Posted on July 30, 2009 at 8:07 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats
| Los Angeles Dodgers
| St. Louis Cardinals
Last night, as I'm listening to the UCB Radio Hour and visiting sites around the web, I noticed that one of my Facebook friends (and fellow mods at CardsClubhouse
) said something about this being "the game of the year" in his status.
And that was before the Cardinals pulled it out
Needing a win since the Cubs had already won. Tying the game with two outs in the ninth. Retying the game in the 11th. Throwing out a runner at home in the 12th. Winning it in the 15th. This game
had it all and will be a tough one to top for the rest of the season.
Hard to narrow it down to just one Hero, but I think I'll go ahead and give it to Ryan Ludwick
. Sure, he led to the Dodgers only run in regulation, but his single in the ninth led to Colby Rasmus being able to tie the game. He tied the game himself in the 11th, then threw out Manny Ramirez at the plate in the 12th. All in all, it goes in the credit side of the ledger for him.
Also good to see Albert Pujols getting an extra base hit. With three hits last night, including the game winner, it's possible that he's starting to come out of his most recent slump. He still had a couple of at-bats that weren't typical Albert, but if this team is clicking even without him, just imagine when he's on a tear.
Gotta love what Joel Pineiro is doing this year. Rasmus got him off the hook so he didn't get an undeserved loss. Eight innings of one-run ball should win you a lot of games, but in this one he's almost a forgotten man. Having him line up behind Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in a playoff series, though, will not be a problem for Cardinal fans like it would have been last year.
Major kudos to Blake Hawksworth as well, who earned his first major league win with three shutout innings. I think a lot of people, even before last night's outing, were interested to see what he'd do with that fifth slot in the rotation. Last night pretty much cemented that impression for me. I know that Mitchell Boggs is getting the call for Friday, but if that doesn't work I'd like to see them think about Hawksworth.
In such a well-played game, the Goat tag is hard to apply. Without the rally, Ludwick probably would have gotten it for misplaying the ball hit by Casey Blake. I really wanted to give it to Joe Thurston for missing first base on that "double" in the 12th, but since the Cardinals won it's basically a footnote. So I guess I'll go with Nick Stavinhoa
, who with Yadier Molina were the only starters not to get a hit, but Molina did draw two walks.
Cards go for the sweep tonight, which would likely send a message to the rest of the league. Kyle Lohse goes against Hiroki Kuroda. Lohse has had trouble
with the Dodgers in the past, but so had Pineiro before last night's outing. He'll really have to try to corral Manny, who has hit two homers and has a .417 average against him. Manny's been held down this series, so you hope you can do it for another night and let him blow up over the weekend. Kuroda hasn't faced the Cardinals
, so only Mark DeRosa and Matt Holliday have seen him. Holliday's liked it, though, hitting .455 with two doubles against him.
A sweep keeps the Cardinals in first as they welcome in a beat up Houston team. The second half surge is ready to go!
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