08/08/07 12:57 AM ET
Cards unable to support Reyes in loss
Pitcher goes seven innings, allows only one run
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Reyes threw a tough curveball, down and out of the strike zone, to Josh Bard -- a shoelace-level offering. Bard reached down, got his bat on the ball and poked an RBI single through the left side. Reyes made a good pitch. He got a ground ball in a double-play situation. And in so doing, he gave up the winning run in a 4-0 Cardinals loss.
The right-hander fell to 1-11 on the year despite pitching one of his best games of the season. Reyes was charged with only the one run over a season-high seven innings. He threw 72 strikes among his 109 pitches, walked only one and didn't allow an extra base hit.
He did everything he could, and once again he lost.
"It doesn't always work out," Reyes said.
From the micro to the macro, much about the defeat was both strangely appropriate and maddeningly familiar to Reyes.
He pitched beautifully, but received no offensive help -- as has been the case again and again in 2007. It was the sixth time in Reyes' 15 starts this year that the Cardinals have been shut out, and the ninth time they've been held to two runs or fewer. On nine different occasions, Reyes has permitted three earned runs or fewer in a start -- the Cardinals are 1-8 in those games.
The pitch that beat Reyes was one of his best of the night. Bard dug out a pitch that was barely ankle-high, dropping it into right field for the RBI single. Reyes did his part; the game just didn't cooperate, and that's been the story of the right-hander's season.
"I don't know why things happen sometimes like they do," said fellow starter Adam Wainwright. "But it seems to me like he's pitched more than just a few games this year that he could have very easily won, and he didn't just get a no-decision, he got a loss in a lot of those."
Reyes kept his usual, even-keel demeanor after the game, insisting that he pays no attention to his record. He took some solace in pitching a good game, and particularly in making the most of a night when he wasn't quite at his best.
"I started out a little shaky, but I was able to throw some pitches and get some outs," he said. "I didn't really have my stuff today, but I threw some offspeed for strikes and was able to keep them off balance."
Offensively, the Cardinals did everything they needed to do against Cy Young favorite Jake Peavy, except for the one thing they most needed to do: get a hit with a runner in scoring position. They made Peavy work hard, forcing him to throw 104 pitches to get 18 outs. They created scoring chances, putting two men on in the first, getting a one-out double and later a walk in the fourth and picking up a leadoff single in the sixth.
They just couldn't break through, and Peavy emerged with a win and no runs allowed against St. Louis for the second time this year.
"Nobody has any answers for [Reyes' record]," said Scott Rolen, who was 0-for-4 with six men left on base. "He goes out and throws the ball well, and for whatever reason it fell on his day. There is a pretty good reason -- Jake Peavy, and [relievers] Cla Meredith, and Heath Bell."
Jim Edmonds had three hits to extend his recent hot streak. The third knock, an infield single in the eighth, was his 1,000th base hit in a Cardinals uniform.
"Anything in this uniform is special," Edmonds said. "This is where my career was made and where I've spent most of my [career]. So anything here is special."
Jason Isringhausen, pitching for the first time in five days, wasn't sharp in the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff reached on an error to lead off the inning, but Isringhausen permitted a walk to Bard and a two-run triple to Scott Hairston, then let loose a wild pitch that made it 4-0.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.