Walton's Game Observations – Sunday

The Cardinals lost to the Nationals 3-2 Sunday afternoon.

The St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Washington Nationals 3-2 Sunday afternoon. The Redbirds' record is now an NL-best 32-17. The Cards still won the series 2-1 and the homestand 5-1. Their NL Central lead is 7.5 games over the Cubs, who evened their record at 24-24.

Chris Carpenter went for his seventh win of the season against Nats' ace Livan Hernandez. Carp didn't get it, as he left the game after seven down by one, having allowed three runs on eight hits. He walked no one and fanned eight. Carp had only one bad inning, the fifth. However, his inability to get lefties out was accentuated when Brad Wilkerson had three doubles and two RBI.

Jim Edmonds was most of the offense again, with a perfect day. He homered, singled and walked twice. David Eckstein tripled and scored.

Congrats to Sparky
The Cincinnati Reds retired former Manager Sparky Anderson's #10. Sadly, it was about 15 years too late, in my opinion. But, at least Anderson is still alive to receive the well-deserved, yet overdue recognition.

Edmonds in Top 100
With his home run Saturday, the 311th of his career, Jim Edmonds tied Jeff Kent for 94th most all-time. This, according to Lee Sinins of The Hardball Times.

Horton slams Cubbies
"That's a sign to me of a team that thinks they can't win," said analyst Rick Horton about the Cubs' trade of pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. Right on, Rick!

Sunday's lineup
Eckstein, Nunez (3b), Pujols, Edmonds, Mabry (rf), Grudzielanek, Taguchi (lf), Molina and Carpenter. Larry Walker got the day off after spraining his ankle in the dugout Saturday. Abraham Nunez got a start at third as a result when John Mabry moved to right.

On to the game…

Nats first – Dodge ball
Brad Wilkerson doubled to left center leading off. He moved to third on a grounder for the second out. But, Carpenter escaped the early jam.

Cards first – One up
Eckstein led off with a triple to the right field gap and took third without a throw. Nunez' single to left brought the run home. Albert fanned looking on a great curve by Hernandez. Edmonds coaxed a walk. Both runners moved up on a Mabry ground out. But, Grudz' liner ended it. Cards 1-0.

Cards second – Good chance evaporates
So led off with a walk and moved up on a Molina single. Carpenter's sac failed when Livan caught So at third. A strike-‘em out throw-‘em out double play ended a promising inning.

Nats third – Wilk is the offense
Wilkerson slammed a ground-rule double to dead center with two out. He was stranded.

Cards third – Edmonds on fire
Edmonds homered into the right field bullpen for this third home run in three days. It was his tenth of the season. Edmonds is six for his last ten. Cards 2-0.

Nats fourth – Molina eraser
Nick Johnson singled up the middle with one out. Molina nailed him trying to steal with the cleanup man at the plate. Yadi is 8-for-14 throwing out opposing runners this season.

Cards fourth – RISP lost
With one out, So hit a gapper to left center for a double. That was it, though.

Nats fifth – Lead lost
Marlon Byrd led off with a single. He fell passing second on Brian Schneider's single and had to stay at second base. Guzman fanned. Livan sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Wilkerson's third double of the day on an 0-2 pitch scored both as So couldn't catch up with it. Jamey Carroll singled Wilkerson home. Nats 3-2.

Cards fifth – Bases loaded, no runs
Albert singled with two out in the fifth. He is now two for his last ten. Albert easily stole second against a good catcher, Schneider. As a result, Livan pitched carefully to Edmonds, putting the Cardinals' hottest hitter on base via a walk. Mabry's liner off Livan's glove loaded the bases. Grudz couldn't deliver.

Nats sixth – Carp picking
Vinny Castilla singled with one out. He switched places with Byrd on a fielders' choice. Carpenter picked Byrd off to end the inning, but is over 100 pitches already.

Nats eighth – Reyes sharp
Al Reyes took over on the mound and looked great as he retired all three hitters faced.

Cards eighth – Another chance lost
Edmonds singled leading off. Reggie Sanders pinch-hit, but popped out. Grudz just missed a double down the right field line, but instead ground out.

Nats ninth - Staying close
Castilla singled with one down. Ray King came on to get the third out.

Cards ninth – Game lost
Larry Walker led off, pinch-hitting against Nats' closer Chad Cordero and flied out. Roger Cedeno was passed over in an ideal spot for him. Too bad he can't hit worth a darn. Oddly, he did pinch-hit with two outs and popped up to end the game.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Monday vs. Rockies: Jason Marquis (5-3, 3.43) vs. Jamey Wright 7:05pm FSN Midwest and ESPN
Tuesday vs. Rockies: Mark Mulder (6-1, 3.71) vs. Jason Jennings 8:05pm FSN Midwest
Wednesday vs. Rockies: Matt Morris (4-0, 3.50) vs. Joe Kennedy 8:05pm FSN Midwest
Thursday vs. Rockies: Jeff Suppan (3-5, 4.38) vs. Shawn Chacon 2:05pm FSN Midwest

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories