Walton's Game Observations – Sunday

The Cardinals defeated the Yankees 5-3 Sunday afternoon, taking the series two games to one.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees at Busch Stadium Sunday afternoon by a 5-3 score, taking the series in the process. At 40-22, the Cards extended their lead over the losing Cubs to 6-1/2 games and enjoyed a 4-2 homestand.

Matt Morris and Carl Pavano pitched well, going six innings. Both allowed six hits and one run. However, the Cardinals' bullpen was stronger, allowing just one run in three innings, while the Yankees' pen caved. Jason Isringhausen collected his 18th save. Ray King was awarded the win.

Scott Seabol hit his first major league home run, a two-run shot in the seventh, which put the Cardinals ahead for good. Yadier Molina had three hits, including a double. Jim Edmonds also doubled, singled and walked. He drove in two. David Eckstein broke a slump with two hits and an RBI.

Unit passes Gibby
On Saturday, Randy Johnson earned his 252nd career win to pull ahead of Bob Gibson for 41st place on the all-time list. It was Johnson's first win in St. Louis since April 16, 2002, when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Cubbies out there
With a win against the Red Sox Saturday, the Cubs again moved to 5-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. They've gone 12-4 in their last 16 games.

Eldred in, White out
Cal Eldred was activated from the disabled list, while lefty Gabe White was designated for assignment. At this point, it is not known whether White will report to Memphis or will demand his release. A good move that was expected.

Five signees
Outfielder Colby Rasmus (first round), pitchers Tyler Herron (supp. first round), Josh Wilson (second round) and Nick Webber (second round) and catcher Bryan Anderson (fourth round) all signed deals with the Cardinals after having been drafted this past week.

Brad is bad
Was I the only one who got excited when Brad Thompson fanned A-Rod swinging to end the top of the seventh inning Saturday?

WB11 boys against some booing
Bob Carpenter and Rick Horton expressed disappointment in Cardinals fans booing Edgar Renteria and Tino Martinez. However, they "understood" why Jason Giambi was booed. Frankly, to me that is totally backward. Given the Giambi-McGwire connection, it seems more hypocritical to boo Giambi than a guy who made $7 million a year and "hit" just .230 with runners in scoring position in 2002 and .210 in 2003 (Tino). I would boo Tino, too. He may have been trying and all, but he was awful. Period.

Seattle, Washington
Not the city; the cities. The Mariners made their first-ever visit to the Nation's Capital this weekend.

Horton on the Clock
Old #49, former pitcher Rick Horton got to remove his number from the Busch Countdown Clock Sunday.

Good lefty = shut out for opposition Saturday's shutout by Randy Johnson marked the second time in three games that a left hander shut out the Cardinals. David Wells blanked the Redbirds on Wednesday, 4-0. All three times the team has been shut out this season have been against lefthanders (May 13, 2-0 vs. Tom Glavine of the Mets).

WB11 graphics need rehaul
WB11 have changed the color of their "Fox Box", the graphical score in the upper left of the screen. The pitch count and number of outs are white letters on a gold background. As a result, they are barely legible.

Carp out of water
"We're going to be close to the ocean next weekend," said Bob Carpenter about the Cardinals' road trip to play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Uh, Bob, I am sure you know that Tampa is on the gulf side of Florida. I guess that's close to the ocean if you're in St. Louis.

Sunday's lineup
Eckstein, Grudzielanek, Pujols, Edmonds, Walker, Sanders, Mabry (3b), Molina and Morris. This is the strongest lineup that La Russa can field with Scott Rolen out.

On to the game…

Yanks first – Leadoff man stranded
Derek Jeter singled on the first pitch of the game – a line drive to left. He moved up on a Tony Womack fielders' choice and took third on an A-Rod ground out. Hideki Matsui lined out to second for the third out.

Yanks second – Two on
Jason Giambi singled to right with one out. Jorge Posada singled to left and took second as Sanders juggled the ball multiple times as if it were a hot potato. Robinson Cano popped out to Mabry in foul ground, getting Morris off the hook.

Cards second – First base runner
With one out, Walker slammed a one-hopper off the wall in the left field corner for an easy double. He took third on a Sanders fly ball out, but Mabry stranded him there.

Cards third – Lead taken
Molina began the inning with a double off the corner of the stands down the right field line. Morris did a nice job to bunt him over to third. With the Yankee fielders in, Eckstein sharply singled to left on a 3-1 count to collect the RBI. Cards 1-0.

Yanks fourth – Two more on
Sanders made a nice catch up against the wall against Matsui for the first out. Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi each drew a walk. Morris fanned Cano to end the inning.

Cards fourth – Running into an out
After Pavano almost beaned him, Edmonds doubled down the left field line leading off. Walker hit the ball sharply to short on the first pitch and Jeter threw Edmonds out easily trying to take third.

Yanks fifth – Game tied
Tony Womack walked with two out. A-Rod's double down into the left field corner enabled Womack to motor home. Bill Miller took over as home plate umpire for Darryl Cousins. The switch-over delayed the start of the home fifth. An interview with Jeff Luhnow discussing the draft helped fill the time. Tie 1-1.

Cards fifth – Promising start
Molina led off with a single up the middle, just past Jeter. Morris couldn't sacrifice this time and Eckstein ground into a double play.

Yanks sixth – Close call
With one out, Giambi walked on a close pitch. After Morris fanned Williams, Cano doubled to right. Fortunately, it was the slow Giambi on the bases. Pujols made a great backhanded stop on a ball by Pavano and beat him to first base to save two runs and end the inning.

Cards sixth – Great chance missed again
Grudz singled leading off and swiped second with two strikes to Albert. After showing bunt, clean-up hitter Edmonds walked. Walker was hit by a pitch in the hip to load the bases. Sanders blew the opportunity by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play.

Yanks seventh – Pen coughs up lead
Morris left after six innings and 98 pitches. He allowed six hits and one run. Jeter quickly greeted Al Reyes with a double into the left field corner. Molina made a nice diving catch on Womack's pop-up bunt attempt. A-Rod drew some boos when he argued about strike two inside and he was punched out on the next pitch outside. Ray King came in to face Matsui, who doubled the run home. Yanks 2-1.

Cards seventh – Slugger Seabol
Tanyon Sturtze came in to pitch. With one out, Molina reached with his third hit of the day. Pinch-hitter Scott Seabol put his first pitch into the seats in left. Suppose he had extra motivation to beat the Yankees, who had given up on him? It was Seabol's first career home run. "Look at the smile on that young man's face" was the exact words Horton used to describe both Molina and Seabol. Eckstein followed with a single, but something about how he ran to first base caused La Russa to come out to check him. Eck stole second without a throw. After Albert walked, Mike Stanton came in. On a full count, Edmonds doubled to right. Matsui slipped and threw in from his knees. Eckstein and Albert scored as he slid past Posada. Edmonds took third on the throw. Matsui had to leave the game. With a runner on third and two outs, Walker tried to bunt. His confidence must be at an all-time low. Cards 5-2.

Yanks eighth – One back
Julian Tavarez allowed a mammoth home run to right by Jorge Posada with one out. Cards 5-3.

Yanks ninth – Izzy time
Jason Isringhausen retired all three men in order, including a strikeout of Womack. He retired A-Rod on a grounder to short to end the game.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Monday @ Blue Jays: Jeff Suppan vs. Roy Halladay 6:07pm FSN Midwest
Tuesday @ Blue Jays: Chris Carpenter vs. Chad Gaudin 6:07pm FSN Midwest
Wednesday @ Blue Jays: Jason Marquis vs. Ted Lilly 6:07pm FSN Midwest
Thursday: Off day Friday @ Tampa Bay: Mark Mulder vs. Scott Kazmir 6:15pm FSNM
Saturday @ Tampa Bay: Matt Morris vs. Mark Hendrickson 5:15pm WB11
Sunday @ Tampa Bay: Jeff Suppan vs. Doug Waechter 1:15pm WB11

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

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