Walton's Game Observations – Saturday – Giants 2-0

The Cardinals were defeated by the San Francisco Giants 2-0 Saturday afternoon.

The St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by the San Francisco Giants 2-0 to tie the three-game weekend series at one game each. The Cardinals' overall record is 55-32.

Matt Morris opposed Brad Hennessey, who was inserted in place of the ineffective Kirk Rueter. Hennessey was excellent, allowing just three hits in seven innings. Morris pitched almost as well, giving up just six hits. Morris had one rough inning, as the Giants bunched three of those hits together to score twice.

Saturday's lineup – MM and MM battery
Eckstein, Taguchi (lf), Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Mabry (rf), Grudzielanek, Mahoney and Morris. Sanders and Walker were given the day off. Mike Mahoney makes his first-ever start as a Cardinal after being called up Friday.

On to the game…

Cards first – Nice threat rebuffed
Albert singled to left on a 3-1 pitch with two down. Edmonds walked. But, Rolen hit a fly ball to right on his second full-count for the final out. The Cards hitters worked Hennessey for 29 pitches.

Giants first – Mo starts right
It took Morris nine pitches to retire the Giants in order.

Cards second – Not much
Grudz singled up the middle with one out. The bottom of the lineup couldn't move him up.

Giants second – Edmonds makes another great play
Moises Alou singled leading off. Marquis Grissom shot his first offering to the left center gap, but Edmonds made another full-extension diving catch. Morris slapped his glove in applause. Albert turned a Michael Tucker shot into a 1-3-1 double play. It took Morris four pitches this time to get through the inning.

Giants third – Grudz leather shows
Grudz made his own diving extension on a catch in left field to end the inning. He was a bit slow getting to his feet, but appeared to be ok.

Giants fifth – Morris in trouble quickly
Alou led off with a check swing dribbler. Grudz got to it, but had trouble getting it out of his glove. Alou was awarded the second Giants hit of the day. He took third on a single by Grissom. Another single, this one to right by Tucker, scored the run and put runners on the corners again. The second run scored on a double play off the bat of Pedro Feliz. Albert made a very nice scoop on Rolen's throw for the third out. Giants 2-0.

Cards sixth – Important at-bat lost
Eckstein singled to right with one out. So worked a full-count over and over before grounding into a double play on the tenth pitch of his at-bat.

Giants seventh – Mini threat
Ray Durham singled with two out. Grudz made a nice play to his left to collect a grounder and fire to Albert for the final out.

Cards eighth – LaTroy rules…this time
LaTroy Hawkins took over on the mound and retired the Cards 6-7-8 in order.

Giants eighth - Mo escapes another jam
Feliz led off with a first-pitch double to center over Edmonds' head. Torrealba bunted him over. A fly ball to Mabry in right wasn't deep enough to get the run in. Morris also retired the final hitter to escape the jam.

Cards ninth
Closer Tyler Walker was asked to get the last three outs, which he did in order.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Sunday @ Giants: Jeff Suppan vs. Noah Lowry 7:05pm ESPN
Monday: Off day
Tuesday: All-Star Game
Wednesday: Off day
Thursday: Off day

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

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