Walton's Game Observations – Saturday

Chris Carpenter's complete game shutout paced the Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 Saturday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals won their second consecutive blowout over the Pittsburgh Pirates by an 8-0 margin Saturday night. The Cards lead the four-game weekend series two games to one. The Cardinals' overall record improved to 47-27 while their National League Central lead over the Cubs remains nine-and-one-half games.

Chris Carpenter dominated in winning his 11th game of the season against just four losses. He allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout. It was his eighth career shutout and second in three games. In the process, Carpenter walked no one and struck out 11. He even collected an RBI on a suicide squeeze play. His opposite number, Mark Redman, didn't have a chance.

Jim Edmonds hit his third home run in two games, a two run shot. Albert Pujols had a three-run shot and Yadier Molina had two hits, including a solo homer. So Taguchi and David Eckstein each had a single and a double. Eckstein also had a walk and scored twice.

Carpenter understatement
"He had a rookie-of-the-year type season last year," said Bob Carpenter about Jason Bay. Uh, Bob, that's because he won the award…

Horton's Yogism
"You're supposed to beat up on those that you're supposed to beat up on," said Rick Horton on Carpenter's 7-0 success against the National League East.

Cameras that explode?
As Carpenter and Horton discussed Red Schoendienst's many years of participation in Camera Day, Horton said he'd been doing it so long it was back when they had "those cameras that exploded". Rick, those were called flash bulbs.

Love those Bucs
With Saturday's win, the Cards have taken seven of eight from the Pirates this season and won five of six at Busch.

Post-Dispatch Pin Collection
The WB11 boys have been hawking the series sponsored by the newspaper. Two pins the past week have been Hector Luna (at that time in Memphis) and Roger Cedeno (at that time in Memphis on injury rehab and since designated for assignment). Maybe they should have just stuck with the stars…

Saturday's lineup
Eckstein, Edmonds, Pujols, Sanders, Rolen, Grudzielanek, Taguchi (rf), Molina and Carpenter. Larry Walker missed his fifth game in six due to the herniated disk in his neck. Hot Jim Edmonds was moved up to #2.

On to the game…

Bucs first – Weird pitch and good leather
A pitched ball went between lead off man Matt Lawton's legs. It was originally called a hit-by-pitch, but an umpire's conference reversed the call. Lawton then fanned. Eckstein, Pujols and Rolen all made nice defensive plays.

Bucs second - KKK
Carpenter fanned the heart of the order, the #4, 5 and 6 hitters.

Cards second – Twin killing hurts
Rolen singled with one out for the Cards first baserunner. Grudz drew a walk, but So Taguchi ground into a double play to end it.

Bucs third – First Bucs hit
David Ross singled with one out. He was stranded.

Cards third – Two long balls
Leading off, Molina hit a low liner into the Cards bullpen. With one out, Eckstein hit a ball into the left field corner and took second for a double as the fielder bobbled the ball slightly. Edmonds parked a ball in the seats in left center for his 14th of the season. Cards 3-0.

Cards fourth – More runs
Grudz collected a one-out single and was balked to second. An infield hit by So enabled Grudz to motor home. Nice coaching by Jose Oquendo. Molina's shot to left-center put runners in the corners. Carpenter fouled off a suicide squeeze bunt, but even though everyone knew it was coming, he did it successfully the second time. Eckstein walked before Edmonds flied out. Cards 5-0.

Bucs fifth – Double play
Jose Castillo singled up the middle with one out, but a 6-4-3 double play ended it

Cards fifth – Turnabout is fair play
Leading off, Albert singled to center, however Sanders ground into a double play.

Bucs sixth – Carp streaming
Carpenter fanned two more. That makes six total. He's allowed just one over the minimum.

Cards seventh – Albert's three-run shot
Against reliever Ryan Vogelsong, Carpenter reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. He took second on an Eckstein single. Pujols' line drive homer scored three. Cards 8-0.

Bucs eighth – Luna sighting
As a signal to what may be coming, Hector Luna entered the game in left field. Daryle Ward singled leading off, but left via another double play.

Cards eighth – Another chance
So doubled with one out off Ward's glove at first. Molina's liner to third was the second out and Carp fanned. That is ok.

Bucs ninth – It was over long ago
Matt Lawton singled with two out, but Carpenter fanned Tyke Redman swinging for his eleventh of the game.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Sunday vs. Pirates: Jason Marquis vs. Oliver Perez 1:15 pm WB11
Monday: Off day
Tuesday vs. Reds: Mark Mulder vs. Brandon Claussen 7:10pm FSNM
Wednesday vs. Reds: Matt Morris vs. Ramon Ortiz 7:10pm FSNM
Thursday vs. Rockies: Jeff Suppan vs. Jeff Francis 7:10pm FSNM
Friday vs. Rockies: Chris Carpenter vs. Joe Kennedy 7:10pm FSNM

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

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