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10/16/06 1:17 AM ET

Cardinals Short Hops: Game 4

Redbirds' bullpen struggles for first time this postseason

ST. LOUIS -- Fielding the Cardinals' Game 4 loss to the Mets on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
Carlos Delgado's three-run fifth-inning homer off Brad Thompson broke a tie. Josh Hancock retired none of the five batters he faced.

Frozen moment
When Hancock walked off the mound after allowing five straight hitters to reach base, the crowd didn't cheer or boo. Instead, an eerie silence invaded Busch Stadium, quieting a normally loud and boisterous crowd and encapsulating a night that yielded few positive moments for the Redbirds.

Big number
10: Entering the game, the Redbirds' bullpen had been unbelievable, allowing just one run the entire postseason. On Sunday, the bullpen endured its worst effort of the season.

Game ball
David Eckstein -- Three balls: On a night when the Cardinals didn't hit very well and committed several defensive miscues, Eckstein fashioned the Redbirds' most complete game. He singled, homered and was flawless in the field.

Sense of October
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pitch-hit for starter Anthony Reyes after four innings and 86 pitches. The manager pulled out all the stops, bringing in his fourth pitcher in the top of the sixth with his team trailing, 5-3. La Russa used five pitchers in the first six innings.

"We didn't hit the corners. We made a lot of mistakes, and we can't make a lot of mistakes with that team."
-- Cards catcher Yadier Molina

Lines of the Game
Yadier Molina
3 AB, R, 2 H, HR, 2 RBIs
Comment: Next to his good friend Albert Pujols, Molina has been the most consistent offensive source for the Redbirds this postseason.

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Brad Thompson and Josh Hancock
1/3 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 HR
Comment: Thompson and Hancock were expected to provide strong middle-inning relief after Reyes exited. Instead, they struggled mightily.

Next step
With the series tied, St. Louis will lean heavily on Jeff Weaver in Game 5 to ease a taxed bullpen and provide the Cardinals with another victory. Tom Glavine, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1, will oppose the right-hander in a rematch of the series opener. Both starters will pitch on three days' rest.

Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.