If there is a flaw that would prevent the Cardinals from repeating their National League Central title, the most commonly mentioned one has been the right-handed side of the bullpen.
Indeed, after Jason Motte's sixth
straight fastball to
The Cardinals' starters through three games were impeccable, and the club has won two of three. Brad Penny, making his Cardinals debut, held the Reds to six hits and one run over seven innings, the only run coming on Bronson Arroyo's two-out single off a hanging curveball in the fifth.
"I had two outs and nobody on in the fifth, and I end up giving up a run," Penny said. "That's the one thing I'm a little frustrated with."
Manager Tony La Russa said, "It's disappointing when you don't win the third one, but we did all right here."
REDS 2, CARDINALS
1: LF Matt Holliday homered in the seventh inning for the Cardinals' only run, but
--CF Colby Rasmus walked twice for the second game in a row and had five walks for the series, along with four hits. Rasmus is fitting in nicely hitting fifth behind LF Matt Holliday.
--RF Ryan Ludwick did not start so
rookie Allen Craig could make his big-league debut. Manager Tony La Russa is
pondering moving Ludwick from the sixth spot in the order to No. 2 to provide
more potential bang than SS Brendan Ryan. Ryan was 1-for-12 with two walks and
four strikeouts in the three-game series at
--RHP Kyle Lohse will make his
first start of the season Friday night against
--RHP Jason Motte, the losing pitcher Thursday, said it wasn't the fact that he threw six straight fastballs that beat him. "It's where I threw it. Not the pitch, but where I threw it," he said. "If I would have thrown it down and he'd rolled over it, it would be a whole different interview."