Sorry for the light posting this weekend but schoolwork, work and Thunder Over Louisville kept me busy. Expect things to stay that way for the next few weeks.
Sidney Ponson took the start on Saturday against Glendon Rusch. Ponson picked up the win and Izzy converted his fifth save. No home runs from Albert "The Great" Pujols. The Cardinals did not see much offensive action until the 5th inning when David Eckstein singled to center, advancing John "J-Rod" Rodriguez, and brought home So Taguchi. Two batters later, Pujols found a gap when he singled to center, advancing Hector Luna, and scoring Eckstein and Rodriguez. In the bottom of the sixth, Yadier Molina hit a ground rule double to left field and brought in Jim Edmonds to score.
Defensively, Ponson gave up six hits and two walks. Both Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper picked up a hold. Jason Isringhausen pitched a solid ninth inning, minus an error on a catch, to pick up his fifth save. After struggling the first few days of the season, Izzy is lowering his ERA to where it should be but it's not quite there yet.
Sunday was not a pretty game as the Cardinals went down 7-3 in St. Louis against the Cubs. Marquis pitched six innings but gave up seven runs. Four of them were earned. He struck out two and walked two. Brad Thompson, Josh Hancock, and Randy Flores each pitched an inning of relief.
The Cardinals rallied late in the game but it just was not enough to win. In the eighth inning, Hector Luna, pinch hitting for Juan Encarnacion, doubled to second, scoring catcher Gary Bennett. In the ninth, Edmonds hit a double to center. JRod singled to third base. So Taguchi pinch hit for Flores and struck out. Aaron Miles went down swinging. Gary Bennett, the last hope, doubled down to deep right field and brought home both Edmonds and JRod for an overall three Cardinal runs. It was not enough as Skip Schumaker grounded out to third base.
The Cardinals are now 11-7.
Here are Matthew Leach's notes.
Some things that I missed on Friday: Albert Pujols became the sixth youngest player to reach 1,000 hits and 200 home runs at the age of 26 years, 95 days. However, he was the fastest to reach that feat, breaking Willie Mays' record of 825 games. It took Pujols 806 games to 1,000. He's on pace to finish up with over 3,000 hits.
"Pujols is unreal." -- Chris Berman on Baseball Tonight, April 23, 2006
What's next for St. Louis
April 24: Carp vs. Oliver Perez
April 25: Suppan vs. Victor Santos
April 26: Mulder vs. Zach Duke (ESPN)
April 27: Ponson vs. Ramon Ortiz
April 28: Marquis vs. Tony Armas, Jr.
April 29: Carp vs. Livan Hernandez
April 30: Suppan vs. Billy Traber
Mark Mulder needs 1 win for 100 wins.
Albert Pujols needs 8 for 220 home runs.
Jim Edmonds needs 7 for 220 home runs.