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Cards Take Weekend Series from Phillies

June 16, 2008

overall, it was a pretty good first weekend of baseball without albert pujols for the cardinals at home. they managed to overcome getting their heads beat in by the phils friday to win a well pitched game saturday and capitalize on a couple of field errors on sunday and take the finale in extra innings.

let’s start with friday’s game. this was bound to happen at some point in the season, and friday the conditions were ripe enough to accrue and cause a perfect storm (at least in hindsight, but that’s 20/20 as they say).

the cardinals pitching staff had been pretty solid all season, expecially wellemeyer who had been surprisingly good and had been named pitcher of the previous month because he simply outstanding.

he ran into the really hot and streaking phils; especially offensively. utley, the nl mvp so far this season (just my opinion), had been just tearing the cover off of the ball, and had 21 homers going into friday; he hit his 22nd bomb of the season during friday’s game as the phils’ two other 15+ homerun holders, howard and burrell, went back to back to back with utley.

later on the game, howard hit another as he collected 5 rbis and three hits in the game. on the season, his average is pretty low, but his homerun and rbi total are pretty damn good.

then, there was pat “the bat” who has been mashing the ball ever since after last season’s all star break. he has not slowed down since.

so, the cardinals could only muster two runs which came off of skips’ two run shot. todd only went 3 1/3rd innings and gave up 8 runs on 8 hits of which 3 were bombs. cardinals got obliterated, 20-2.

saturday’s game was the first one that I actually until it ended without any interruptions and just for the fun of it. it truly was a great game, with the pitching on both sides being solid; especially the starters.

the phils could only come up with 4 hits in total, as the cardinals were a little better offensively and had a couple more timely hits and collected 9 hits.

lohse was great; his changeup was filthy, he located his change, breaking stuff and his fastball. his fastball I thought was especially good, because he was throwing it on cue to both sides of the plate and he put it were he wanted it.

eaton was good, not great. he managed to limit the damage and strand some baserunners by getting a couple of key double plays or lohse tried to swipe a base one inning but got thrown out; wouldn’t you know it, izturis comes up behind him and promptly triples to right centerfield. all in all, he was pretty good too.

lohse went 8 innings allowing 2 runs and eaton went 6 and 2/3rds and gave up 3 runs. burrell hit a two run shot that got the phils back in the game, but they could not get the tying run. the offensive star for the cardinal was, adam kennedy; who else did you expect? he had a nice two hit game with a two run homer that came in the first after skip got on to lead off the game (kennedy was hitting 2nd).

big thudwick contributed with a run scoring single and franklin got the save after retiring howard, burrell and jenkins 1,2,3 in the 9th. cardinals win a really well pitched game, 3 to 2.

then, the finale was another high scoring affair. boggs didnt last too long, giving up 4 runs in 4.1 innings. myers wasn’t much better, giving up 6 runs in 6 innings pitched. the cardinals had a 5 to 1 lead going into the 5th, but boggs let the pitcher get a hit and it started from there. the cards added another run in the 6th, but it turned out that the bullpen needed those runs just to keep the score tied.

flores waked home a run, then springer did the same; so, the ballgame was tied. then, in the 10th, ankiel scored the winning run on two errors; one on a ball that he hit and the other on a ball that duncan hit (errors committed by utley and gordon). so, the cards take the series finale, 7 to 6.

during this game, molina prevented a run from scoring by blocking the plate, but he suffered a concussion, good thing was, he remained conscious. he had to spend the night at a local hospital, but the cardinals say that he will probably not go on the dl. that is the last thing we need right now, another important guy landing on the dl.

guess, who collected the win sunday after pitching a scoreless inning? ARey, that’s who! yep, reyes has been called up and the izzyman is back in the bullpen; both worrell and mather were sent down to make room for the two pitchers.

tlr said that he is going ease izzy back into the closer’s role, let’s hope his problems are behind him because I would really like him to get to at least 300 career saves in a cardinals uniform (he currently is at 292 career saves).

carpenter suffers a speed bump in his attempt to come back from tommy john surgery. he was shut down by the cards and they said he won’t pitch before the all star break. figures, I thought they were being to optimistic anyways before. from the beginning, I thought it was going to be early to mid august before he comes back. now, maybe they stretches out to late august, or even early september when the roster expands; who knows? just hope he gets to 100% by the beginning of spring training 2009.

more news on injured starting pitchers making comebacks from injuries and surgeries. mulder and clement pitched for double-A springfield in a day night double header on saturday.

mulder pitched 5 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and only needing 73 pitches. clement was alright since it was his first time pitching in a live game in a while, he also pitched 5 innings but allowed 3 runs.

here is what tlr had to say about mulder:

“I thought it was a real positive outing,” said manager Tony La Russa. “He’s just got to get sharp, you know, fine-tune what he’s doing.”

mulder supposedly has a new “arm slot” and a tweaked delivery. how many times did he talk about his arm slot not being consistant or being off last season? let’s hope this time he is effective for real and that he comes back and pitches effectively. not too long ago he was talking about retiring if this recent rehab from this last surgery did not go well.

wow, sorry about the long post today, but it had to be done; I known to sometimes be a longwinded talker and/or poster. let’s talk about the royals and maybe the sox tomorrow. enjoy the team’s day off.


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