Posted on April 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats
| New York Mets
| St. Louis Cardinals
As the story line
for this series goes, one team went out and spent oodles of money and talent remaking their bullpen into a fearsome force. One team bargain shopped, made moderate adjustments, and didn't scare anyone with the talent they had assembled.
So why, when it came down to a battle of the bullpens, did the Cardinals win this one
? Beats me, but I'm glad that they did.
It's not hard to find the Hero for this game
. Rick Ankiel
finally broke out of his extended slump with a three-hit game, including the game winning double. Brendan Ryan got that inning started with a ball that turned into a triple by Daniel Murphy. For all the talk about Chris Duncan's defense, how about this Murphy guy
? So far this year he's got two errors and is fielding at a .905 clip, not including misplays like last night.
It was actually a close call between Ankiel and Yadier Molina for the Hero of the game. I know that the Fox Sports guys gave it to Molina and, with his three hits and stellar defense, including his now-famous pickoff of first move, I can't blame them. Molina has had a great start to the season
and hopefully it will continue. I have to think that being able to talk hitting every day with Albert Pujols helps out some as well.
Of course, the Cardinals real hero might by Oliver Perez. The Mets are able to build a 4-0 lead, but he gives it all back in one inning, including two runs on bases-loaded walks. (OK, Casey Fossum walked one of them in, but the run goes to Perez.)
All in all, though, it was a great night for the bullpen after they got into the game following Goat Todd Wellemeyer
. When you put 12 runners on in 5 innings, you are probably just a bit lucky to only allow 4 runs. I know Wellemeyer is on the Duncan train and is pitching to contact, but let that contact be at someone, OK? 29 hits in 17 innings is a tough load for a team to deal with. At least he doesn't usually walk too many and, in other good news, his current BABIP is an astounding .453, so it's likely those balls will start finding gloves.
I do want to note that Adam Wainwright pinch-hit last night. That means I just need one more pinch-hit appearance to be right on my comment yesterday
Tonight's game pits Joel Pineiro against John Maine. Pineiro has had some success
against the Mets, though he's had trouble keeping Jose Reyes off the basepaths. I know Yadi's good back there, but finding a way to get Reyes out would make tonight's game a lot easier.
Maine hasn't gotten a lot of time in
against these Redbirds, but, as most pitchers, his worst problem is Albert Pujols, who is 4 for 9 with a couple of bombs against him. I wouldn't be surprised to see Chris Duncan get the night off and Colby Rasmus get the start instead.
Chris Carpenter is getting better
, but he's still quite a long way from getting back on the mound. He says he's got to get to where stuff like coughing and sneezing don't bother him before he can think about baseball. (If he's like me, he's getting plenty of practice with that sneezing bit. Allergies are a bear, aren't they?) At least he'll be able to keep his legs in shape, so that hopefully once he's healed up it won't take him long to get back to where he can pitch.
The Cardinals do seem to be high on Blane Boyer
. Sounds like there's a good chance we'll see him tonight and hopefully he'll start to repay that faith. We'll just have to see, I guess, what Dave Duncan can do with him.
Joe Strauss has his regular chat
today at noon, if you want to stop by there. Also, this afternoon there will be a press conference
details, which should be pretty interesting.
Don't forget as well that the United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Hour
is on tonight! We'll have on Doug Feldmann
, who's got a book out called St. Louis Cardinals: Past and Present
. Should be fun to talk about. Hope you can join us!
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