinals, he's a Deputy Sheriff Sergeant with the Williamson County Sheriff Department's Auxiliary Division

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