Walton's Game Observations – Tuesday

Ex-Blue Jay Chris Carpenter tossed a one-hitter and Larry Walker hit two home runs to lead the Cardinals over the Toronto Blue Jays 7-0 Tuesday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre by a 7-0 score Tuesday night, to tie the three-game interleague series at 1-1. The Cards overall record is now 41-23 and their road record is 20-11.

Chris Carpenter bested Chad Gaudin. Carp collected the 19th one-hitter in team history and the first since 1994. In a dominant performance, he fanned ten and walked only one, facing just 28 hitters.

The offense had runners on base in eight of the nine innings. Larry Walker hit a pair of two-run home runs and Albert Pujols added one. Both of them had three hits and Walker also drew a free pass. Abraham Nunez had three hits and a walk. Reggie Sanders hit a solo home run and singled. So Taguchi had two hits.

Old, after all
Many of us may have been under the impression that the current Busch is not all that aged. However, thanks to Billy-Ball, here is a piece of info that relates. The five oldest parks in the National League are:
1. Wrigley Field, which opened April 20, 1916
2. RFK Stadium, which opened April 9, 1962
3. Dodger Stadium, which opened April 10, 1962
4. Shea Stadium, which opened April 17, 1964
5. Busch Stadium, which opened May 12, 1966

Minor league attendance at record pace
Attendance at Minor League Baseball games remained strong through May as 7.3 million fans went through the turnstiles to boost the two-month total to 13,203,740 for the 176 teams in 11 leagues. That is up 3% over 2004. It is the first time that April-May attendance has ever exceeded 13 million. Last year's full-season total was 39,887,755, an all-time record.

Dusty's dopey comment of the week
According to the Daily Southtown, Cubs manager Dusty Baker sat outfielder Todd Hollandsworth on Sunday because Dusty didn't want him to mess up his timing by having to face Red Sox' Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. What about the other nine guys who played? No word as to whether Holly was allowed to play video games on the internet on his day off.

Tuesday's lineup
Eckstein, Nunez (3b), Pujols, Walker (dh), Sanders, Grudzielanek, Mabry (rf), Taguchi (cf) and Molina. Edmonds remained out with his rib injury and doesn't seem as close to being ready to return as it seemed. Molina has started eleven consecutive games and 20 of 21. He's started 54 of 64 games this season. Iron man or burnout candidate?

On to the game…

Cards first – B2B-4-3
Nunez singled down the left field line but was just thrown out trying to take second. Gaudin hit Albert in the ribs with his first pitch. No warnings were issued. The next pitch went out to straight away center thanks to Larry Walker. Two pitches later, Sanders went deep to left. Cards 3-0.

Cards second – One on
So singled to center with one out. He was plunked with a pickoff attempt, but stayed in the game. He was stranded.

Jays second – More whiffing
Carpenter has struck out five of the six batters faced.

Cards third – Three on, three out
Nunez singled leading off. Albert singled off the third baseman's glove. It bounced to Russ Adams at short, who threw the ball wildly toward second. The runners ended up at second and third. Walker walked to load the bases with no out. Sanders whiffed as the boys were talking up his grand slam prowess. Oops. Then, Grudz fanned looking and Mabry ground out. Nice job by Gaudin to escape.

Jays third – Still the min
Carpenter walked the leadoff man, Gregg Zaun, but he was quickly retired in a double play, 6-4-3.

Cards fourth – So no go ho
So reached on a single as second baseman Orlando Hudson seemed to have time, but didn't make the throw to first. However, he made a nice play to his left for the third out.

Cards fifth – Walker again
Leading off, Albert singled to center and scored on Walker's second homer, a deep shot to right. With one out, Grudz singled, ending Gaudin's evening. Mabry lined into a double play on Scott Downs' first pitch. Cards 5-0.

Jays fifth – Not perfect, but close
Carp struck out two more and eight total and faced the minimum number of batters.

Cards sixth – Two more on
Molina singled with one out and Nunez walked with two down. Neither scored.

Jays sixth – No-no no mo
Good thing I am not superstitious. "Five and 2/3 with no hits", says Dan. Before he could take a breath, Adams singled to right.

Cards seventh – Runners every inning
Sanders singled off the pitcher, Justin Speier's leg with one out. Grudz moved him up, but Mabry fanned.

Cards ninth – Albert piles on
After finally going down in order in the eighth, Nunez singled to center leading off against closer Miguel Batista. It is Nunez' fourth time on base. Albert followed with a homer into the Cards pen that was caught barehanded by Ray King. Walker reached for a fourth time as he legged out an infield single. Pinch-hitter Scott Seabol reached via a fielders' choice and moved up on an error by Hudson at second. Cards 7-0.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
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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