“I don’t mind you comin’ here, and wastin’ all my time.” - Ric Ocasek
Enjoy that game yesterday?
You could have been doing anything else and you spent it with a team that did nothing but probably ruin your weekend. Or at least end it on a very sour note. The 7-6 loss to Milwaukee, complete with a very transparent fake-rally and an all-around team effort of bad plays and decision-making from the manager on down, is the type you remember and point to if the regular season proceeds south.
Bad communication between Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader in the 8th inning at this point in the season is inexcusable. With Carlos Martínez unavailable due to illness, handing the ball to John Gant and his very bad walk rate to get three outs in the 9th in a one-run game seems at least somewhat suspect, and not removing him when it was painfully clear that he didn't have his command reaches some level of malfeasance. By the time Ryan Braun smacked the game deciding grand slam it all felt inevitable in a way only a very bad sports loss can.
And the thing is, this is where we want to be. There's not a baseball team on earth who has had to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs without an agonizing mid-to-late September loss. Remember the late-season meltdown against the Mets in 2011? And I'm talking "giving up six runs in the top of the 9th to lose 8-6" type of meltdown. That was Game 156. It dropped the Cardinals to two games out of the Wild Card with less than a week to play. That felt like the finish line. In the end it was only a footnote.
This could be that, or this could be the José Adolis García thing (NOTE: this post originally and incorrectly put this on Randy Arozarena instead of García), but if you want to compete for the division, this is how it usually looks and feels. It's a blast, and then it's terrible, and then it's hopefully a blast again. More or less wrapping things up in August like the 2004 Cardinals or the 2016 Cubs is a luxury reserved for the very special few. This team is not a member of the very special few. But they're pretty good, they have a two game lead with less than two weeks to play, and they're still projected to win the division. We would have taken that in March, we might as well take it now.
This is what we signed up for. This is what we want. Be glad they're here even if it ends up being a waste.