If the Cardinals aren’t careful, their April could get lost in Jason Motte’s beard. The closer is convalescing, trying to overcome a right elbow strain, and will be reexamined today by Dr. George Paletta, the team physician.
I do not know if Paletta works as a barber on the side. But if Motte has to miss considerable time, too many Cardinals fans will be booking appointments with a cardiologist.

The longer Motte sits, the longer the beard grows, and if he can’t pitch anytime soon, maybe he can go on tour with ZZ Top or participate in Civil War reenactments.

There’s no telling what’s underneath Motte’s substantial fur. Mitchell Boggs’ confidence could be in there. My guess is that this is where Motte stores his bullpen mates’ blown saves in an attempt to make them disappear. You know: out of sight, out of mind.

For the second time in six days the Cardinals’ bullpen immolated leads and turned almost certain victory into a charring and jarring loss. Monday’s hideous 13-4 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds was ghastly for a couple of reasons.

First of all, no one likes to lose the Reds — the best team in the NL Central and the Cardinals’ villainous rivals. The Reds have a loaded team, deep in just about every way, and are easily capable of racking up 100 wins. You can’t gift-bag games and hand them to manager Dusty Baker.

Second, this made for a stinky 2013 home opener at Busch Stadium. The threat of rain was replaced by pain. There was no washout; just a flameout. If you’re into numerology, the Cardinals gave up 13 runs in the first home game of the ’13 season.