Walton's Game Observations – Monday

The Cardinals were defeated by Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Monday night

The St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre by a 4-1 score Monday night, in the first of a three-game interleague series. The Cards overall record is 40-23 and their road record is still an outstanding 19-11.

Jeff Suppan opposed Jays' ace and former American League Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. Suppan struggled early, but settled down a bit. He ended up allowing eight hits and three walks over seven innings. In his first appearance in two months, Cal Eldred gave up one run in the eighth.

Halladay was masterful, walking none and allowing just five hits in spinning a complete game. John Mabry hit a solo home run and a single. David Eckstein had two hits, but that was about it. Mark Grudzielanek and Larry Walker were among the 0-for-4 hitters, as both fanned twice.

Monday's lineup
Eckstein, Grudzielanek, Pujols, Walker, Seabol (dh), Mabry (lf), Nunez (3b) Molina and Schumaker (cf). Based on his hitting dramatics Sunday, Scott Seabol became the designated hitter. Mabry and Nunez both started, so you might say that all three third basemen are in the game. Reggie Sanders took the night off. Edmonds was the original clean-up hitter, but was a late scratch in favor of Skip Schumaker, making his first major league start. Edmonds originally injured his side or ribs making a diving catch against Boston last week.

On to the game…

Cards first – RISP with one out
Eckstein led off with a single and stole second on a 2-2 pitch with Albert at the plate. He was stranded.

Jays first – Lead taken
Rios led off with a double, advanced on an out and scored on a sacrifice fly. Shea Hillenbrand followed with a home run deep to left. It was Suppan's 12th homer allowed this season. Jays 2-0.

Jays second – Another posted
Aaron Hill doubled over Mabry's head leading off. The ball hit off the bottom of the left field wall and sure looked to be catchable. Russ Adams' two-out single scored the run. He swiped second. Jays 3-0.

Cards third – Eck on again
Eckstein reached with two out on a swinging bunt to third, but was stranded again.

Jays third – Baby beanball war begun
With two out, Suppan hit Hillenbrand with a pitch. He had homered in the previous at-bat in what was surely a coincidence. Both benches were warned. Hinske walked, but neither came home

Cards fourth – One scored
Mabry sit a solo homer to left with two outs. Seabol followed with a single. Jays 3-1.

Jays fourth – No more damage
Orlando Hudson singled with one out and moved up on a ground out. He was stranded.

Jays fifth – More trouble averted
With one out, Vernon Wells doubled and Hillenbrand walked. Neither scored.

Cards seventh – RISP again
Mabry singled leading off. With one down, Nunez lined to short, but Adams threw the ball past first trying to catch Mabry. He took second, but remained there.

Jays seventh – Bases loaded
Frank Catalanotto doubled with one out when Mabry seemed to have trouble again getting back on the ball. Wells reached on an infield single to out runners at the corners. Hinske was walked with two outs to load the bases. But, Hill's fly ball was the third out.

Jays eighth – Cal's return rocky
Cal Eldred made his first appearance in two months. Gregg Zaun singled leading off and Hudson walked. Adams' sac bunt moved the runners up. Zaun was erased on a force out by Rios, leaving runners on the corners with two outs. Reed Johnson hit an 0-2 pitch for an RBI single. Jays 4-1.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
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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