Izzy makes the ninth
scary but preserves win for
Wainwright who homered.
Wow, what an exciting game today! It reminded me of the playoffs last year – when the Cards had a "never say die" attitude. They just kept coming back today and eked out the victory. It sure feels good to actually win a series at Wrigley for a change.
Almost everyone contributed on offense today, which was necessary since Wainwright gave up 7 runs (can’t totally blame him though…the wind was not his friend). It was great to see Edmonds get his first homer. Kennedy ripped a double that brought in 2 runs. Duncan hit a homer. Pujols hit the game-winning 3 run homer in the 10th. But I’d have to give star of the game honors to Scott Rolen who went 5 for 6, a new career best for him.
The Cards handed the ball to Izzy with a 2-run lead in the 9th, but he allowed the Cubs to tie the game. I won’t sound the alarm bells on Izzy for that one – the Cubs scored those runs on a crazy pop up that appeared to be foul then drifted back into play and just out of reach of several Wilson, Miles, and Pujols who were all giving chase.
The Cubs broadcasters pointed out something curious: The Cards have scored 10 runs or more for the 3rd consecutive Sunday.
Sunday, Aprl 8 – 10 runs in 1 game
April 9 – 14 – 9 runs in 4 games
Sunday, April 15 – 10 runs in 1 game
April 16 – 23 – 12 runs in 6 games
Let’s hope we can break the pattern and keep the run production going strong this week.
Wow, that was an exciting game tonight! I turned it on after watching American Idol (see my other blog for my weekly Idol recaps). It’s great to see a quality start from Randy Kiesler. Of course we will miss Carp while he’s on the DL (thankfully it looks like he won’t need surgery just rest for arthritis and an impingement), but I do feel good about all the quality starts we’re getting from the rest of the staff.
In the top of the 9th, with Eckstein on second and Duncan on first, Pujols hit a long fly ball that would have gone out if things were going better for El Hombre. Still, it was good enough to advance both runners. Then Spiezio came to the plate, still recovering from yesterday’s bout with food poisoning, and smacked a single into right field to bring home the two runs and tie the game.
Thompson caused stress by getting into trouble in both of his innings, but he managed to recover and pitch his way out of jams. Hopefully, this appearance will do wonders for his confidence and he can get back to the world-beating form we saw in spring training.
In the 12th, with the bases loaded, Schumaker hit a shallow fly to left and Oquendo had Bennett tag up and head for home. A good throw would have got him, but Bay’s throw was a bit off-center and the catcher made a late tag and then dropped the ball. Cards take the lead 3-2, and Izzy got the save. Of course he walked the lead-off man just to make things interesting. 😉
My third and final Spring Training game was Monday, Cards v. Astros at Jupiter. We got to the park 2 hours early again and watched some batting practice on the practice fields. Bill Parcells was there, chatting with Tony. Maybe we should hire him.
Saw some of the pitchers taking BP, and also Taguchi, Rasmus, and Duncan. Many Cards stopped to sign autographs, including Izzy who signed for all who gathered.
Our seats were in the field boxes just beyond 3rd base, so we had a great view of the action. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much action on the Cardinals’ side as they lost 5-0. On the positive side, Wainwright had a great start. He went 4 innings and gave up 2 walks but no hits. Unfortunately, things crumbled when the relievers came in, with Smith giving up 2 runs, and Kinney looking a mess and giving up 3 runs. I wasn’t surprised to hear today that he’s got an injury. I hope it’s not serious, and he can get back to his old form before too long. Something was definitely amiss with him in the 2 appearances I saw.
There aren’t many offensive highlights to report. Preston Wilson struck out twice, which caused much cheering from the drunk Astros fans in our section. Spiezio had 2 hits.
Duncan started off the game with 2 sliding/diving catches in left field that gave me hope for him, but then reality came crashing back in as he misshandled and dropped a much more playable fly ball a couple innings later.
My dad wasn’t feeling well so we cut our trip a bit short and skipped Tuesday’s game in Ft. Lauderdale. I wish we had stuck around for today’s home run derby at Dodgertown!
Wilson’s clutch homer
put us in the drivers seat,
til Izzy’s blow out.
I turned the TV on in the 5th inning just as the Mets loaded the bases and thought, "Wow, we’re up 7-1!" A couple minutes later, it was 7-5, and that sinking feeling began to set in. Weaver struck out 2 batters after he gave up the slam, so, without being at all educated because I didnt see his earlier innings, I kinda thought Tony should have let him come back out in the 6th. Instead, he sent Wainwright, who gave up a run. And then Jason gave up Beltran’s two-run walk-off moon shot that probably landed in my old apartment several 7 Train stops away. It was sickening to watch, and it’s the kind of defeat that leaves a mark. It’s important the Cards bounce back with a win tomorrow or it could get even uglier, now that the Reds are just a game back.
To end on a positive note, let’s remember Belliard’s awesome play at 2nd that saved a run. And let’s focus on Albert’s two homers and 7 RBIs, and hope that his performance tonight is indicative of a return to his early-season off-the-charts dominance.
Carp is sharp, but each
stressful Izzy inning takes
a year off my life.