Going into the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals had not lost a series since April. This string of winning baseball has allowed them to hold MLB's best record for several weeks now. Coming into the weekend series to face the last place Miami Marlins, it appeared the Cardinals streak of not having lost a series was safe. However, this turned out to be false as the Cardinals struggled to score off of Marlins' pitching in two of the three games, losing two out of three.
Jake Westbrook made his return to the starting rotation on Friday (See Article). Sadly for Westbrook and the Cardinals, he was knocked around for five runs, three earned, on eight hits over just five innings. However, he induced 11 groundouts to just one flyout while walking only one so it appears his location was fine.
"I made good pitches and got a lot of ground balls," Westbrook told reporters after the game. "A lot of them found holes, but if I keep them hitting balls on the ground and making guys mis-hit balls, I'll be better off more times than not. I just need to let my defense work behind me."
It seems it was just a case of bad luck for Westbrook coupled with the fact that the Marlins are a light hitting team, aside from slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and groundballs and bleeders tend to play to their strengths. This was compounded by an error by Matt Carpenter which resulted in two unearned runs scoring. In effect, the lone error cost them the game as they fell to the Marlins 4-5.
Saturday was a different story as the Cardinals jumped on the Marlins early in the first with five runs. The Marlins answered back in the bottom part of the inning in a game that turned out to be a slugfest. However, Lance Lynn got his ninth win of the season despite allowing seven earned runs as the Cardinals pulled away with a 13-7 win. Carlos Beltran homered twice in the game, once from each side of the plate. This included career homer number 350 for Beltran who is likely bound for Cooperstown one day.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals didn't save much offense for Sunday's game as they managed just two runs off Marlins' starter Ricky Nolasco. The Cardinals never could put anything together offensively while Tyler Lyons struggled with his command. They dropped the rubber game to the Marlins 7-2 in their first series loss since April.
However, the Cardinals still hold MLB's best record and will look to right the ship as they head to Wrigley to face the rival, but miserable, Chicago Cubs.
Also, hope you all had a Happy Father's Day from STL Cardinals 101!
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