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“The offense did a great job. They give you six runs… and you can’t hold it down? This loss is totally my fault… This start definitely leaves a sour taste in my mouth.”

They digested the loss in quiet, the 91-degree game-time temperature not befitting it’s Sept. 1 date on the schedule taking its toll on a lot of them, and they refocused toward tomorrow. Toward a series that was still theirs to win.

“It was a long, humid, draining game,” LaRoche said. “I think you just chalk it up to one of those games where one of the best pitchers in the game didn’t have their best stuff… Normally, (you expect an offense like the Cardinals to wake up at some point), but with these pitchers they’ve done it to really good lineups all year.

“Guys come in swinging the bat well and go three games and not do hardly anything. That’s just what they’re capable of… But it seemed like any time (Zimmermann) missed it got drilled somewhere. Couple big homers. Big double off the wall. Not really a sloppy game, just a lot of banging.”