Monday, September 04, 2006

Cards vs. Nationals

Jason Marquis (14-12, 5.86) takes on Ramon Ortiz (9-12, 5.34). In his career, Ortiz is 1-2 against St. Louis with a very high 8.10 ERA. Marquis is 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA, including a shutout, against the Nationals in his career. The Cardinals lead the division for the 5th consecutive season in a row. The Cardinal bullpen this season is 19-16 with an even 4.00 ERA. Cardinal pitchers have 79 Holds up to this point in the season. Isringhausen plus some others (Wainwright, Sosa) have combined for 35 saves in 51 opportunities (69%)

Albert Pujols is 4 home runs away from tieing his career record with 46 home runs.

Aaron Miles SS
Chris Duncan LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
John Rodriguez RF
Preston Wilson CF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Gary Bennett C
Jason Marquis P

It's not everyday that that happens now, is it?!? Ramon Ortiz pitched one heck of a game. Not just that but he would have been only the third player in MLB history to pitch a no-hitter and hit a home run in the same game! So did Jason Marquis. Marquis just made a mistake by pitching to Kearns and him going yard.

Ortiz goes 8 solid innings with a no-hitter, walking one, and then gives up a hit in the 9th to Miles. Duncan lines out on a DP. Pujols goes yard on a moon shot to the upper deck of RFK. I watched all of the game and the last guy you want to be pitching to is Albert Pujols. Take out the line drive DP and it's a 4-3 ballgame.

Still though, Pujols is my pick for MVP this season. No doubt about it.

St. Louis 1, Washington 4
Losing pitcher - Jason Marquis (14-13)
HR: Albert Pujols (43)

Juan Encarnacion has a breather on Monday due to a sore hip and is expected to have Tuesday's game off as well. Also, there is expected to be four more players called up.
Outfielder Skip Schumaker, infielder Brendan Ryan, reliever Josh Kinney and lefthanded starter Chris Narveson are the leading candidates.
Nice feature story on Cardinal outfielder So Taguchi. Here's a PD article on Marquis' start yesterday which brings the Cardinals to five quality starts in a row. The Cardinals are 3-2 in the latest outings from the rotation. One starter had a No-Decision. One game was a 1-0 shutout against the Cardinals in which Weaver should have gotten the win. In the last five games, the starters went 36 1/3 innings pitched, with a combined 1.24 ERA.

Josh Kinney will wear #52. Narveson, #60, and Nelson #62.

As it turns out, John Nelson gets the callup, and not Brendan Ryan!!

Jeff Suppan (10-7, 4.64) takes the start against Pedro Astacio (3-4, 6.12). Suppan is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in seven career starts against the Expos/Nationals. However, Suppan is 4-5 with a 7.02 ERA on the road this season. He's 6-2 with a 2.90 ERA at new Busch Stadium this season.

So Taguchi CF
Chris Duncan LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Preston Wilson RF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Aaron Miles SS
Yadier Molina C
Jeff Suppan P

Suppan absolutely dominated tonight. He went 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts, only giving up five hits, to get his 11th win. In his last three starts, he's only given up one run, and has brought his ERA down to earth with 4.39. Suppan would have gone 8 full innings but he ran out of gas before turning it over to rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright who struck out one to end the inning. His fastball was nasty tonight. Isringhausen was classic Isringhausen. The ump may have been generous but he managed to get his 33rd save of the season and 249th of his career.

Pujols was classic Pujols too. He went yard for the 44th time in the first inning which gives him another game winning home run. Scott Rolen scored in the 7th on a fielder's choice.

St. Louis 2, Washington 0
Winning pitcher - Jeff Suppan (11-7)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (33)
HR: Albert Pujols (44)

Chris Carpenter (13-6, 2.87) vs. Mike O'Connor (3-7, 5.12)

Preston Wilson LF
So Taguchi CF
Albert Pujols 1B
Juan Encarnacion RF
Scott Spiezio 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
Aaron Miles SS
Chris Carpenter P

Take out the sixth inning and the Cardinals would have had an Izzy-proof lead to win the ballgame. Scott Spiezio, Preston Wilson and Yadier Molina took the Nationals yard. Carp's ERA was as low as 2.82 today when I checked but he's now back at 2.97 for the season.

The flight to Phoenix will likely not be a good one for Jason Isringhausen who can't seem to pitch effectively anymore. Sad to say, but I'd pitch Mark Mulder over him. Mulder is having rotator cuff surgery and will likely miss all of next season. I can no longer defend Isringhausen. This is pathetic.

Losing pitcher - Jason Isringhausen (4-8)
HR: Scott Spiezio (9), Preston Wilson (14), Yadier Molina (6)

Milestone watch:
Albert Pujols needs 10 home runs to tie Ken Boyer for 2nd on the Cardinals all-time home runs list with 255.
Jim Edmonds needs 1 home run to pass Ray Lankford for 4th all-time as a Cardinal.
Jason Isringhausen needs 1 saves for 250 career saves.
Albert Pujols has his sixth consecutive season with 100 runs, 100 RBI, 30 home runs, and at least a .300 batting average. He is the only player to do so in the first five seasons of a MLB career. With less than a month to go in the season, Pujols is batting .321.

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