Walton's Game Observations – Saturday – Cards 9-4

The Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-4 Saturday afternoon.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles 9-4 at Dodger Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals' record is now 65-38 as they tied the three-game weekend series at one game each.

Neither Jeff Suppan nor Derek Lowe were sharp, but Soup held on for five innings, allowing two home runs and four runs on seven hits and two walks. In his third try, Suppan earned his tenth win. Four relievers pitched one shutout inning each.

The offense had another big game with 14 hits. David Eckstein doubled and hit a three-run homer. Jim Edmonds and John Mabry homered and drove in two. Albert Pujols had three hits.

Starting right here
"The best player in the game. If I am building a team, I am going to start with him." This is what Fox commentator Steve "Psycho" Lyons said about Albert Pujols.

Saturday's lineup
Eckstein, Nunez, Pujols, Edmonds, Rodriguez (lf), Grudzielanek, Mabry (rf), Mahoney and Suppan. The only change from Friday night is Mabry in for Taguchi.

On to the game…

Cards first – Out on top again
As Lowe continued to come inside, Eckstein fouled a ball off his knee and Barry Weinberg had to come out to attend to him. Then, he fouled another pitch off his hip. On the next pitch, he slammed a ball off the left field wall for a double. Nunez sacrificed him to third. Albert ripped a double to left center for the easy RBI. Edmonds put the first pitch he saw into the right field seats. Cards 3-0.

Cards second – Suppan hitting
With two down, Suppan shot a ball into the right field corner that eluded Jason Repko. Running all out, Suppan could have gone to third, but was satisfied to stop at second. Didn't matter as Eckstein went 4-3.

Dodgers second – One run
Kent walked leading off. Nunez made a very nice catch on a foul popup against the stands off the bat of Ledee. Jason Phillips singled past Eckstein on a ball that looked playable. Mahoney made a nice sliding attempt on another foul popup, this one by Repko. He then stroked an RBI single to center as Edmonds' throw home was off-line. Cards 3-1.

Cards fourth – Mabry belts one
Grudz' hard shot with one out went off Oscar Robles at third for an infield single. Mabry parked an outside pitch over the fence in left center for a two-run homer. It didn't look that well struck, but it kept carrying and carrying. Cards 5-1.

Dodgers fourth – Suppan has a double shot
Jeff Kent homered to left leading off. It was a "no doubt abouter". Phillips followed with a shot into the bullpen in left. Dioner Navarro singled to center but was erased in a Repko-started 6-4-3. Cards 5-3.

Cards fifth – Good start, no finish
Nunez singled with one out. Albert followed by smacking his own single to left. The ball just sounds different off his bat. Edmonds showed bunt. Why, oh why? Then, he fanned swinging on the next pitch. Ugh!

Dodgers fifth – Slowly coming back
Hee Seop Choi dropped a ball into short left and hustled it into a lead off double. He was pinch-hitting for Lowe, who left with a finger blister. Fox's new "Blister Cam" was overused badly. With one down, Robles singled to put runners on the corners. Milton Bradley just missed a three-run homer before his fielders' choice grounder scored Choi. Grudz has a good chance at a double play, but couldn't get the ball out of his glove. Suppan issued Kent a non-intentional intentional walk. Good idea. Despite the fact he is the lead run, as he is the best clutch hitter on the Dodgers and one of the best in the game. Out #3 was quickly collected after. Cards 5-4.

Cards sixth – Eckstein creates breathing room
Mabry drew a one out walk off Giovanni Carrera. Mahoney sacrificed him over. Al Reyes is warming up as Hector Luna hit for Suppan. He also took a free pass. Eckstein muscled up and hit one 360 feet out to left. Nunez singled into the hole as Izturis tried to throw him out from the seat of his pants. Pujols' single put two on with two out. That was it. Cards 8-4.

Cards seventh – Ks mean no more rins
Against Wilson Alvarez, J-Rod legged out an infield single leading off. Very nice hustle. Brad Thompson was heating up in the pen as Grudz drew a walk. Mabry sacrified the runners over. John Gall pinch hit with two outs after Mahoney fanned. He struck out swinging.

Dodgers seventh – J-Rod banged up again
Antonio Perez singled off to left against Brad Thompson. He was quickly erased in a double play. Chasing a foul ball, J-Rod went hard into the rail and fell into the stands face-first. Fortunately, he stayed in the game.

Cards eighth – Another run
Nunez was on again, walking against Jonathan Broxton with one out. Ray King and Julian Tavarez are warming up. Albert whiffed on a 96 MPH fastball, fanning against the rookie for the second night in a row. Edmonds walked to put two on. J-Rod's single to right scored Nunez. Cards 9-4.

Dodgers eighth – King of Chavez Ravine
Ray King took the mound and retired his men in order.

Cards ninth – Missed a chance
Mabry doubled leading off, but his teammates kept him here.

Dodgers ninth – Over and out
Against Julian Tavarez, Navarro singled with one out, but Repko again ground into a double play. That ended the game.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Sunday @ Dodgers: Mark Mulder vs. Odalis Perez 3:10pm WB11
Monday vs. Marlins: Jason Marquis vs. Ismael Valdez 7:10pm FSNM/ESPN
Tuesday vs. Marlins: Chris Carpenter vs. Dontrelle Willis 7:10pm FSNM
Wednesday vs. Marlins: Matt Morris vs. Josh Beckett 7:10pm FSNM
Thursday vs. Marlins: Jeff Suppan vs. A.J. Burnett 7:10pm FSNM

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

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