Troy Glaus hit his second homer of the year, a three run shot with two out in the 6 th and Albert Pujols hit a solo shot in the 8 th inning to tie the game, but the Pirates score four runs in the 10 th off of Ron Villone and the Cardinals lose 8-4.
When you look at the Cardinals loss and you hear Tony LaRussa talk after the game, you get the sense from him that the Cardinals are going to be alright. He talked about the Cardinals had hitting heroes with the two out homer by Glaus to put the Cardinals up 3-2 or Pujols coming up big with his long ball to tie the game in the 8 th , and the fact that Ron Villone just had a rough night after pitching so well the whole year.
However, the problem goes deeper than that. Ron Villone should not be pitching in extra innings. That’s where the problem goes back to Jason Isringhausen. The Cardinals need to figure out quick how to get Izzy back in as the closer because his time off to work on things in the bullpen or to build his confidence back up in blow out wins, is going to cost this team.
Villone is a specialist. He is supposed to come in and face a hitter or two and leave. In fact, he hasn’t done that well lately as Russ Springer and Ryan Franklin were able to bail out Villone on Saturday when the Brewers came back to tie the Cardinals. Now Villone has pitched multiple innings, but that came in some mop up work in a blow win and loss at San Francisco.
Last night, after LaRussa had to use Springer and Franklin late, he was left with no closer to bring on in the 10 th . Instead, he had to turn to Villone who gave up two walks and two singles before Adam LaRouche (A LEFTY) doubled in three runs.
The Cardinals who were finding ways to win in April are now finding ways to lose in May having dropped six of their last seven.