So besides the question of – would Tal tell Coop to pull a catcher on a hot HOT streak and use Quintero (he didn’t and they didn’t) – was who would show up, Good Matt or Bad Matt?
Sure looked as if it was gonna be Bad Matt in the first. 2 singles, a walk, then a blessed 1,2,3 GIDP and a flyout. We aren’t the only team around with a little problem with bases loaded, less than 2 outs and no runners score. He got through the second inning 1,2,3. In the third, he got a groundout, then a single, then what should have been an easy 6-4-3, except that it was Loretta at short (WHYYYYYY?) and he couldn’t get the ball in time to turn it. He hardly ever is quick enough at either short OR second to turn the DP. But he managed to do it in the 4th with 1 out and men on second and third.
The Cards finally got to Albers in the 5th by hitting ground balls down the lines. Wiggy is useless for getting any ball hit down the line. No long fly balls, just balls down the line into the LF corner. Between Wiggy and Carlos Lee, you hit a ball that way, you are going to get a double. Matt worked out of trouble in the 6th, getting men on first and second with 2 out, but then getting the 3rd out on a FB. He gave up 11 hits, but only 2 runs as the hits were all groundballs and he got all those DP grounders to get out of trouble
Woody Williams???!!! came in to start the 7th only 1 run behind – I was a bit surprised that Coop pulled Albers after only 74 pitches, but hey, it’s not like it matters, right? So of course, That Dratted Pest came in and hit a leadoff double and naturally Rick Ankiel promptly hits a fat one (flat, dead, belt high, mid plate FB) over the wall. Good grief. Albers gives up ground balls. Woody gives up homers. Real good switch there Coop. Woody then gives up 2 singles. How long is Coop going to leave him in?
ANOTHER single just up the middle, not hard, and Ransom boots the ball with his glove the ball a bit and it heads into left. He gets lucky because the third base coach has held the runner at third, So Ransom is able to catch the runner off second in a rundown. FINALLY, an out!!! Then a single to shallow left and they almost catch the guy at third in a rundown, but Towles doesn’t get the ball to Wiggy in time so the runner is able to get back to third in time and it’s bases loaded again. (You know, THAT should really be called an error, because it really WAS an error in judgement and it SHOULD have been an out.) And actually, Wiggy should have just stayed at third to wait for the throw, so HE should have gotten an error too. Bad fielding.
And it’s Uncle Albert pinch hitting. Busch goes WILD as he limps to the plate. Can Woody get ANYBODY out? Nope. Albert hits a 2 run single to center. Still only 1 out. That was the absolute worst I have ever seen Woody pitch. He looked like Jason Jennings in that 11 run first inning debacle. (Even if they had gotten the runner at third, STILL another run would have scored.)
In came Moehler and it’s men on first and third, 1 out, and PH Taguchi. And it’s a single up the middle and another one of Woody’s run scores. Is this gonna be another 18-1 game? Well, not just yet because Moehler gets a nice 4-6-3 to end the inning. Guess Coop should have left Albers in after all. Anyway, Moehler stayed in to pitch the 8th and got 2 outs, then gave up 2 singles and then got out of trouble with an easy groundout.
So, what about the Cards pitchers?
Brad Thompson got 1,2,3 out through 5, needing only 46 pitches. Good grief. He didn’t do that well in middle relief, which is where he pitched before all the starters weren’t resigned/got hurt. FINALLY, the Astros got to him in the 6th. Towles led off with a double, then Anderson GO and Towles went to third. Chris Burke took Thompson to the FIRST 3-2 count of the night, then singled home Towles. Lance got himself out on the next pitch. I was stunned that TLR pulled him after 6 innings and only 64 pitches. Ah well.
Troy Percival gets a scoreless 7th with just a walk. Brian Falkenborg comes in to pitch the 8th and gets 1,2,3. Tyler Johnson came in for the 9th. He walks Anderson, Burke singles, Lance pops up, Carlos whiffs and Pence homers.
Cards 7 Astros 4
Biggio comes in to PH for Moehler, gets a big hand from the Cards fans, and singles. That’s #3054, for those of yall keeping count and he passes Rod Carew. Now it’s a little more interesting. Out comes Johnson and In comes Izzy. If it was Phil, he would pull Wiggy and send in Lamb the lefty. Not Coop. But Wiggy is no easy out. Takes Izzy 11 pitches, 7 fouls, 3 balls to get him to sharply lineout to The Pest.
It might could have helped things if Lance and Lee had, like, hit.
Tomorrow, it’s Roy Oswalt vs Todd Wellemeyer, RHP, ex Cub/Royal/Marlin – in case you were thinking you had head that name somewhere before. He’s been mostly a mopup type reliever since 03, logging between 20-70 innings a year in the majors. He was picked up by the Cards because they needed SOME warm body to start and he has started 9 games, going 2-3 with a 3.69 ERA. This from a guy with a lifetime ERA of 5.18.
It’s baseball and if there is one thing you can be sure of in baseball, it’s that youneverknow…