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10/08/09 1:52 AM EST

Cardinals Short Hops: Game 1

Carpenter not sharp while offense struggles to cash in

Fielding the Cardinals' Game 1, 5-3 loss to the Dodgers on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
Chris Carpenter picked a bad time for one of his worst starts of the season, and the Cardinals' offense stranded way too many runners.

Frozen moment
Matt Holliday struck out looking with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the first inning as the Cardinals blew a chance at a big inning by scoring just one run in the first.

Big number
14 -- The Cardinals had plenty of chances to score but left 14 runners on base, including the bases loaded in both the first and fourth innings.

Game balls

Skip Schumaker

Schumaker was one of the bright spots for the Cardinals' offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

Mark DeRosa

DeRosa was 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI but left two runners on base and threw the ball into right field instead of going for an apparent easy play at the plate after making a diving stop at third in the third inning.

Trever Miller

Miller faced one hitter, but he made the most of it as he struck out pinch-hitter Jim Thome with the bases loaded to end the sixth.

Sense of October
The Cardinals' 1-0 lead was short-lived as Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers the lead just two hitters into the game with a two-run blast off Carpenter in the first. The Cardinals trailed the rest of the game.

Lines of the Game

Albert Pujols
3 AB, 0 H, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 1 LOB
Comment: The Dodgers refused to let Pujols beat them, walking him intentionally the two times Pujols came up with runners on base and first base open. But in the three at-bats they pitched to him, he was the only one of the eight Cardinals starting position players to be held without a hit.

Chris Carpenter
5 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR
Comment: Carpenter's four walks equaled the highest number he had issued in one game since the 2006 playoffs, and his four first-inning hits tied for the most he had allowed all season.

"I just think that we got beat. I mean, they were sharper in just about every area." -- Manager Tony La Russa

Next step
The Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright to the mound for a critical Game 2 on Thursday.

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