Jeff Suppan took on Cory Lidle. Suppan didn't have it, exiting after three innings and one batter, taking his earliest shower since joining the Cardinals before last season. At that point, the Phils already had seven runs on the board, including three home runs. Suppan's defense didn't help him out, either, as a David Eckstein fielding error had opened the door for two unearned runs - the final margin.
Albert Pujols had a two-run double among his three hits. Jim Edmonds walked twice and doubled. Mark Grudzielanek also had a double and a single. David Eckstein homered and singled. Those eight hits were it for the Cards.
Team goals simple
Over the weekend, Tony La Russa pointed out that after having achieved their first goal of ten games over .500, the Cardinals would next go for 15 and then 20.
Eckstein, Walker, Pujols, Edmonds, Sanders, Grudzielanek, Seabol (3b), Molina and Suppan. It was not known until game time if Edmonds could go. Scott Seabol got his first-ever major league start.
On to the game…
Cards first – Errors wasted
Eckstein reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins as his throw pulled first baseman Ryan Howard off the bag. After Walker flied out to deep right, third baseman David Bell mishandled Albert's ball, allowing him to reach via the error. Unfortunately, Eckstein must have missed a sign as he was caught trying to take third as Pujols stayed put. Edmonds walked, but Sanders fanned looking.
Phillies first – Homer (un)happy
With two out, Suppan served up consecutive longballs by Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell. The former was on an 0-2 count. Inexcusable. Note to Jeff: Abreu had seven home runs in eight games coming in, many against better pitchers than you. What in the heck are you doing? Chase Utley singled before the third out was collected. Phils 2-0.
Cards second – One run back
Grudz led off with a double and took third as Bell's second error allowed Molina to take first. Suppan brought a run in via a suicide squeeze after Lidle knocked him down. Phils 2-1.
Phillies second – Nine men come to bat
Leading off the second, Ryan Howard homered the other way. Suppan has collected three outs and allowed three home runs so far. Mike Lieberthal and Lidle singled and Rollins walked to load the bases. Still no out as Gabe White is up throwing. A double-play ball by newcomer Endy Chavez went through Eckstein's legs, allowing two to score. Rollins scored on an Abreu sacrifice fly and Chavez scored on a wild pitch. Utley was hit by a pitch. Phils 7-1.
Cards third – Creeping back
With one out, Rollins made a nice stop in deep short. His throw from his knees almost got Albert, but Howard stayed on the bag instead of catching the ball. Albert took second on the throwing error. Edmonds singled past first down the line and just slid into second with a double. In fact, replays seemed to show him out, but it was scored an RBI double. Grudz' single was his 1500th career hit. Edmonds was waved home by Jose Oquendo, but stopped on his own and returned to third. Jose, did you forget that Edmonds has a sore ankle or what? Phils 7-2.
Phils third – Held them
Lieberthal reached on an infield single and took second on a sac, but was stranded. Hooray! No runs.
Cards fourth – Back at ‘em
Eckstein singled to right with two out. Bell committed this third error of the night on a Walker bouncer. The Phillies have five errors but still lead by five runs. Pujols scored them both on a double that bounced off the top of the padded wall and came back into play. Edmonds walked, but Sanders fanned. Phils 7-4.
Phils fourth – White puts up zeroes
Chavez singled to lead off. Suppan was pulled in favor of White. After a series of throws over to first, he picked Chavez off. White ended up pitching two innings of one-hit ball.
Phils seventh – Flores solid
Pat Burrell singled with one out against Randy Flores, who is pitching his second inning. Flores induced a 4-6-3 double play to end it.
Cards ninth –Eck muscles up
David Eckstein hit his first National League home run off closer Billy Wagner with one out. It was the Birds' first hit since Pujols' double way back in the fourth. Albert singled, but that was it. Phils 7-5.
Upcoming action (times CDT)
Wednesday @ Phillies: Chris Carpenter vs. Jon Lieber 6:05pm FSN Midwest/ESPN
Thursday @ Phillies: Jason Marquis vs. Brett Myers 12:05pm FSN Midwest
Friday @ Royals: Mark Mulder vs. Zack Greinke 7:10pm FSN Midwest
Saturday @ Royals: Matt Morris vs. Mike Wood 6:10pm WB11
Sunday @ Royals: Jeff Suppan vs. Jose Lima 1:10pm WB11
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.