Back where we belong

 What a roller coaster series.  Taking the first game against the Reds was awesome.  But the celebration couldn’t last too long because the next thing you know, the Cardinals bullpen is completely imploding in the 8th inning.  A loss is never fun, but this one was a total group effort.

Quick: How many Cardinal pitchers does it take to blow a game?

And now the rubber match.  And of course it was on national TV, so instead of enjoying a nice 1:05 start time, we had to wait until 7:15.  I was still hanging out with my family for the holiday, so we turned the game on.  And the next thing I know, Westbrook is neck deep in a pitchers duel.  Being that Westbrook has a track record of pitching good for 3 innings or so before falling apart, I kept waiting for the bottom to drop out.  But despite 3 walks, Westbrook managed to throw 6 scoreless innings.  I’ll take it.

The real problem was that Reds starter, Edinson Volquez was matching Westbrook inning for inning.  That is….until the bottom of the 6th.  It was a small rally and short lived, but it would be more than enough against the non-producing offense of the Reds today.  It started with a 1 out Matt Holliday double down the line, followed by the intentional pass to the red-hot Lance Berkman.  And can you blame them?  Berkman ended up 2 for 3 and continues to have multi-hit game after multi-hit game.  Daniel Descalso popped up for the 2nd out and it looked like the Reds just might wiggle out of the jam.  Then Yadier Molina stepped to the plate and cranked a 3 run shot for his first long ball of the season.  And what a time to debut it.  Yadi isn’t known for his immense power, but he is known for his great timing.  He has a history of hitting well-timed home runs.

Funny how Phillips and Molina, the two guys who started the scuffle with each other last year have seemed to hit the other team well.  Maybe their adrenaline gets up for these kind of series?  Who knows?  But on this one Yadi got the last word loud and clear.  So Phillips can go back to playing around on Twitter.  He seems to be more interested in hearing himself talk than playing baseball and that’s fine by me.

The bullpen pitched an uneventful 7th and 8th inning, including Eduardo Sanchez who continues to impress.  We’ll see if he ends up being as great as he appears to be, but for now I can’t get enough of this guy.  His scoreless inning today makes 6 innings over 4 games that he has pitched without a single run and only 2 hits.  And the really ridiculous part?  10 strikeouts.  Yup, 10 Ks over 6 innings.  That’s a quality I like in a relief pitcher.  No drama, no fuss, no mess.

The 9th inning came and Votto hit a 1 out double.  Uh-oh.  This sounds familiar.  Luckily, the Reds don’t have the kind of protection that Votto deserves, so no free passes for the Reds team.  With a runner on 2nd and one out….time to bring in Franklin!  Oh wait.  No just kidding.  Boggs settled down and struck out two for the save.  That’s how you do it!

Cool fact: The Cardinals were able to give the Reds their first shutout of the season!

Back to 1st place,
Tiffany

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