Walton's Game Observations – Wednesday –Cards 11-3

The three regular outfielders' four home runs powered the Cardinals' 11-3 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The St. Louis Cardinals hammered the Cincinnati Reds by an 11-3 score Wednesday night, sweeping the two-game midweek series in the process. The Cardinals' overall record is now 21 games over .500 at 49-28 while their National League Central lead over the Cubs remains eight-and-one-half games.

Matt Morris allowed just two runs on six hits and no walks in seven innings in winning his ninth game in ten decisions. On the other hand, his opponent, Ramon Ortiz, was hammered, allowing six runs in two-plus innings.

The starting outfield, the real starters, combined for four home runs and a double with eight RBI. Larry Walker slammed two long balls and four RBI on his own. Jim Edmonds launched a three-run shot. Reggie Sanders scored three times and had a double and a solo blast.

Wednesday's lineup
Eckstein, Edmonds, Pujols, Sanders, Walker, Rolen, Grudzielanek, Molina and Morris. It has been a long time since the "A" team has been in the line-up together. It was May 8, to be exact, way back in game #30.

On to the game…

Reds second
After an Adam Dunn double, Wily Mo Pena hit a ball to deepest center off the Batter's Eye Club (492 feet). Morris did strike out the side, for what that's worth. Reds 2-0.

Cards second – Everybody Loves Jason and Felipe and the Scorer
Ray Romano, er Jason Romano was "playing" center in place of the flu-bound Ken Griffey, Jr. and did an especially poor job of acting. Reggie Sanders' shot to center got Ray all turned around and the ball bounced off his glove while he was trying to catch it basket-style on the warning track. The ball shot over the wall for a ground-rule double. Yes, the official scorer gave Sanders a two-base hit on one of the most blatant errors I have seen in some time. Of course, you could anticipate Hungo's response. He said he could understand why the scorer made that call, while Dan at least questioned it. Walker slammed the very next pitch into the seats in right. It was a line drive that had impact at 377 feet. Next, a low throw by Felipe Lopez at short to first eluded Sean Casey. As a result, Rolen ended up on second base. Grudz singled past Lopez to put runners on the corners. Molina's tailor-made double play grounder was thrown by Lopez past second for his second error of the inning as the lead run scored. After a Morris sacrifice, Eckstein's grounder brought Molina home. Cards 4-2.

Cards third – Walker again
Sanders drew a lead-off walk and again scored on another two-run shot even deeper (435 feet) to right by Walker. Not bad for a guy who can't turn his head sideways. Rolen coaxed a walk, but no more. Cards 6-2.

Reds fourth – Some running around
Joe Randa singled with one out. He traded places with Dunn as a result of a force play. That was it.

Reds fifth – More Romano, please
Ray Romano got a single, but no love when he was the lead in an inning-ending double play off the bat of pinch-hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

Cards fifth – Curtain call abuse
With one out, Sanders hit a ball over the Reds bullpen. This one was off reliever Ricky Stone. Just as Walker did earlier, Sanders got a curtain call. It is getting to be pretty meaningless when it happens with every home run in every situation. What a pleasant problem to have. Rolen singled. Cards 7-2.

Reds sixth – Meaningless steal
Leading off, Lopez singled and stole second. Three outs later, he was still there.

Cards sixth – Edmonds plates three
Morris and Eckstein singled with one out. Edmonds brought them home with a three-run shot to left field. Yes, another curtain call. Cards 10-2.

Reds seventh – Morris tiring a bit?
LaRue doubled off the wall in center with two outs. Romano canceled the episode with the third out.

Cards seventh – Two more RISP
Rolen walked and Grudz singled with one out. They moved up, but that was it.

Cards eighth – Albert comes through and leaves
Albert stroked a ground-rule double to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, breaking up an 0-for-4 night in the process. Einar Diaz got into the fun with a single over Lopez, scoring Albert. As the throw got away, Diaz moved up to second. After Taguchi fanned for the third out, Molina took over at first base, giving he and Albert a bit of a rest and getting Diaz an inning behind the plate. Cards 11-2.

Reds ninth
Carmen Cali took over for Cal Eldred on the mound. Ray Olmedo doubled over Hector Luna's head and the wall in left. He took third on a wild pitch after Joe Randa walked. Dunn's sacrifice fly scored the meaningless run. Cards 11-3.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Thursday vs. Rockies: Jeff Suppan vs. Jeff Francis 7:10pm FSN Midwest
Friday vs. Rockies: Chris Carpenter vs. Joe Kennedy 7:10pm FSNM
Saturday vs. Rockies: Jason Marquis vs. Jamey Wright 6:15pm FSNM
Sunday vs. Rockies: Mark Mulder vs. Jason Jennings 1:15pm WB11

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

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